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I Belong

Early Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

BlackheartsTitle: Blackhearts

Author: Nicole Castroman

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 1481432699 (Simon Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-1481432696 (Simon Teen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Unforgettable story that is full of wonderful romance, adventure, and scandal. I loved every minute of it and I hope that there will be a sequel!

Opening Sentence: After Anne’s father died, her mother often said that sorrow was the only sun that rose for them.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

You have all heard of the infamous Blackbeard! He captained the pirate ship Queen Anne’s Revenge, and was known for his fearsome appearance and thick black beard. But before he became a pirate he was just a young man named Edward Teach that dreamed of leaving his life behind to travel the world!

Edward is the son of a wealthy merchant and for the last year he has been sailing on a merchant ship. If the choice was up to Edward he would never leave the ocean, but his father has other plans for him. He’s currently engaged to a girl with a title and his father has a business waiting for him to run. Edward doesn’t want to stay in England, but he also doesn’t want to disappoint his father. But everything changes when he meets Anne, the beautiful maid employed in his father’s home.

Anne Barrett is the illegitimate daughter of a very wealthy merchant. Her father passed away a year ago and she was thrown out of her home along with her mother. Not long after her father’s death, her mother also passed away. Left with nothing, Anne decided to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. She has always dreamed of visiting her mother’s homeland in Curaçao, but she has no way of paying for her passage. She starts to steal little trinkets from her master so she can save up enough money to leave. She plans to stow away on the Deliverance, a vast ship that is set to sail in four weeks! But all her plans change when Master Drummond’s son returns home from his year at sea!

I LOVED Anne. She was the perfect heroine for this story. She is feisty, smart, and kind! Even though her father never technically claimed her, she still lived a fairly privileged life until her father passed away. But since then her life has been a nightmare. What I liked most about Anne is that she didn’t complain about her situation. Instead, she did what she could to support herself and make her own dreams a reality. Sure, she had some bitterness because of how she had been treated, but for the most part she stayed positive and never gave up. She is very resourceful and she is not afraid to speak her mind, even when it’s not appropriate. She is just one of those characters you find yourself cheering for and I couldn’t help but love her.

Edward is a total dream boat! He is gorgeous, intelligent, charming, and kind hearted! He pretty much had me at hello and it just kept getting better the more I read. I found that I could really sympathize with the fact that he wanted to live his own life but at the same time he didn’t want to disappoint his father. He is a very layered character and I loved each time I would discover a new side to him. His relationship with Anne is sweet, explosive and filled with great tension. They fight like crazy but they also have so much in common. They are one of those couples that just work together so well. If you can’t tell, I am a huge Edward fan and I really hope to get more of his story.

Blackhearts is a beautiful love story full of adventure, scandal, and humor! I have a small obsession with pirates and when I first read the synopsis for the story, I was instantly intrigued. I could not wait to get my hands on a copy and luckily it did not disappoint. When I picked it up, I was getting ready for bed so I figured that I would read a few chapters and hours later I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I loved the entire cast of characters, the romance was totally swoon worthy and the pacing was spot on. The only small complaint I have is that there were a few things that felt just a little bit too convenient and slightly predictable. But this in no way hindered how much I loved this book. I really hope there is a sequel because even though the ending was satisfying, I still want so much more. If you like adventure and romance this story is a must read!!!

Notable Scene:

The girl jumped to her feet, the backs of her legs hitting the tub. Water sloshed over both sides, soaking her dress and shoes. No sound escaped her. She simply stared at him, her mouth gaping like a cod on a hook.

Teach smiled grimly as he closed the door with a firm hand. His footsteps were measured as he crossed the distance between them, despite the fact that he walked with a slight limp.

“So, Anne, you thought you got the better of me,” he said softly, enjoying the look of fear on her face. She reminded him of a rabbit caught in a snare. Served her right after what she’d done to him.


FTC Advisory:  Simon Teen provided me with a copy of Blackhearts.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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