Thursday, February 25, 2016

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman 
Release Date - February 9, 2016
Publisher Website - Simon and Schuster
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for honest review from the publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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. 
Origin stories have always fascinated me. I love delving into what made someone who they are. This is the origin story of Blackbeard, one of histories most fearsome pirates. Blackhearts, at it's heart, is a love story. An incredibly romantic one that leaves you eager to learn more about the man who became Blackbeard.

Those looking for a swashbuckling pirate adventure may be disappointed as very little of this takes place on a ship and there is also very little piracy within these pages. This feels like rather a set up for more grand adventures in future novels. This truly is an origin story where we see his desire for adventure, and his passion for the sea lead him towards his future.

The romance in this one was a slow burn. I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy the romance at first as the first meeting gets off to a rocky start, but the gradualness of their connection eventually won me over. They are both people searching for a way out of situations they do not want to be in any longer. She feels out of place with her mixed heritage and just wants to feel a deeper connection to her mother's roots. He wants freedom, and the right to decide his own future. Both are desperate to break free, and this brings them together. They do, at their core, have quite a bit in common and that is what cemented their bond for me. They also each have a strong personality which makes their relationship spark from almost the beginning.

There is no official confirmation of a sequel, and with the abruptness of the ending, it certainly doesn't end in a way that feels like a complete story. The story isn't fully told, at least from my point of view. This doesn't feel like an open ended ending to the story, but rather the ending of the first chapter of it. I enjoyed it, and want the sequel, but the ending almost necessitates one, and that is something that doesn't work in it's favour. This is particularly true if no sequels are planned, but I do hope they are in the works.

A beautiful romance is typically at the heart of any good story and Blackhearts is no exception. We end on the cusp of great adventure and a little further down the path to Edward Drummond becoming Blackbeard. Those who love historical novels, and romantic reads will want to give this one at try. I certainly hope to set sail with these characters for the next part of their journey.

1 comment:

  1. Knowing before going in that this isn't piracy or swashbuckling heavy is good to know - you can adjust your expectations that way! The romance sounds fantastic though so I'm thinking I'll check this one out :) Lovely review^^


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