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Velvet Undercover

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,161 ratings  ·  230 reviews
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 i
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,161 ratings  ·  230 reviews

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Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“I’m pleased to inform you that you’ve been selected to join La Dame Blanche. We would like you to leave for training with the objective of joining the Third Company in Luxembourg. Are you interested?”

This started off okay, but I lost interest.

Samantha was a strong character, and she always tried to do what she thought was the right thing. She was young to be a spy, but
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I give this a solid 4.5 stars!! I really really liked it!! I was on the edge of my seat reading and everything was sooooo interesting. I had never read a book like this one before but I really enjoyed it. I liked all the characters and the plot was really good. There were a few things that confused me when I was reading that I wish could have been explained a bit more. Other wise I definitely recommend this book!! A really quick, exciting read!
Historical fiction about spies?! YES AND PLEASE. She's smart, observant, and fifteen. Undercover as a governess for German royalty. (Full review to come) ...more
Jen Ryland
While I can't stop thinking there is something slightly cheesy about this book (and the racy sounding title and come-hither cover aren't helping matters any) I gave it a chance and thought it was a lot of fun.

I loved the setting -- WWI Germany -- and thought the spy stuff, while completely improbable, was still pretty entertaining. Samantha, the main character, was kind of a prickly loner, but I get that, so liked her. She's a young British girl with a talent for speaking perfect German and is
2.5 stars

Historical fiction is the genre that I've been trying to delve into much more this year. This paired with a fondness for (at least the idea of) spy thrillers, as soon as I heard about Velvet Undercover, I was excited. A teenage spy sent into Germany from the UK during World War I? Color me intrigued. This book was entertaining... but not exactly mindblowing.

I'll start with my biggest point of critique and the thing that kept this book from ever really engaging me fully: the writing. I h
Ms. Yingling
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Samantha Donaldson's family lives in England at the time of WWI, and she and her mother are worried that her father hasn't been heard from and is feared missing. When she nearly wins a Girl Guide competition, where she has excelled in all manner of things, including knowledge of foreign languages, she is approached by a spy organization, La Dame Blanche to be one of their operatives. She is a little conflicted, knowing that if she joins the organization and
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
I feel as though this book did half of what I needed it to in all areas. It half made sense. The characters were half developed. The plot was half enjoyable. Overall I'm left with a hardly memorable story and equally unmemorable characters. Disappointed am I. Review to come. ...more
Fafa's Book Corner
Oct 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Trust no one." Good advice for a spy.

I can always gauge my enjoyment of a book by the amount of times I am inspired to go and Google. I'd never heard about La Dame Blanche and I blame our crappy high school history curriculum. Why didn't we ever learn about some of the heroines of the war? The people that risked their lives to track train schedules, troop movements, and the like? (Remember, no computers or internet in WWI).

Samantha is a bright young woman destined for more than her present jo
KL (Cat)
Mar 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the only teenage-girl spy novel I've ever truly enjoyed, and I've read lots of this particular genre in hopes of finding a good gem. This is it!

Samantha is realistic, which I appreciate very much in a protagonist; she is a girl that is clever and talented and knows of the weight of what she is doing. Although she tries her hardest to be brave, some times (given the tenacious circumstances thrown at her) little slip-ups happen, but like any good spy she recovers quickly and keeps a calm
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
I don't normally read historical novels but I wanted to give it a try since this one was about spies during the World War I. I've seen a lot of World War II books but no one writes about the First one.

This was a perfectly nice story. Can't say I was on the edge of my seat like I thought I would be. It's a mystery/thriller after all. Shouldn't I be allowed to expect that?

It will certainly appeal to the younger readers looking for a break from all those dystopians.

The ending tied everything up
Jessie Potts
Why you should read it: I haven’t read many historical YAs and love these genre crossovers. Samantha is a really great heroine who is smart and the perfect spy. Teri Brown is also a fantastic storyteller, and Velvet Undercover will sweep you away. The mystery of who Velvet is kept me guessing, and come on, who doesn’t love an elite all-woman spy group?


I loved the women’s spy group. If you ran one, where would you send your spies?

Teri: In Portland, Oregon, we have an ice
Jul 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Velvet Undercover was a fabulous book read. I immensely enjoyed reading it. The book was filled with never-ending, lip-biting suspense.

Previously read Teri Brown's Born of Illusion series and liking it, I expected no less from this one. Turns out my expectations were proven right.
Spying? And all that in synopsis was enough to attract me to the book.

I relished reading about Sam's skill like ciphering secret codes and her training as a spy. However, I would've really appreciated if it was more.

Jacquelyn Simon
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be very cheesy at times and I may have rolled my eyes during the villain’s stereotypical plan reveal at the end... but damnit I enjoyed this book. I’m assuming I was just in the right headspace for something like this, but I’m glad I read it! To be honest... this book was a cover buy. I don’t usually like people on the cover of books but I was intrigued! I did guess the bad guy and the reveal before the epilogue, but I don’t even care, I was glad I was right! I think it was ...more
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Originally posted HERE

While this story wasn’t as thrilling as I would have liked it to be, I still loved the mystery and deception of it all. Sam is a very sharp protagonist, which suited the plot. However, even when she was at her best, she still had this doubt within her mind about whatever situation she found herself in. I understand that she was thrust into it without notice, but one can’t be doubtful in life or death situations. Especially if you are in a country illegally, could be captur
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Not the most original book ever, but fun!

