Saturday 13 February 2016

Undeceived by Karen M Cox - Blog Tour & Review

Undeceived by Karen M Cox - Blog Tour
Today the blog tour for Karen M Cox’s latest book, ‘Undeceived’ has a stop here for my review of the book. I’ve enjoyed my previous reads of Karen’s stories (here are my reviews of ‘Sunkissed; Effusions of Summer’, which features a 'Northanger Abbey'-inspired short story by Karen M Cox, ‘Find Wonder in All Things’ which is a modern version of ‘Persuasion’ and my favourite story by her, the US-Depression era 'Pride & Prejudice' retelling, ‘1932’) so I was keen to sign up to read this one.

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

Many thanks to Meryton Press, Karen M. Cox and Jakki Leatherberry for allowing me to take part in the blog tour for 'Undeceived' and for providing me with an e-ARC for my honest review.

Book Blurb:
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. 

Author Bio:
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.


BlogFacebookTwitterPinterestAmazon Author Page • Instagram: karenmcox1932 • 

Since this is a blog tour there are lots of other stops which you can visit, some of which have a chance to win a copy of the book!

Undeceived by Karen M. Cox - Blog Tour
Undeceived by Karen M Cox blog tour schedule:
1 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club 
2 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time… 
3 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways 
4 Feb: Author Interview & Giveaway at More Agreeably Engaged 
5 Feb: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
6 Feb: Guest Post at My Love for Jane Austen 
8 Feb: Character Interview & Giveaway at From Pemberley to Milton 
9 Feb: Review at Margie’s Must Reads
10 Feb: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews 
11 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars 
12 Feb: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
13 Feb: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
14 Feb: Excerpt & Giveaway at Just Jane 1813
15 Feb: Review at Diary of an Eccentric


  1. A brilliant review Ceri. Thorough without giving away any spoilers. It sounds like the reader has to do some spying or surveillance to figure it all out, too.

    1. Thanks Anji! You are right, the mystery is there for the reader to try and solve. Most of it I did pretty well with, the thing that took me by surprise was incidental. If you read this I'd love to hear what you think of it.

  2. A brilliant review Ceri. Thorough without giving away any spoilers. It sounds like the reader has to do some spying or surveillance to figure it all out, too.

  3. Thank you for your time in writing such a thoughtful review. I loved your quote selections. Gave a real flavor for the story without giving an spoilers too. Great review. So glad you liked it. You should also read "At the Edge of the Sea"-- that book by Karen M. Cox is quite the unknown treasure as well!

    1. Thanks, Christina. I didn't want to give anything away; there are a few things I'd like to have mentioned but I didn't want to give any potential spoilers, especially as I had so much enjoyment speculating on what was going on. I am pretty sure I have At The Edge of The Sea on my kindle, I'll have to try and make some time to read it this year, because I've enjoyed everything I've read by Karen M Cox.

  4. I'm glad they're not detailed, but sex scenes? I love Pride and Prejudice because it's clean. I wish the adaptation was as well.

    1. Sex scenes are a difficult one. I don't mind either way, but I know a lot of readers prefer to avoid them so I usually flag them up in a review so readers can make an informed choice. I think there are two sex scenes and they are not detailed at all, maybe a page in total. Only you know what would be acceptable to you but if you can bear them at all this book might be ok. They are very brief and would be easy to skip.

  5. Undeceived sounds so exciting! I can't wait to see if I can figure out the mystery. And I've loved all of Karen's prior books so I know I'm in for a treat. It's on my ereader and ready to go for when I go on vacation in a couple of weeks.

    1. Hi Gail, there are a few mysteries to solve, we are really spoiled here. It was a good balance, as I solved most of them, but not too far in advance of the reveals, because you don't want to work it out straight away! I hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

  6. This story becomes more and more compelling, with each review I read!

    1. That's just the right word for it, Ginna, I found the story really compelling, I didn't want to put it down!

  7. Fantastic review, Ceri!

    I like how you highlighted the elements and picked some good quotes. The time period was a definite draw since it was a little different from the usual and I thought the flavor of P&P was just the right amount. This was my first novel length by her and I definitely want to read those others you mentioned especially the Persuasion one. :)

    1. Thanks, Sophia! That was an aspect I particularly liked too, the time setting being a little unusual. If you haven't read Karen M Cox's other books then I can't recommend them highly enough, I think you'd really enjoy the Persuasion one. 1932 is so good as well, it remains a real favourite of mine and I sometimes reread it, which I don't really have reading time for :)

  8. Loved this book. 5 stars from me also.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it too, Sheila! I thought it was a wonderful read.

  9. Ceri - thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful review :) I'm really glad you enjoyed the story!

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for dropping by. No need to thank me, I should be thanking you for such an enjoyable reading experience! This story was just so good :)


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