Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

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.

Title: Blackhearts
Author: Nicole Castroman
Publication date: February 9, 2016

Blackhearts is my second DNF in four days. Unlike the first book, where I allowed that it just wasn’t the book for me, this one is entirely on the book.

First of all, there are no pirates. There’s a pirate ship on the cover. I expected pirates. I only got to page 56 before I couldn’t take it anymore, but I peeked at Goodreads reviews and it seems that there truly are NO PIRATES. Even the five star reviews commented on the lack of pirates. What good is a pirate ship without pirates?

The characters are one cliche after another. There’s sweet, innocent Anne who is just so feisty and can do no wrong. Except she steals from her employer, which I actually liked about her. I mean, stealing is wrong, but that little twist makes her not quite as good. But that’s basically all this book has going for it. There’s Teach, a judgmental asshole with an overbearing father (who is also an asshole). Teach hates his father, of course, but I feel like Teach would hate himself if he he was someone else. So there’s that. And there’s Patience, Teach’s (unwanted) fiancee, a bitchy, self-absorbed rich girl who is eaten up with jealousy any time Anne is in her presence. Really? Can any characters be more stereotypical than these?

Finally, there’s hate-to-love. Oh how I despise hate-to-love stories. They’re even worse than insta-love to me. I just could not stick around for Teach and Anne to “set the world ablaze.” I didn’t have the patience to wait for hate to turn to love between two characters I couldn’t stand.

The more I think about Blackhearts, the angrier I get. I’m really struggling here. I wish I could give it less than one star. A single star is as low as I go because I like all books I read/attempt to read to have a rating on Goodreads. Blackhearts deserves no stars. It’s THAT bad.




  1. huh, for a book about Blackbeard to not have pirates is odd. And I’m not a big fan of hate to love either- please. How tired is that? Judging from the sounds of it I would probably DNF too… and after watching Black Sails I’m kinda on a pirate kick, so the lack of would probably irritate me all the more. 🙂
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