Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Title: Blackhearts
Author: Nicole Castroman
Series: n/a
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Source: from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

I knew next to nothing about Blackbeard when I picked up this novel -- or any other pirates, for that matter -- only what I've picked up in passing and that's pretty much that pirates are bad. :P I did a quick Wikipedia search on Blackbeard, though, and I liked what I found. Neither family issues nor a romance was mentioned in my reading, but it does seem feasible that either or both of these could have been the instigating factor for his life on the high seas. It also seems that the author's depiction of the character is spot-on.

I can't believe I don't remember studying the infamous Blackbeard in school. I mean, we had to have, right, considering he's probably the most notorious pirate in all of history? And the fact that little is known of his story prior to becoming a pirate is all the more intriguing. I love how Castroman has romanticized Blackbeard's origin story in this novel, giving him a father with extremely high expectations and a doomed love story.

Teach, seemingly unlike most of his peers, is honorable and commendable. He is not a lazy layabout who only wishes to experience the finer offerings of high society. His most fervent wish is to live a life on the high seas, away from the responsibilities of a merchant's son and an arranged marriage. That is, until he meets the sharp-tongued and impulsive Anne Barrett.

Anne is the product of an English merchant and a West Indies slave, and although she was raised as the illegitimate daughter of the pair, she was still given most every opportunity her merchant father could afford her. However, with her father's passing, the mother and daughter were cast off and left to fend for themselves, and neither has fared very well. In fact, Anne turns up as a servant in Teach's father's household.

Despite an inauspicious first meeting, there is an obvious connection between Teach and Anne. Anne is unlike the frivolous high society girls Teach is used to, and there is much more to Teach than just being a member of the gentry. But there is much more than just their social stations keeping them apart. Their slow-burn romance appears to be doomed from the start, but it was so lovely to watch as it unfolded.

That ending was…most unwelcome. Things were just getting really good! And there's no hint of a sequel in the works. Trust me, I checked. But with a story this captivating, it's only a matter of time...I hope. o_O I'll be honest, though…I thought this book was going to take place on a ship. Maybe in the next book?

GIF it to me straight:
(I couldn't not use a Hook shipping GIF when we're talking about pirates. C'mon now.)

About the author:

Nicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend...she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.

Find Nicole:

WebsiteGoodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


  1. I really enjoyed this one a lot!! :D And yes, the ship was sooooo good. I hope for a sequel with more pirate-y stuff!

  2. I've been seeing this one around a lot and your review has made me really want to check it out! I've also seriously been loving Hook in Once Upon a Time lately because I am currently binge-watching it. Your GIF sold me. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  3. I'm so ready to read this! Blackbeard is my favorite antihero.

  4. This review makes me die inside a little because I have to wait 10+ days for this book to come out. That title is absolutely perfect XD
    ~Riv @ Forever Obsession

  5. I feel ya. I thought there were going to me more ship scenes in the book, but alas, there weren't. The ending was definitely most unwelcome and I'm kind of dying since I need a sequel or else I'll never be okay again ever. Maybe I'm exaggerating... but not really.
    Great review Jen! =D


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