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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarnished Amongst The Ton
Bustling London in 1816 greets travellers from exotic India. A marquess's son and daughter, part-Indian, set foot in England where grey skies cover cobblestones, ravens and the Tower. Meanwhile Phyllida, a well-bred but impoverished local girl, plots with her brother to find themselves wealthy spouses. Those who invite her to balls don't know that she is a shopkeeper,...
Published 21 months ago by Clare O'Beara

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Silly!
Based on a foolishness of bastardy, as if anyone back then would have registered a birth from the day before the parents got married...stupid...anyone would have had enough sense to add a week or two to the birth date, and nobody was required to register births anyway, there was no central bureau of statistics, or even a legal requirement to register anyone...the heir of...
Published 4 months ago by april


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarnished Amongst The Ton, 18 April 2013
By 
Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical) (Paperback)
Bustling London in 1816 greets travellers from exotic India. A marquess's son and daughter, part-Indian, set foot in England where grey skies cover cobblestones, ravens and the Tower. Meanwhile Phyllida, a well-bred but impoverished local girl, plots with her brother to find themselves wealthy spouses. Those who invite her to balls don't know that she is a shopkeeper, speaking French as she sells curiosities from many lands. Silk Oriental fans, jewellery and sandalwood are her stock in trade, bought near the harbour.

Handling money was considered inappropriate for the wealthy and 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 of illegitimacy making her less than respectable. Ashe and Sara, the new arrivals, 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 baring necks and shoulders at a society ball has Ashe staring, until he realises where he's seen Phyllida before....

Louise Allen has created a marvel of contrasts. The wealthy were heavily taxed to pay for the defeat of Napoleon, so Indian nabobs suddenly became favoured - there were fortunes to be made from a single East Indiaman full of spice or tea. Lancashire cotton mill owners, newly monied, were seen as coarse.

'Delivery carts were pulling up at the back entrances for the numerous clubs, hells and shops that served this antheap of aristocrats, rakehells, high-class mistresses and respectable households. The sprawl covered the gentle slopes down to the old brick Tudor palace of St James and, beyond it, St James's Park.' London is brought to life here, every bit as much a character as those who people the city.

I enjoyed TARNISHED AMONGST THE TON from the start, its humour, atmosphere and colour, and Louise Allen must have had a lot of fun writing it. She is here continuing an earlier tale of Indian adventure with the parents of Ashe and Sara but this reads perfectly well as a standalone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding historical romance at its best!, 17 July 2013
This review is from: Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical) (Paperback)
Miss Phyllida Hurst is a born survivor. The unfortunate circumstances of her birth might have made her a pariah in certain social circles and her brother's unfortunate penchant for the gaming hells of London might be causing her many a sleepless night, but the unconventional Miss Hurst refuses to baulk from any challenge. With debts mounting up and appearances to keep up, Phyllida has often found herself frequenting the less salubrious parts of London. Disguised as a frumpy French shopkeeper, Phyllida finds herself negotiating and haggling with shady merchants and avaricious tradesmen for exclusive wares to sell at the shop she'd been compelled to open up to keep the wolf from the door and a roof over her head. Making regular trips to the East End of London is something which Phyllida has forced herself to endure - especially as the grimy streets and dingy buildings remind her of an episode from her past which she's tried her utmost to forget! When on one of her trips to the East End, Phyllida nearly bumps into an old acquaintance who could reveal a secret that would ruin her, she is relieved when she is rescued by a good-looking stranger who introduces himself with a passionate kiss...

Duty had compelled Ashe Herriard, Viscount Clere, to return to England from vibrant and colourful India. Having had a less than conventional upbringing, Ashe is not prepared for the strict conventions and stifling mores of polite society. More used to a life of danger and adventure than to the mind-numbingly boring minutiae of the Ton, Ashe is not exactly overjoyed to be in England. Well aware of the responsibilities of his title and estate, Ashe knows that he must make a good match and find a suitable bride. Yet, he cannot help but find himself attracted to a woman with a scandalous past and a multitude of secrets: Miss Phyllida Hurst, who is as far removed from his idea of a suitable wife as it is possible to get!

Ashe knows that for the sake of familial responsibility, he must abandon all thoughts of seducing Miss Hurst and concentrate on finding a bride whom polite society accepts as one of their own. However, nobody has managed to fire up his blood and breach the walls which he had built around his heart quite like Phyllida...

Are Ashe and Phyllida prepared to forsake their happiness because of propriety and other people's prejudices? Or will they finally admit the truth about their feelings for one another and realise that the only thing that matters is the love which they share...

Louise Allen effortlessly outclasses many of the writers writing Regency romance today with her undisputed talent for bringing the 19th century colourfully to life and creating witty, captivating and wonderfully passionate historical romances that linger in the mind and the heart long after the last page is turned.

In Tarnished Amongst the Ton, this outstanding storyteller has penned a captivating tale of danger, deception and temptation with an enterprising heroine readers will cheer for and a gorgeous hero with a sense of humour and an impeccable dress sense that makes Mr. Darcy look shabby!

