Married; children: Michael, Adam, Susie. Education: Hunter College, B.A.
Writer, novelist, and short-story writer. Has worked for a radio station and a motion picture company. Volunteer with the North Shore Animal League.
Romantic Times, Reviewer's Choice Award, Best New Regency Author, 1984, Reviewer's Choice Award, Best Regency Author, 1985, Reviewer's Choice Award, Best Regency Novel, 1985, for Lord of Dishonor, Reviewer's Choice Award, Special Achievement Award, 1988, for Love in Disguise, Best Regency Author Award, 1988, Reviewer's Choice Award, Best Restoration Novel, 1989, for The Fire-Flower, Career Achievement Award, 1992, for short stories, Reviewer's Choice Award, Best Regency Set Historical Romance, 2001, for The Conquest, and Career Achievement Award, 2004, for romances set in the British Isles; Romance Writers of America, Golden Leaf Award, Best Historical Novel, 1987, for Love in Disguise, and Golden Choice Finalist, 1991, for The Crimson Crown; Bestseller Award, B. Dalton, 1992, for A Regency Christmas; Lady of the Manor Reading Club Author of the Month, 1996; Best Romance and Best Historical Romance, Romance Readers Anonymous, 2003, both for To Wed a Stranger; Best Books of 2003 distinction, Library Journal, for To Wed a Stranger.
WRITINGS; UNDER NAME EDITH FELBER:
Red Jack's Daughter, New American Library (New York, NY), 1984.
The Game of Love, Signet (New York, NY), 1988.
The Abandoned Bride, Signet (New York, NY), 1989.
The Mysterious Heir, Signet (New York, NY), 1989.
Surrender to Love, New American Library (New York, NY), 1989.
The Fire-Flower, Onyx (New York, NY), 1989.
Lord of Dishonor, Signet (New York, NY), 1990.
Crimson Crown, Onyx (New York, NY), 1990.
The Gilded Cage, Onyx (New York, NY), 1991.
The Silvery Moon, Onyx (New York, NY), 1992.
Lady of Spirit, Signet (New York, NY), 1992.
Love in Disguise, Signet (New York, NY), 1994.
False Angel, Signet (New York, NY), 1995.
The Indian Maiden, Signet (New York, NY), 1995.
The Wedding, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1995.
The Disdainful Marquis, Signet (New York, NY), 1995.
A True Lady, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1995.
The Duke's Wager, Signet (New York, NY), 1996.
Bound by Love, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1996.
The Cad, HarperTorch (New York, NY), 1998.
The Choice, Five Star (Unity, ME), 2000.
The Challenge, HarperPaperbacks (New York, NY), 2000.
Chance, HarperTorch (New York, NY), 2001.
The Conquest, HarperTorch (New York, NY), 2001.
The Devil's Bargain, HarperTorch (New York, NY), 2002.
To Wed a Stranger, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
To Tempt a Bride, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Return of the Earl, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Alas, My Love, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Gypsy Lover, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.
How to Seduce a Bride, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
For the Love of a Pirate, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006.
Contributor to anthologies, including A Regency Christmas Carol, Signet (New York, NY), 1997; A Regency Christmas Eve, Signet (New York, NY), 2000; A Regency Christmas, Signet (New York, NY), 2002; Regency Christmas Wishes, New American Library (New York, NY), 2003; Regency Christmas Magic, Signet (New York, NY), 2004; Wedding Belles, Signet (New York, NY), 2004; and Regency Christmas Courtship, Signet (New York, NY), 2005.
Edith Layton is a multiple-award-winning author of Regency-era historical romance novels and short stories. In To Tempt a Bride, protagonists Camille and Eric have known each other for years. Camille, younger sister of Eric's best friend Miles, has long loved him from afar. Because he is older than she is, however, Eric has always treated her more like a favorite sibling than as a love interest. When Eric rescues the beautiful Nell from danger, Camille sees her hopes of attracting Eric's interest diminish further. As Nell begins to associate with Camille and her circle of friends, Camille's prospects with Eric become even more bleak. Eventually, Eric begins to realize he is falling in love with Camille. Before the two can announce their plans to marry, however, Camille is kidnapped and Eric's life is endangered. Layton's "superb characterization … and lovely writing, tempered with a nice dash of wit, will delight readers" of historical romances, commented John Charles in Booklist. Harriet Klausner, writing for Best Reviews, called the book a "fine romance," and noted that "readers will be glad to have read a wonderful tale."
To Wed a Stranger finds twenty-seven-year-old Lady Annabelle Wylde bereft of love as she rapidly ages beyond the acceptable marrying age of Regency times. Though she is beautiful and desirable, she has never found a suitable match among her many suitors. Knowing she must marry, she resigns herself to a loveless arranged marriage with the practically unknown Miles Croft, Viscount Pelham. On their honeymoon, Lady Annabelle is stricken by illness, which robs her of her beauty and permanently damages her health. Miles remains at her side and helps her recover, but he no longer feels attracted to her. However, as Annabelle faces her impairments with courage, Miles begins to realize that he still loves her deeply, for her spirit and not her physical appearance. Kristin Ramsdell, writing in the Library Journal, called the book a "charming, emotionally intense story that beautifully addresses the issues of self-worth and the true meaning of love."
