Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Friday, January 8, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Pages: 384
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Summary (from Goodreads):

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 CuraƧao—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.

Teach has just come back from a year away at sea on a merchant ship. Now that he's had his fun, his father is making him settle down and marry the girl he has been betrothed to since he was sixteen. But he came back a changed man and doesn't want the life that's set out before him. He wants a life of seafaring and adventure. I did like Teach. There were some things about him in this book that bothered me, but I feel like if Teach was someone I knew in real life, he'd be someone that is really hard to dislike. I found him overbearing at times, but he was generally kind and willing to go to great lengths for the one he loves!

Anne has been a maid in the Drummond house for five months when Teach comes home from the sea. She is the illegitimate daughter of a merchant and a slave. She has big plans to save up her pennies to afford passage on a ship to the West Indies, where her mother was from. She wants nothing more than to be free and independent. She feels like a prisoner in the Drummond household, not unlike Teach. They both seek freedom and adventure. I really like Anne. I think that she's really smart, she's not quick to trust people, and she's completely honest. She tells the whole truth in situations where, if I were her, I'd be trying to lie through my teeth! I just really liked her as a character.

I was not 100% sold on Teach and Anne's relationship right away. He showed a lot more interest in her than she showed in him. He seemed to enjoy her company as they seemed to have quite a bit in common, but even when he clearly made her feel uncomfortable, he wouldn't let her decline his requests of doing this or that with him. He would just badger her until she reluctantly agreed. Also, while he was out falling in love with Anne, he was STILL ENGAGED! Which is hypocritical of him because he looked down on another character for doing the SAME THING! But he did eventually grow on me. He cared deeply for Anne and broke down her walls and I think that they're cute together. They really didn't seem to have any real relationship drama. Which I found almost weird, I feel like there's ALWAYS relationship drama in YA books. But I guess it's kind of refreshing to find a couple who seem to always get along and trust each other entirely and without question.

The cover and summary of this book make you think that this is more of a pirate book. That is not so much the case. I spent this whole book waiting for trouble on the high seas and there was none to be found. This book is all about the events that lead up to Teach becoming Blackbeard the pirate. That's not to say that this book isn't good. Because it is. It's just not as pirate-y as one would have you believe.

I felt like there was plenty going on in this book so it never felt boring. I did find it to be pretty predictable and there was one scene in the beginning that I felt just dragged on. But other than that, I don't think I can complain about the writing. When I was reading it, I could totally picture this being a TV drama because I felt like it was written exactly the way it would be narrated on a show. Random, but I couldn't help thinking that when I was reading.

The ending of this book is most definitely a cliffhanger. Nothing is resolved at all. So I am HOPING there will be a sequel because that ending is just mean. I really don't have any kind of hope for a positive ending if there was a sequel, but it can't just end like this!!

Overall, I do recommend this book. It's more of a romance than anything, but with a promise of pirate shenanigans in a sequel. I'm not one that just loves plain old romance books, but I did really like this one. So I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction or romance.


  1. Hmmm. I've been recommended this book a few times because of the pirate aspect. I'm not sure if I am more or less excited now that I hear it's thin on pirates but is still a solid historical. Hmmm. Thanks for the review!

    1. It is really thin on pirates. There's lots of talk of ships, but not so much pirates. I hope there's a sequel because I kinda feel jipped. I want pirates!!!


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