Saturday, 20 July 2019

Re-release of Undeceived by Karen M Cox

Book cover: Undeceived by Karen M Cox
Today I'm welcoming Karen M Cox back to the blog. Long time visitors will know that I'm a big admirer of Karen's work. I've been right through time with her - from the US depression in the Pride & Prejudice-inspired 1932, through to 1970s Kentucky with the Emma story I Could Write a Book through to 1980s and a spy story in Undeceived. Karen is re-releasing this latest story and has stopped in to tell us all about it. Let's take a look at the blurb and then hand over to Karen to tell us a bit more :)

Description

...if I endeavor to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me? 
-Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 40

Elizabeth Bennet, a rookie counterintelligence officer, lands an intriguing first assignment—investigating the CIA's legendary William Darcy, who is suspected of being a double agent.

Darcy’s charmed existence seems at an end as he fights for his career and struggles against his love for the young woman he doesn’t know is watching his every move.

Elizabeth’s confidence dissolves as nothing is like she planned—and the more she discovers about Darcy, the more she finds herself in an ever-tightening web of danger.

Unexpected twists abound in this suspenseful Cold War era romance inspired by Jane Austen’s classic tale.

* * *
Guest Post from Karen M Cox

Hello Readers and Fans of Jane!

And thank you so much to Ceri for hosting me this morning to tell you about my re-release of Undeceived: Pride and Prejudice in the Spy Game. It comes out July 23rd on various ebook platforms, but you can preorder it even as we speak. The print version will follow shortly after that, if you prefer paperback (nothing like a print book, is there?)

One of the things that inspires my muse is music. For each work, I make a play list—maybe not at the very beginning, but somewhere during that first draft stage, I start one. I refine it as I go along. Not to play while I’m writing, I’m way too distractable for that, but to ease me back into the story, or to think about plot and characters when I’m away from the computer. The playlist is like an anchor to the story, a touchstone that takes me into the world of my characters.

Join me in that world while you read Undeceived.


Undeceived will be 0.99 cents for the first 30 days after release (until August 22nd) so snag it before then if you’re interested.
* * *

This is what I thought of the first edition of Undeceived:

Book cover: Undeceived by Karen M Cox
Undeceived is a ‘Pride & Prejudice’-inspired story which, unusually, is neither Regency nor contemporary – instead it’s set in the early 1980s. Darcy is an established CIA agent and Elizabeth is new to the Agency. The CIA believes it has a mole in its Eastern European area of operation and Elizabeth has been tasked with surveilling Darcy, under cover of being his interpreter, to work out whether he is the mole. Unfortunately, she and Darcy do not get off to the best start. Before she is even given the assignment she has come to the conclusion that he’s not an agent she’d like to work with, after he is condescending to new recruits in a guest lecture that he delivers. Elizabeth sums up the ‘lesson’ thus:
“I have learned that there are some fatal flaws that even extreme hotness can’t erase.”
However, they are thrown together in each other’s company. Although Elizabeth finds Darcy frustrating, she is fascinated by him in equal measure. At first she is somewhat prejudiced against him, but as a fair minded person, she is willing to put that to one side to discover the truth and over time she comes to her own conclusions.

I thought this was a really exciting and compelling read. From the very first, you are drawn in, as the book begins with quite a dramatic scene before flashing back to previous events. I enjoyed the fact that the setting was quite different – the spy world, by its very nature, is not your run of the mill setting. There is also an element of mystery to this, as there are parts written from the point of view of the mole; and it’s not clear who the mole is. There are some clues, some red herrings and some twists. I enjoyed a little bit of speculation regarding the identity of the mole, and indeed speculation regarding other characters. In general I was quite successful in my conclusions, although there was one person who I didn’t suspect of being different to their initial presentation.

I enjoyed this different reason for Elizabeth’s prejudice. Not only do she and Darcy get off on the wrong foot, but this is compounded by further arrogance when she actually meets him one on one, and then she is asked to investigate him. I will be fair to her though, despite having a poor view of his personality, she is fairly unbiased from the first as regards his patriotism, though of course she is on the lookout for any sign of it.

I also liked that the author had chosen a timeframe for the story that I’m not used to seeing (as she did in her book “1932”), as most Austenesque reads are either Regency or contemporary, although I am not familiar with the nuances of the cold war so I might have missed some of the references there.

The story isn’t a direct ‘Pride & Prejudice’ re-telling, but there are moments from the canon story that are recognisable. For example, there’s a mirroring of the Netherfield stay, a Hunsford, a meeting at Pemberley and some re-adapted lines that you’ll recognise, such as:
‘He had never been as betwitched by any woman as he was by her, and if it were not for the fact that she worked for him, he really believed he might be in danger of falling for her.’
We get quite a bit of time in Darcy's head, and the description of his feelings towards Elizabeth are good to see. He also takes actions which put him in danger so that she isn't put in danger... sigh! All of this helps build your goodwill towards him, and helps you forgive his initial attitude.

For those of you who like to know these things, this book has some sex scenes but they aren't detailed at all and would be easy to skip.

I would certainly recommend this book. It was exciting, perilous, romantic and a very satisfying read. I was hoping for a wonderful reading experience from this author and I feel she really delivered. I would rate this as a 5 star read.

5 star read

Author Karen M Cox
About the Author

Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five novels accented with history and romance, a novella, and several short stories.

Karen was born in Everett WA, the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at age eleven. She lives in a quiet town with her husband and works as a pediatric speech pathologist.


Book cover: Undeceived by Karen M CoxBuy Links

Undeceived is available to pre-order now - Amazon UK / Amazon US / Amazon CA / Add to Goodreads shelf

Re-Launch Party

Karen is hosting a book re-launch party over at the Mr Darcy's Extensive Readers Facebook group starting at 8.30pm US Eastern time on Tuesday 23 July. If you can't join in at the time why not stop in later?

14 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for letting me stop by Babblings of a Bookworm! I hope you all enjoy the music playlists, and the book too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always lovely to have you visit, Karen!

      Delete
  2. Wow - I've pre-ordered this and so glad I have. It sounds amazing! Congratulations on the rerelease Karen and thank you for a stunning review, Ceri. Can't wait to read it. 🙂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy Undeceived, Elaine :)

      Delete
    2. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Elaine.

      Delete
  3. I did read and review this...totally enjoyed it. Best wishes on the re-release.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sheila! I love and appreciate your reviews :)

      Delete
    2. Hi Sheila, glad to hear you enjoyed the story.

      Delete
  4. Is this book different from the first release? What changes did you make?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your question, Shelley :) I did some polishing and tightening, and (at the suggestion of a reader) I added a glossary of spy terms used in the novel. I'm publishing the second edition under my own banner, so that's why it has a new cover. I took the opportunity to make those minor edits that I wanted.

      Delete
    2. That's a good question, Shelley, which I probably should have asked Karen to include in the post.

      Delete
  5. Congrats on the re-release! Looking forward to reading it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
    2. Hope you enjoy it just as much when you read it again, Dung :)

      Delete