Review||| Blackhearts by: Nicole Castroman

January 23, 2016

Blackhearts by: Nicole Castroman

Rating: 5/5

Series: Standalone (hopefully not)

Format: E-ARC

Page Count: 384 

Published: February 9th, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for providing me with an early copy of Blackhearts in exchange for an honest review.


"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."


I have to admit, it took me a little while to get my thoughts together after reading this book. I wanted to sound at least somewhat professional instead of how I sounded in my Goodreads review a few minutes after I finished the book.

Exhibit A:

As you can see I had some feelings for the book. Okay, I still have a lot of feelings for the book. But I feel like I'm more qualified to write a review now opposed to five days ago.

So without further ado lets get into things...

When I first started this book I was expecting loads of action. Merely because when I think of pirates I think of sword fights and intense battle sequences. However, there was very little action in Blackhearts. Did the lack of action ruin the book for me? Of course not! Where it lacked in the action department the book made up for it in the drama and character department.

...and there was definitely a lot of drama.

Teach wants to sail. He wants to be the captain of his fathers ship: The Deliverance. Of course, this isn't possible because his father is forcing him to marry into a family that will give them the opportunity of moving up in the social hierarchy.
I would say that this concept isn't completely new. Similar circumstances have shown up in other books, I would guess mostly historical fiction, whether it's a guy or a girl.
Even if it's a concept that's been used before Castroman wrote it... masterfully.
Just when you think you know what's really going on the story throws you for a loop.

The political aspects were written to perfection. I felt immersed in the game we call politics... or at least I felt immersed in 15th century politics. (Which I'm guessing was the goal.)

The characters...

 I simultaneously wanted to slap and hug these characters, including our protagonists. 
We have our side characters: Patience, Lord Lorimar, the Duke and Duchess, Teach's father, the household workers, and other political figures.
For the most part I didn't like anyone in the book who was taking actions only to benefit themselves. (Okay that was everyone but I'm more referring to the characters trying to boost themselves in the social hierarchy.)
I was nonstop irritated with pretty much all the side characters, excluding a select few.

I did, however, like our two main characters: Teach and Anne. 

Teach was definitely spoiled and outspoken though he could be kind when he wanted to. Anne was also slightly outspoken and wasn't afraid to do what needed to be done. Overall their personalities balanced each other out nicely.

The romance in this book was nicely paced as well. I almost want to say it was a slow-burn romance yet I feel like maybe that's not the right word(s) to use to describe what went down in this book. 
It was great that for once the female protagonist isn't falling at the guys feet by the end of the book. I know this does happen in more than a few YA books. If you want a very strong, very well developed female protag. (as well as a well developed relationship) then this is the book for you.

In conclusion,

I'd recommend this book to: people who enjoy YA historical fiction. I'd also recommend to people who've just finished Truthwitch by: Susan Dennard and are looking for something to get them out of a post-reading slump.

Favorite Quote:

"The closest she would come to freedom at the moment was when she slept, for there were no rules while dreaming."

P.s. I created a Pinterest board for the book you can view here! As well as an edit:

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

You Might Also Like


  1. I was wondering if this was a series or not. I guess it's up in the air, but if it's sales numbers that decide, I think it's safe to say that the publishers will want a sequel!

    I need this book like I need air! Thankfully February is literally next week! :D Drama keeps my attention in both TV/movies and books so I KNOW that this one will work for me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


Featured Post

Unboxing of the "EMBER AND ASHES" box from Iceydesigns