When seventeen-year-old heiress Rosalind Osborne runs away from her family in Gypsy Lover, governess Margaret "Meg" Shaw feels obligated to try to find the young woman—after all, Rosalind was in her care when she disappeared. Also on the hunt for the impulsive Rosalind is scandalously handsome gypsy Daffyd Reynard, hired to use his Romany skills to help find the missing girl. Though she realizes it may not be the best of ideas, Meg convinces Daffyd to combine their efforts in the search for Rosalind. As the two roam the countryside and face a variety of dangers, they suspect that the greatest danger of all is the rapidly intensifying attraction they feel for one another. Michelle Buonfiglio, writing on the WNBC Web site, called Gypsy Lover "good-for-the-soul romance" and a "gentle, beautiful novel—one which reminds us why we love romance in the first place."
For the Love of a Pirate begins with a happy marriage proposal between Lord Constantine Wylde and Miss Winchester. Wylde is as proper and gentlemanly as they come, and his betrothed shares his noble characteristics. Once their engagement is announced, however, Wylde is shocked when he is accosted by a fearsome, aging pirate, who tells him at gunpoint that he is already engaged—to the pirate's granddaughter, Lisabeth. Wylde is further dismayed to discover that his family line includes any number of swashbucklers, and that his fate was intertwined with Lisabeth's when he was betrothed to her at birth. In an effort to keep this scandal from being discovered by his society associates in London, Wylde travels to meet with Lisabeth, hoping to come to an agreement that will release him from any obligation. When they meet, he finds her to be vulgar, outrageous, and free-spirited, but unaccountably attractive. For her part, Lisabeth finds Wylde stuffy, prim, and proper, not wild and daring as she hoped he would be. Still, she notes, he is a handsome man, and not without his charms. Soon, the two find themselves strongly attracted despite their differences, and the gentleman embraces the life of the pirate while the woman of the seas learns the ways of being a lady. Nancy Davis, writing on RomanceReaderAtHeart.com, called the novel "a real treasure" and "simply a delight to read." Layton "writes a fun tale that her fans will appreciate," commented Klausner in another Best Reviews assessment.
Queen of Shadows: A Novel of Isabella, Wife of King Edward II is Layton's first novel to appear under her own name. With this novel, she "crafts a capable tale of fourteenth-century European politics with a feminist slant," commented a Kirkus Reviews critic. Isabella is Queen of England, but she is locked in a loveless marriage with bisexual Edward II. While Isabella endures Edward's regular stream of male lovers, she tends to the care of their four children. Welsh woman Gwenith, one of Isabella's ladies-in-waiting, secretly plots revenge against Edward for the death of her family, but is thwarted in this goal by her loyalty to the Queen. Edward is ordered by Parliament to share his throne with the Earl of Winchester, which brings him into contact with the Earl's son, Hugh Despenser. Infuriated by their association, Isabella decides she must take action. Meanwhile, Gwenith is approached by Welsh baron de Rhys, hoping to secure some royal intervention on the behalf of the imprisoned nobleman Roger Mortimer, an avowed enemy of the Despensers. After being introduced by Gwenith, Isabella takes Mortimer as her lover, and begins plotting to oust Edward and place her son Edward on the throne. Allegiances rise and crumble and political intrigue flares as the machinations of the diverse characters play out on the historical stage. A Publishers Weekly contributor named the book a "deftly plotted" historical novel.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2003, John Charles, review of To Tempt a Bride, p. 587.
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Queen of Shadows: A Novel of Isabella, Wife of King Edward II, p. 863.
Library Journal, February 15, 2003, Kristin Ramsdell, review of To Wed a Stranger, p. 121.
Publishers Weekly, April 24, 2006, review of How to Seduce a Bride, p. 43; September 18, 2006, review of Queen of Shadows, p. 33.
Best Reviews,http://www.thebestreviews.com/ (July 16, 2001), Harriet Klausner, review of The Conquest; (May 10, 2002), Harriet Klausner, review of The Devil's Bargain; (March 1, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of To Wed a Stranger; (October 1, 2003), Harriet Klausner, review of To Tempt a Bride; (October 28, 2003), Suan Wilson, review of To Tempt a Bride; (August 13, 2004), Harriet Klausner, review of The Return of the Earl; (March 14, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Alas, My Love; (October 15, 2005), Harriet Klausner, review of Gypsy Lover; (November 5, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of Queen of Shadows; (December 3, 2006), Harriet Klausner, review of For the Love of a Pirate; (December 20, 2006), biography of Edith Layton.
Edith Layton Home Page,http://www.edithlayton.com (December 20, 2006).
WNBC Web site,http://www.wnbc.com/ (January 18, 2006), Michelle Buonfiglio, review of Gypsy Lover. *