Superbly written, highly moving and absolutely impossible to resist, Tarnished Amongst the Ton is one of the best historical romances of the year!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful Sequel to "Forbidden Jewel of India", 10 Jun. 2014
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical) (Paperback)
"Tarnished among the Ton" is the sequel, set a generation later in 1816 London, to "Forbidden Jewel of India" which described a romance in India in 1788. The hero of this book is the son of Nick and Anusha, the hero and heroine of the previous story.

This novel begins as the Herriard family arrive in London. Colonel Nicholas Herriard, who had left England forty years before and had no wish to return after being estranged from his father, has finally had to do so on inheriting the title and estates of Marquis of Eldonstone. They have travelled to London with their son and daughter, Ashe (to give him his full name, George Ashbourne Talish Herriard, courtesy title of Viscount Clere, commonly known as Ashe) and Sara (Lady Sarisa Melissa Herriard).

They have scarcely arrived at the Pool of London when Ashe meets a mysterious englishwoman on the dockside and helps her hide from the local crimelord, Harry Buck. She thanks him and leaves.

A few hours later Ashe has taken his sister on a shopping expedition, and they visit one particular shop, where the proprietor appears at first to be a frenchwoman, whose dress, mannerisms and style are completely different - until Ashe realises that it is the same woman he met on the docks.

And then he meets her again at a formal society ball.

Dockside trader, respectable middle-class french trader, or Lady of the Ton - which is the real woman?

Phyllida Hurst has survived a set of scandals and difficulties and is trying to rescue her family from disaster by walking a tightrope, but her secret life could easily make her position implode. The last thing she needs is a handsome aristocratic gentleman asking questions about her. So Ashe Herriard's interest is a disaster waiting to happen ...

A very entertaining novel in which the characters were more like real people than is all too often the case in this genre, and the accuracy of the details of contemporary society is rather greater than you sometimes find - for example, when the hero is confused about whether one of the characters is entitled to be addressed as "Lady" rather than "Miss" the details given about society's rules are actually correct. So is the way the book recognises when characters in the story have things in their lives which society might tolerate in some but condemn in others - as one characteer in the story says, "Society is curiously accomodating in its' prejudices" and another "It all depends on the parents and the deportment of the persons concerned. And rank."

There is also some excellent humour in the book, as for example in the exchange between two members of the Herriard family on first observing cows in England.

"Oh look, cows wandering about. But they arn't sacred, are they?"

"Shouldn't think so. Not unless the Church of England has developed some very strange practices."

A delightful and amusing novel, one of Louise Allen's best books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Silly!, 30 Sept. 2014
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Based on a foolishness of bastardy, as if anyone back then would have registered a birth from the day before the parents got married...stupid...anyone would have had enough sense to add a week or two to the birth date, and nobody was required to register births anyway, there was no central bureau of statistics, or even a legal requirement to register anyone...the heir of someone important might have a known birthday, but in this book we are talking of a girl, born to a rake and an eloping woman, so of course the mother would fudge the date...Silly...and the honourable and noble justification for her scandalous action is not believable, either...just all around foolish and silly!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tarnished Amongst the Ton, 28 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical) (Paperback)
Tarnished Amongst the Ton, set in the Regency, is Louise Allen’s enthralling sequel to Forbidden Jewel of India set in India in 1788 which I have already reviewed.

Nick and part-Indian Anusha, now the Marquess and Marchioness of Eldonstone, are reluctant to leave India, but duty calls so they depart with their son and daughter, handsome, charismatic Ashe and charming, innocent Sara.

At the docks Ashe meets Phyllida Hurst, a lady tarnished by her birth, and with many secrets involving her struggles to survive which, in due course of time, will be unravelled.

Reading a novel in which the hero was not only born into a happy family but is devoted to his parents and sister was enjoyable, and I found the details about India interesting. As for Phyllida, I could only admire her determined efforts to carve a place for herself in society, protect her brother and guide him toward a happy future.

Ashe and Phyllida’s sexual desire for each other drives the story forward although their mutual attaction might lead to scandal, which Phyllida wants to avoid at all costs.

“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!” Nevertheless, Ashe is determined to do his duty, marry a respectable lady who can help his mother, and to father an heir.

Tarnished Amongst the Ton is an intriguing read before bedtime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The things people go through for love, 8 May 2013
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A very captivating story and doesn't hold back on the nastiness that life can bring, with a heroic knight, love and loss that become a happy ending. I love historical romance stories, so many variations and personalities, another good read I have enjoyed from Louise Allen.

Sophia87
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tarnished Amongst the Ton, 3 July 2014
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Mrs. S. Hall (England UK) - See all my reviews
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As a fan of historical novels, I have to write that I really enjoyed this story from the first chapter to the last. I shall certainly be looking at other historical novels that this author has written. For me, this book deserves the five stars that I have given it.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lady finds unexpected love, 25 May 2013
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You will need to suspend belief to read this book! The two main characters are quite likeable but the even for a romantic novel, the story lacks reality...ok read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug. 2014
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brilliantread
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good story, 20 May 2013
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The characters in this book seemed real and it was easy to empathise with their problems. Louise Allen writes books that draw you into the lives of her hero and heroine.
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Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical)
Tarnished Amongst the Ton (Mills & Boon Historical) by Louise Allen (Paperback - 3 May 2013)
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