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Tarnished Amongst the Ton

Tarnished Amongst the Ton, April 2013
The Herriard Family
by Louise Allen

Harlequin Historical Romance
Featuring: Phyllida; Ashe Herriard
288 pages
ISBN: 0373297378
EAN: 9780373297375
Kindle: B00B0A6X6O
Paperback / e-Book
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"Shopkeeper by day, socialite by night...."

Fresh Fiction Review

Tarnished Amongst the Ton
Louise Allen

Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted March 31, 2013

Romance Historical | Series

Bustling London in 1816 greets travellers from India. Grey skies cover cobblestones, ravens and the Tower. A marquess's son and daughter, part-Indian, set foot in England. Meanwhile Phyllida, a well-bred but impoverished local, plots with her brother to find themselves wealthy spouses. Those who invite her to balls don't know that by day she is a shopkeeper, speaking French as she sells curiosities from many lands. Silk Oriental fans and sandalwood are her stock in trade.

TARNISHED AMONG THE TON refers to the fact that handling money was considered inappropriate for the wealthy. Anyone engaged in trade could not attend the monarch's court. Phyllida needs her disguise or her name will be tarnished, and she has an additional problem making her less than respectable. Ashe and Sara also plan to find marriage partners, but their mixed heritage will not make that easy. In India, 'women habitually covered their faces with their dupattas, long semi-transparent scarves' so the disparity with elegant young ladies at a society ball has Ashe staring, until he realises where he's seen Phyllida before....

Louise Allen has created a marvel of contrasts in this tale. The wealthy were heavily taxed to pay for the defeat of Napoleon, so Indian nabobs suddenly became more favoured - the fortunes to be made from a single East Indiaman full of spice or tea could not be overlooked. By contrast the Lancashire cotton mill owners, newly monied, were seen as coarse.

I enjoyed TARNISHED AMONG THE TON from the start, its humour, atmosphere and colour, and I expect that Louise Allen had a lot of fun writing it. She is here continuing an earlier tale of Indian adventure but enough time has elapsed that this reads perfectly well as a standalone. Give this lively romance a try.

Learn more about Tarnished Amongst the Ton

SUMMARY

Having survived the scandal of her birth with courage and determination, the beautiful Phyllida has reached a precarious balance within the ton. And in just one moment Ashe Herriard, Viscount Clere, blows her world and her carefully made plans to pieces. Brought up in vibrant Calcutta, Ashe is disdainful of polite London society, but something about Phyllida intrigues him. There's a mystery surrounding her. A promise of secrets and a hint of scandal-more than enough to entice him!


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