Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
I loved Blackhearts, it was on my Top 5 books from 2016, hope you check out my 5-star review below. I am getting so excited for Blacksouls, book 2 in the Blackhearts series by Nicole Castroman! Since I am now here at BookCrushin, I have been moving some of my reviews to be live here and had to get this one live in advance of Blacksouls upcoming release (April 11th, 2017)!
Category: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Romance
Publication: February 9th, 2016; Simon Pulse
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. This is their story.
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 have been obsessed with pirate stuff ever since I was a little girl and…yes, you guessed it right, PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN came out. It was perfect in my 13-yo eyes and I’ve been quietly in love with all things pirates ever since. Yet somehow, Blackbeard just wasn’t on my radar. I don’t know why, he’s one of the most famous pirates ever. I just never checked up on him. But when I heard about Blackhearts, I knew I had to read it and was pleasantly surprised when I got accepted for an early copy of it on Edelweiss. I’ve never imagined falling in love with it so completely. Now if I could just give a justice to this book with my review…
Anne Barrett is a maid at the Drummonds, despite her good upbringing and wealthy fater. The story begins with the household waiting for the arrival of Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of the master after his year at the sea, and preparing for his upcoming marriage to Patience. The book follows through both Teach’s and Anne’s lives, as they go from strangers at the market to lovers planning to run away and return to the sea.
Contrary to the belief, Blackhearts isn’t a pirate novel. It’s so much more than that. It’s the origin of Blackbeard, and how his early years shaped his future. Teach, later known as Blackbeard is actually a kind and loving man, who has his bad qualities too, namely his temper. He may have an easy life with everything served to him on a silver platter, but his heart lies in the deepest of the seas, which his father cannot understand at all. He makes his son do things Teach doesn’t enjoy, thus making his life miserable.
Anne is one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read. She has been dealt with plenty of bad stuff in her life and she came out stronger from all of them. She is loyal and compassionate, a strong woman in a time where women aren’t appreciated for their quick wit and intelligence, but their looks and money. Anne has a good, but very difficult upbringing, due to her mother being a slave and her being a biracial girl in a white society. We get to know the complexity of her backstory and find out the secrets she’s been hiding.
I think I kind of hate all the other secondary characters, except John. John is a good friend of Teach, who helps him in any way he can. Alas, the other characters, Teach’s betrothed, Patience, all her family, the staff at the Drummond household, they all make Anne’s and Teach’s lives harder than it should be. But despite all of them, they needed in order for the story to work.
The story is in third person, in dual POV. This is my favorite, because this way, we can see both into Anne’s and Teach’s minds and inner thoughts. It just shows that it’s not only a story about Blackbeard’s young years, but a story about both of our characters. Most importantly, it shows that neither of them is perfect. The romance is such a beautiful slow burn, built on their respect for each other, you cannot help feeling everything with Anne and Teach. Nicole’s writing is something I fell in love while reading this book, as it is very easy to get lost and immerse in it. I cannot praise her enough and I will make my mission to make everyone read her work.
I may be in the minority, but I’m actually not sure if I would like a sequel or not. On one hand, it would be FANTASTIC to read about how Anne and Teach’s lives turned out. On the other hand, it really makes you think. I read Blackhearts in the beginning of January, and now, weeks later, I am still thinking about it every day. To me, this story was full and perfect as it is. Although if there’ll be a sequel, then SIGN ME UP ALREADY.
All in all, I AM IN LOVE WITH BLACKHEARTS! I cannot wait to take a lots of photos of it for my Bookstagram. If you love, historical romances, with complex characters, without insta-love and an original plot, you should definitely pick up Blackhearts.
*Advance copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in an exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my thoughts on this book.*