Can two undercover agents learn to trust and love one another once they learn the truth about their past?
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
There’s just no way to deceive anyone regarding my feelings for this book! Karen Cox, hit the nail on the head when she created this spy story, which has the perfect combination of gripping action, sharp and sassy dialogue, and wonderfully descriptive language that made this story feel similar to a motion-picture experience. Whether I was reading about going to a secret drop, traveling to the next undercover assignment or savoring an intense scene between Darcy and Elizabeth, I felt completely immersed within the context of this story.
These are certainly not the spies I grew up with from the show “Get Smart.”Not to say I didn’t love Maxwell Smart and his adorable, playful sidekick, Agent 99. I remember faithfully watching them as a kid and laughing at their silly antics. But clearly, the Cold War spies here in “Undeceived” are a whole different breed; they’re serious, sexy and ready for all kinds of action!
In the beginning, we meet the infamous “London Fog,” aka, William Darcy, who is less than pleased about being at a CIA event to speak to a bunch of new trainees. Elizabeth Bennet, a new CIA recruit, recognizes who he is and is immediately drawn to his good looks. After accidentally overhearing his obnoxious and demeaning words regarding two female trainees, Elizabeth finds her initial attraction for the London Fog fade into thin air as she begins to develop an intense prejudice against Darcy.
When she eventually meets her new CIA colleagues, Elizabeth learns that her very first assignment is to investigate whether or not William Darcy is acting as a double agent. Everything she currently feels about him makes her want to turn him in as a double agent, but she knows she must begin by sketching his character to decide if her first impressions truly will lead her to these actions.
Throughout this Cold War story, we travel around the world with Darcy and Elizabeth, where they must question everything and everyone surrounding them, determined to find the answers they need before it’s too late. Through a string of assignments, they find themselves caught in a web of entanglements and secret missions, while at other times, they are being played like pawns in a game of chess. Can two people who are trained to deal with every type of deception come to unconditionally trust another person?
The decisions behind the casting of these “Pride and Prejudice” characters within the context of this Cold War spy story were brilliant and brought a whole new layer of intrigue to these characters. I especially enjoyed how the Hursts were cast in this story, which was quite a new twist for me, as well as the characters that Ms. Cox chose to cast in a much darker shade than Austen would ever dare to do. Overall, I felt the characters were faced with a nice balance of internal and external struggles, which made the story flow very smoothly for me and allowed me to feel really connected with these characters.
The two years that Ms. Cox spent researching the information that she included in this story really pays off for her readers. Even the tiniest details made her settings come alive and contributed to the authenticity of her storytelling. I loved reading the Author’s Q&A at the conclusion of this book, where I learned about her decision-making process regarding several parts of this story, as well as her inspiration for writing this book.
Ms. Cox keeps us guessing up until the very end of this story, allowing her readers to feel as though they are also players in this game of intrigue. She does a wonderful job in the way she paces her story and reveals the various connections amongst the characters and the sub-plots she’s woven together within the context of the overall story. “Undeceived” is a sexy and thrilling alternate era Austenesque story that incorporates Austen’s themes about love, unequal circumstances, pride and prejudice and makes them come alive within a titillating Cold War game of intrigue and deception.
A Peek Inside of the Files of Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game
By Karen M Cox
During the last gasp of the Cold War, Elizabeth Bennet, a young, forthright counterintelligence officer, embarks on an exciting assignment that would make her late father, a fallen CIA officer, proud. She transfers to Europe to investigate the legendary and elusive William Darcy, an officer in line for the coveted Soviet station chief position who’s suspected of being a double agent.
William Darcy appears to lead a charmed existence, but now he finds himself fighting for his career and against his growing feelings for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.
Elizabeth wants to throw the book at him, but the facts don’t match her preconceptions. Is Darcy being set up? Are there darker forces at work? Or is William Darcy a skilled double agent after all? Nothing is as it seems, however, and the closer Elizabeth gets to the truth about Darcy, the more she spirals into danger.
Undeceived, the new novel by award-winning author, Karen M. Cox, is part romance, part spy game suspense—inviting readers to uncover the villain in this variation on Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic tale.
A Glimpse into Karen M. Cox’s Profile
Karen M. Cox writes novels accented with romance and history. All three of her published novels: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, and At the Edge of the Sea, have garnered awards from the independent publishing industry, taking top honors three out of the five times they were recognized. Last year, she also participated in Meryton Press’s inaugural anthology, Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer, with her short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015.” Her fourth full-length novel, Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game, will be released in early 2016.
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a slightly nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee and New York State before moving to her family’s home state of Kentucky when she was almost twelve. She lives in a small, quiet Kentucky town with her husband and children, and works as a pediatric speech pathologist. She spends her off hours reading, writing, and being a wife and mom—and spoiling her new granddaughter.
Karen did an amazing job with the Spotify playlist from “Undeceived,” which contains a collection of powerful songs that brought me back several years and were perfectly suited for the scenes in this book. After reading this book, I enjoyed the playlist even more, as I found this as another opportunity to reconnect with this story and its characters. My favorites are… “Twilight Zone” / Prologue and “Southern Cross” / Chapter 23, just to name a few.
Have you read “Undeceived?” I’d love for you to share your thoughts about this book for our readers. To enter the chance to win a readers’ choice copy of one of Karen’s books shown above, please leave a comment below this post by midnight on March 7. If you’d like to share your thoughts about one of Karen’s other books, please feel free to include them in your comments below. The winner will be named on this blog on March 8, 2016.
I’d like to thank Karen Cox for her generous support of this blog and for writing a “Pride and Prejudice” variation that brought all of my senses to life. What a thrilling ride this is for readers!
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