I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
Published by Simon Pulse on February 9th 2016
Genres: Historical, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance
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.
Today is a big day for Nicole Castroman! It’s ‘Blackhearts’ release day and I for one couldn’t be more excited! I picked up this book a couple of weeks ago and never expected to love it quite as much as I did. I read the summary, have seen excerpts and have heard the praise far and wide, but nothing prepared for just how much I enjoyed this fantastic debut from Nicole Castroman.
‘Blackhearts’ was everything I love about a great PBS Masterpiece program, like Poldark and Downton Abbey. As a matter of fact, one of the main characters, Edward “Teach’ Drummond, reminded me a bit of the swoony leading man of Ross Poldark. I’m not going to lie, it was a total bonus to picture Aidan Turner as a young Blackbeard! He does brooding and introspective so well, and I instantly made the connection between Poldark and Teach. Anyway, like all good PBS period drama, ‘Blackhearts’ has plenty of plenty of drama, intrigue, secrets and swoon!
This is a quiet novel that tells a fictional story of the early days of the infamous and dreaded pirate, Blackbeard. When we meet him in the opening pages he has just returned from a thrilling year at sea and is less than thrilled to be thrust back into his pampered life as a son of a wealthy merchant. He’s engaged to a woman he doesn’t love and faces a future he doesn’t want. Castroman does a wonderful job of creating a compelling back story for such a widely known but largely mysterious historical figure. From what I can gather, not much is known about his early beginnings, so I was totally intrigued to see Castroman’s fictional take on where his story began. She painted a perfect picture of a passionate, smart man who yearns for a different way of life. It didn’t take me long to become totally smitten with Teach and I was completely invested in the journey his character took throughout this book.
For as much as I loved Teach, I absolutely adored Anne. Her story is not that different from his, in the sense that she too is looking for a better life. All she wants is to do whatever it takes to break free of her current situation and find a better life. She’s fierce, determined and I was SO on board with her mission! I loved what Anne brought to the story and also what she brought into Teach’s life. After a rock beginning, she forces him to slow down and discover what he really wants from his future. I’m a sucker for a good hate-to-love romance and this one absolutely delivers! Reading as the two of them slowly open up to each other and break down each other’s walls was my very favorite part of the book. Castroman’s decision to tell the story using dual POV’s was such a fantastic decision, as it allowed me to fully understand both Teach and Anne’s motivations, feelings and reasoning.
The only question I have left is…will there be a sequel! Because there HAS to be a sequel! I don’t know what I’ll do if there’s no sequel! That ending! I must know what happens next!!!
‘BLACKHEARTS’ is the perfect combination of subtle period piece and swoony drama. Grab yourself a copy and get swept away by an unexpected origin story of the dread Pirate blackbeard.