Review: Velvet Undercover

Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Perfect for fans of Jennifer Donnelly and Libba Bray comes this page-turning historical spy thriller from Teri Brown, author of the Born of Illusion series.

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 messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche, she’s torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can’t 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 only as Velvet. Deep undercover in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Sam must navigate the labyrinthine palace and its many glamorous—and secretive—residents to complete her assignment. To make matters worse she must fight a forbidden attraction to the enemy—a dangerously handsome German guard. In a place where personal politics are treacherously entangled in wartime policy, can Sam find Velvet before it’s too late . . . for them both?

A thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spy craft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences.

Beware spoilers ahead!


I think the only spy novels that I can enjoy are those written by Ally Carter. When I first heard about this book I was excited. I love reading spy novels and thought that this would be enjoyable. I was wrong.

The book starts off with explaining the readers that Sam is at a competition of sorts. Sam is a Girl Guide a group under MI5 in which she and a few other girls deliver messages. At the start of the book Sam and the other girls are in competition to see who will be going home with the Markel Cup. The competition consists of a few different tests.

Life at home isn’t so great. Her father disappeared on a mission and since then her mother and her have remained hopeful that he will return. She really wants to win the Markel Cup because she feels like she would make him proud.

She does not win and goes to the bathroom to cry. Her cousin Rose comes in to cheer her up. When the two leave the bathroom they run into Captain Parker who reveals he would like to speak with her.

The next day she goes to the Girl Guides and is she told by her boss that the Captain wishes to see Sam. The Captain tells Sam that he was impressed by how she was able to translate a French poem into German. Due to this he offers her a chance to work with La Dame Blanche. After some thinking she declines. The Captain tells her that if she takes the job then he will personally look into her fathers disappearance. She was basically blackmailed into agreeing.

This would have been way better had I known earlier that this is supposed to be a lighthearted spy novel. The writing style read as such. I found that Sam’s character was a bit of a snob and noisy. Now of course I have read about characters as such and enjoyed those books for example are Rebel Belle. But in this book the writing style really didn’t work. It came off silly like Ruby Red.

Overall this was not an enjoyable read. I would recommend it to those who are looking for a lighthearted spy novel.

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