My expectations weren’t very high for Velvet Undercover. I’ve had mixed reactions to Teri Brown’s previous books, and Debby (Snuggly Oranges) wasn’t a huge fan, which generally means I won’t be either. Oddly, though, this was the first book (that wasn’t HP) to click with me in a slump period. It’s not that it’s the best book ever, but for some reason Sam’s voice clicked with me. Velvet Undercover was a quick read for me that had me turning pages, and that
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, e-arc

I had so much fun with this book. I loved how it was kind of light-hearted but also intense and exciting at the same time. How is that even possible? I don't even know.

I adored the main character. I loved her personality and felt like I really connected with her.

Spy stuff

Historical novels aren't usually my thing but now I want MORE MORE.
Vishnu Brahmandam
EpicReads is going to make my TBR list double it's size.
Carina Olsen
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm so disappointed. Which is just so heartbreaking. Because I really wanted to love this book. It looks gorgeous. It sounded pretty interesting. But then I read all of it today. And it was bad. Really bad. Hurts my heart, but it is the way I felt. This was a two star for me. I have so many reasons for that. Ugh.

This book started badly for me from the very first chapter. It was so bad. Like, I haven't read such a bad chapter in a long time. Which is so sad, but it is how I felt. Writing was bad,
ash lloyd spanton
4.5 Stars

Originally posted on citygirlscapes.

Sadly, I’m not a big history buff, Veronica is more into the historical fiction genre than I am, so I was worried that Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown would be a stretch for me to pick up. But I do love strong female leads and I find espionage pretty fascinating. Lady spy groups? That trumps historical fiction in a heartbeat.

It could have been really easy not to take this book seriously. This could have been really hokey, I saw a very possible slip of
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 coul
Nov 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Velvet Undercover is a historical young adult novel about a teen who goes into Berlin undercover as a spy. Now this whole spy thing was something I knew would interest me. But it’s also World War I and I haven’t read a lot of books taking place during that war.

Right away I really liked the character of Samantha. She’s very sure of herself and bold. At the same time she’s able to show her fear and vulnerability, though it’s hidden (at least most of the time) on the outside. She makes a good spy f
Abigail Young
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this five stars because of the emotions that are washing over me, but this is a really cheesy, romancey mystery novel. And I couldn't give it five stars without killing my integrity as a reader.

I have always loved books about world war 1 and especially books with an air of mystery. This book was chock full of spies, codes, secret meetings, stalking, secret formulas, and just the right touch of "OHEMGEE they like eachother". It was actually a pretty decent mystery, too, which
Lauren ✨ (TheBookishTwins)
I received an eARC via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Samantha, a bright and talented young girl growing up in WWI, is a Girl Guide and messenger for MI5. She is approached by MI5 to work for the spy organization La Dame Blanche. After she accepts, she's embedded deep undercover with the German royal family to search for another British spy known only as Velvet, who has valuable information.

Velvet Undercover was better in the second half, and I enjoyed the mystery, but other than that I felt th
*Source* Edelweiss
*Genre* Young Adult / Historical
*Rating* 3.5-4


Teri Brown's Velvet Undercover is the thrilling story of one girl’s journey into a deadly world of spycraft and betrayal—with unforgettable consequences. The story is set to the backdrop of the Great War, aka World War I. Samantha Donaldson is a practical, intelligent British girl. She’s studied code breaking, languages, and mathematics, and she isn’t afraid to prove herself to anyone. She's a strong, brilliant, likable he
Jun 11, 2015 rated it liked it
FIRST THOUGHTS: Velvet Undercover is a good, if average, read. I didn't particularly find myself invested in any characters, nor did I particularly find the details (historical or plot) extremely interesting. It was a quick read though, and the writing itself was decent. ...more
Luca Marie
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
— 3.75 / 5 stars ✨ —
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs, no-potty-mouth, 2015
I picked up Velvet Undercover because I loved Code Name Verity so much. Granted these are written by two totally different authors, but they both have similar aspects. We’ve got teenage females playing huge roles in World Wars (Verity in World War 2, and Sam in World War 1). Plus…spies. I mean come on! And the one thing that Code Name Verity didn’t really have…romance (which it didn’t need).

We start out Velvet Undercover with Sam being in a competition as a Guide Girl. They compete in all kinds
Hannah Jones
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rarely write reviews, but I felt the strong need to do so this time--to right a wrong. Haha, I realize that sounds very overdramatic, but I was excited when I picked up a copy of this book and my excitement was seriously dampened by primarily bad early reviews here on Goodreads.

Diving into the book despite snippets of the low reviews echoing in my head, I read the book beginning to end on the edge of my seat--it's a tense and nail-biting thriller--and was totally in love with the world buildi
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
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Around the Year i...: Velvet Undercover, by Teri Brown 1 6 Apr 13, 2019 01:44PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 13, 2016 09:19AM  

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Well behaved women rarely make history. Teri Brown lived that quote way before she ever even heard it. The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that she jumped out of an airplane once and she beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. She is a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food fixer, French k ...more

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