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Publisher: Avon/Harper Collins
Release Date: Sept 2004
ISBN: 0060567090
Format Reviewed: Paperback
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Genre:   Historical Romance

Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Barbara Buhrer
Reviewer Notes:  

The Return of the Earl
By Edith Layton

    In 1810 Geoffrey Sauvage and his 12 year old son, Christian, were transported to New South Wales. Sauvage had been convicted of theft. He was framed. While serving his time in exile he amassed a fortune.

     Fifteen years later Christian returns to England to claim his title of the Earl of Egremont. The title is claimed by his cousin, Hammond. Julianne Lowell as a child knew Christian. Her brother was Christian's best friend. Her childhood recollections could help identify him. The woman who is engaged to marry Hammond, invites Julianne on a visit in hopes of proving Christian an imposter. Julianne knew him as a child and now is confronted with a suave and handsome, mysterious man who is a far cry from the young boy she knew. She finds him too attractive and secretive and therefore too dangerous to her peace of mind. A battle rages over who is the rightful heir. There follows a trail of deceit and danger.

   As are all of Layton's, this is a well written entertaining story. It is an action packed story of intrigue, betrayal, deceit and, of course, romance. The characters are all well defined with Christian a sensible and likeable hero and Julianne a mature woman who is not easily fooled.