Tarnished Amongst the Ton by Louise Allen

Tarnished Amongst the TonTarnished Amongst the Ton by Louise Allen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A continuation of the Herriard family series, we pick up with Anusha and Nick's son Ashe as he swims a new current of the ton and finding a woman in Phyllida who he finds fascinating and mysterious and wonders what she's hiding..?

Louise Allen wins me over yet again with 'Tarnished Amongst the Ton' picking up years after 'Forbidden Jewel of India' Nick and Anusha are not Marquess and Marchioness of Eldonstone and journey they haven't wanted to travel. Now along with their son Ashe and daughter Sara, they have to travel new waters, not much so then Ashe. Much like his father before him. Ashe was a type of mercenary who worked in some dangerous jobs for his uncle a Raja. Ashe also holds a great weight on his heart after the death of a woman he thought he loved and blames himself for her death.
Looking to a marriage for convenience shake to help his family, when he comes across the mysterious Phyllida he's thinking he found himself a mistress, only he found much more.

Phyllida has had her hands full all her life, with a family whose a ass and gambler and a brother on the same path in life. Working as a shopkeeper to pay the bills while hiding and trying to survive the fringes of the ton. When she runs across Ashe she doesn't know what to make of him, but she's not going to risk her heart on a man who wants just her body, even with the scars she shoulders nor is she going to risk her heart.

Louise Allen creates another pair of amazing characters that just wrap me up into their story. Both carry scars but for different reasons and are much the same in their actions to help and protect their family. It takes them holding up a mirror to one another in order to show what they've been missing out.

Phyllida scars runs deep and Allen weaved an understanding reaction to Phyllia's wounds (view spoiler)[ Phyllida was raped and Allen didn't have Ashe and Phyllida just hop into bed with one another until the very end when everything was on the table (hide spoiler)] I appreciated this as I've read that some authors just add some honorific expectation and never touch base with it again. Allen gave Phyllida that chance to heal. Phyllida was a strong heroine and she was able to play a hard game of hide and seek in order to help her and her brother. She only grows stronger when she sees some of the mistakes she's made along the way and what she's lost and now gained.

Ashe showed different faces, from flirt, caring son, seducer and a man in love. Ashe holds lot of guilt over the death of a woman he thought he was in love with. I say 'thought' as Ashe needed a stronger woman to truly open his eyes to what love was about and not confuse it with just great sex. I really loved him as he was playful toward Phyllida and made her come outta her shell, while helping himself open up as well. The mirror she held up to him and he to him made him see that he needed to stop dragging around guilt and his pride and finally come clean with his emotions.

The one little trouble I did have was the small misunderstanding that resulted in the bad guy getting his. I would have liked the misunderstanding taken out, but it was handled quickly and just lead to Ashe and Phyllida finally bearing their hearts.

I adore Louise Allen's works and this is just another gem to add to my keeper shelf!

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