Feb 2, 2016

Blog Tour: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Hello, my scallywag readers! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Nicole Castroman's debut novel Blackhearts! I first added this book to Goodreads almost two years ago, so to say I've been waiting for it is a bit of understatement. I mean, it's an origin story about Blackbeard, and let me tell you: it's one-hundred percent worth reading. I'll tell you all about its worth in my review, and there's a giveaway for Blackhearts that you really want to win, so please board the ship and prepare to set sail!

Author: Nicole Castroman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: February 9, 2016
Pages/Format: 384, eARC
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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 CuraƧao—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.

Book in One Word: ADDICTING.

Warning: This review overuses the word "addicting." But that's what happens when you're addicted to something. You overuse the hell out of it.

I began anticipating Blackhearts the very second I first heard about it. A Blackbeard origin story? Oh my gosh, YES TO THE PLEASE. Pirates are vastly underrated in literature if you ask me, and when they do show up they're either evil and nasty, Captain Hook (not that I don't love Hook), or they're nothing but a character to swoon over (as we should) (and that's not to say that Teach isn't swoony). But a story about Blackbeard? A young Blackbeard who isn't even Blackbeard yet? Yes. YES. And let me tell you something: it's addicting as hell.

Blackhearts is told from the dual point of view of Anne Barrett and Edward "Teach" Drummond. It's 1697 England, and while Teach just wants to live on the sea, Anne lost everything and is forced to find work--which is how they eventually meet. And then we see their relationship go from "oh my gosh, ew, I hate you, go away" to "my eyes are hearts right now and when I blink that's my heart beating for you" and I love it. She's the help and he's the master of the house's son: romance is a no no. That makes the desperate yearning (for me and them, I guess) even better. Like, you're living under the same roof. Please find a private spot and jump on that. So the shipping. It is strong. And it is filled with banter, which is excellent.

But let me tell you: this book is a gosh damn page turner. I had to take this kid I babysit to school and forcibly put Blackhearts down, but my gosh, I was getting twitchy for my Kindle while I was driving. (Withdrawals.) And there's a very big chance that, while waiting in the everyone-drops-their-kid-off-at-the-same-time traffic in the school parking lot and driveway, I picked up my Kindle and read. I was also at A Part, and I couldn't not read, okay? ADDICTING ADDICTING ADDICTING. I was buddy reading this with a friend and I totally jumped ahead and raced through Blackhearts because putting it down just was not an option; I'd rather walk the plank.

What made Blackhearts so addicting was all the crack-shit Nicole Castroman put in it. Two stubborn characters who are experts at bantering? Check. Shipping the hell out of them? Check. Creating several of Those Scenes where you just have to know what's going to happen next, like oh my gosh? CHECK. Was it perfect? No. I thought the writing would be a bit different--more historical-fitting, maybe?--but instead it was more simple, and there may have been a few other quirks, but I read this four months ago and don't remember, whoops. But this is one of those books where, yeah, there a few things here and there, but they don't matter, because the book was such a freaking blast and joy and pleasure to read that everything else is forced to jump ship.

Short and simple, Blackhearts is addicting. It has it all. Characters you love, like, hate, want to die, and that you want to see get their comeuppance. It has scenes that pull at all the right strings and a plot that will sail to the end of the world. I love it when I pick up a book and can't put it back down because it has me in its grasp and won't let go. That is this book. AND I ALMOST FORGOT. It's super duper Poldark-y. Like, oh my gosh. I was getting such Poldark vibes while reading this. Oh oh OH. This book also has An Ending. An illegal ending. You can't possibly end a book like that YOU CAN'T. And apparently there aren't any plans for a sequel and oh my gosh YOU CAN'T DO THAT TO A PERSON, even one with a soul as black as mine. That damn ending. I am a book addict, I need my fix, and I need that sequel, damn it. (Please and thank you.)

Did I like it? YES.
Did I love it? Not quite.
Would I reread it? This is a definite possibility, and now that I think about it I really want to.
Would I purchase it? Yes!
Who would I recommend it to? If you like books about pirates before they're pirates, a ship worth shipping (and real ships!), and a story that is utterly, ridiculously addicting, then look no further.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nicole Castroman was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend...she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her. 

At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.

She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.

Week One
2/1/2016 | Mundie Moms Interview
2/2/2016 Beauty and the Bookshelf Review
2/3/2016 My Friends Are Fiction Guest Post
2/4/2016 Brittany's Book Rambles Review
2/5/2016 Two Chicks on Books Interview

Week Two
2/8/2016 Fiktshun Review
2/9/2016 Dark Faerie Tales Guest Post
2/10/2016 A Reader Under The Sea Review
2/11/2016 A Perfection Called Books Interview
2/12/2016 Lili's Reflections Review

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  1. Thanks for the giveaway. I knew I had to read this one the moment I learned about it. Because pirates. Of course. :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum


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