5 tales of true love, complete with family complications

If their parents weren't at war, would Romeo and Juliet have noticed each another? A good tempest now and then, particularly one thrown up by a family member, has the power to turn what could have been a perfectly nice but short-lived love affair into a commitment capped with vows. All five romances this month reviewed by Eloisa James for The Barnes & Noble Review feature a tempest of one sort or another, brought about by a family member.

1. "Scandalous Desires," by Elizabeth Hoyt

Scandalous Desires is a masterpiece of a story that brings together a puritanical widow named Silence and Mick O'Connor, a pirate king. Normally a woman like Silence wouldn't tolerate such a reprobate's presence … were it not for her adoration of an orphan child called Mary Darling. Mick won't allow Mary to live anywhere other than his lair; his enemies will threaten the child. So Silence makes the wrenching choice to stay with Mary, first losing her reputation and then her heart to the charming, dissolute, and altogether ruthless Mick. Mick has more than a touch of the great pirate himself, Captain Hook (Hook had forget-me-not eyes and Mick has "all the seductive allure of Satan"). But the seduction of Silence doesn't stem from Mick's beautiful eyes, but from their fights: they battle about philosophy and family, ethics and faith, and their complicated lives. For me, this book was one of Elizabeth Hoyt's finest … and that's really saying something about a novel from one of our best writers of historical romance.

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