To be published on October 20, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
[This book was given to me by the publisher but this in no way affected my opinion.]
Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a Girl Guide and messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, high-level mathematics, and complex puzzles and codes, hoping to make him proud.
When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche she’s torn—this could be the adventure she’s dreamed of, but how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband to the war? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes there’s no way she can refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity.
Her acceptance leads her straight into the heart of enemy territory on a mission to extract the most valuable British spy embedded in Germany, known to the members of LDB only as Velvet. Deep undercover within the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Samantha must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she finds herself forming a forbidden attraction to the enemy-a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Samantha discover the truth and find Velvet before it’s too late…for them both?
From author Teri Brown comes the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.
Full disclosure: I know shit about WWI. So I had 0 clue of what was supposed to be historical accurate or not, these being plot and costumes or clothes or whatever, so I definetely wasn't in this book for the historical aspect but for the spy stuff and I have to say that it didn't disappoint me.
The strongest quality of Velvet Undercover was its pace, we start with a lot of just information about the spy stuff and them things go building, the mystery starts to form and about 70% in is basically a torture to put the book down. I really enjoyed the way the mystery was handled too, at first I was holding my disbelief with Sam being chosen by a highly secretive spy organization during a war time to do such a important mission, but we have a good explanation and everything did made sense by the end.
I liked Sam as a character, she was strong and smart, making the situations a lot more easy to believe in; but none of the secondary characters really had a strong personality and the book lacked a more emotional side for me. There is a romance (kind of) on this, I don't know if I would call it a romance because it never really happens but it's pretty obvious that they like each other, so despite this not being in any way a instalove at the same time it kind of seemed like it was? Ugh, is just the way Sam thinks about him since the first time they met makes it clear he is a love interest. But they were never really romantically involved on the book. So yeah, I don't know what to make of it. What I did do was roll my eyes at some of their interactions.
If you like detective/spy stories I would say to give this one a shot, for me it was worth it may be to you too.