After Jared, the next Earl of Alveston, is orphaned at the age of seven, he is sold as a bond servant and sent to America by his evil uncle. After many trials as a young boy, he is bought by Della's father and freed.

No one believes Jared is a nobleman. Nevertheless he prospers in America, and Della, his new master's daughter, grows to love him.

When Jared seizes the opportunity to return to England to claim his birthright, he discovers that his brother holds the title. Both are overjoyed to find the other and the younger brother relinquishes his titles to Jared. However, part of Jared's inheritance includes his betrothal to a girl he has never met. The conniving young woman finds it easy to transfer her affections from one brother to the other.

BOUND BY LOVE has many plot twists that keep the reader guessing at what will happen next. The poignant characters and their situations are particularly well drawn. The hero's tragic childhood makes the resilient man very appealing. This reader hopes that Ms. Layton's next novel will feature the younger brother. SENSUAL (Aug., 400 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Michell Phifer