Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman #BookReview #Playlist

by Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 9th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Romance, Pirates, Fantasy, Adventure

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.

Blackhearts wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but not in a bad way. It’s on origin story so nobody is singing, yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum. The story actually takes place not only on land but at wealthy estates. It does have a large amount of romance in it.

Nothing like a saucy fierce leading lady to endear me to a book. I loved Anne and the way she wasn’t going to be pushed around. She is the daughter of the prosperous merchant and a slave from the West Indies. She had a good life with her mother and father until her father dies and her half brother throws them out. So Anne might be forced to work as a maid but she has this inner strength of knowing her true worth and that she does not belong anywhere that doesn’t treat her with respect.

Teach is trying to find his way out from under his Father’s thumb. The relationship between the two of them is interesting because I think that they really do care about each other. Teach just has a different opinion about what will make him happy. He seems to go along with things but underneath is trying to find a way to escape. He doesn’t outright stand up to his father the way Anne does. She is really the stronger of the two. I kept thinking what could happen to make Teach a hardened pirate, Anne I could see it without a doubt. It was interesting to see Teach develop.

I liked the historical fiction aspect of the book. Not much is known of Blackbeard's life before piracy but you see the known details woven in. Convenient he had a ship called the Queen Anne’s Revenge, it made me smile to think of it in a different way.

This had the definite makings of an epic romance. There are no crazy love triangles or misunderstandings. It’s just a sweet story of two people who are fighting against a current to be something more than they are.

I really liked Blackhearts, although it wasn’t what I was expecting as far as the pirate aspect goes. It’s a very sweet romance with one really awesome leading lady.

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.