Review + Giveaway || Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

by Nicole Castroman
Release date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genres: Historical fiction, retelling, romance
Age category: Young Adult
No. of pages:  180 pages (kindle edition)
ISBN/ASIN: 1481432699 (ISBN13: 9781481432696)

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.
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A wise man is not the one who knows the difference between good and evil, but the one who chooses the least evil.

I don't have the faintest idea who Blackbeard it. I just found out about him via this book. I actually searched for him and I was really pleased with the parallel story Castroman has woven. Why read this book if I don't know who Blackbeard is, you'll probably ask, it's because I don't really know him so I want to know (more) about him, plus, this book got me really intrigued with Blackbeard.

Anyway, enough of that. I love retelling but I'm not much fan of pirates (it changed, however, when I've read this book). I thought this would focus on Teach's (a.k.a. Blackbeard) piracy and I was a bit skeptical because of that. It turns out that this book focuses before the Teach many of you have heard. I had fun following Anne (Queen Anne ❤️❤️❤️) and Teach's little "adventure." They were such a dynamic and entertaining couple to follow.
The story line was a bit bleak and sometimes, I'm grasping at what to think of it. The pacing is a bit slow for my liking, too. Aside from that, I absolutely liked this book.
Overall, I had a great time reading about a parallel world of the "before Blackbeard"-Blackbeard.
Did I like the ending? 50/50. I like open ending (which I guess this book has) but I want some closure, too! 
Will I re-read it again? I'm very much into retelling so, yes!

About the author:
Nicole 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.

Author links:

One (1) signed hardcopy of Blackheart and some swag (US only) 02/28