Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

blackhearts

Blackhearts

By Nicole Castroman

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction

Expected Publication: February 9, 2016

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb

Overview

What was Blackbeard, the pirate, like as a teenager?  Blackhearts imagines Blackbeard as a teen as he falls in love with Anne, his father’s bi-racial servant.

The Good

  • The Cover-Yes, another beautiful ship cover.
  • #WeNeedDiverseBooks-The main character, Anne, is the daughter of a white merchant and a slave.

The Bad

  • NO PIRACY OR SHIPS. The cover is misleading.  They never stepped on a ship and Blackbeard is not a pirate at this time. When the book begins, Teach (Blackbeard) has been at sea for one year but that’s all there is concerning ships.
    • I did not realize this and was in for a very long romance.  I kept waiting for something to happen and when nothing did, I got bored.  Should I have read the description better to see that this was a romance and not an adventure? Perhaps but if this were a great love story, I wouldn’t have minded the fake out so much.
  • Love Story.  There was really nothing new about this romance.  The only thing it had going for it was the difference in race in the mid 17th century.  Her race however was really never an issue.  This takes place in England and I don’t know how the English treated blacks so perhaps we weren’t treated like dogs in the street as we here in America.  Nonetheless, there was a slave trade in England and I can imagine they were not treated as well as our protagonist was. People gave her glances but other than that, she didn’t suffer racism at all.  If there was no racism in England in the 17th century, then okay. But if there was, I don’t think authors should sugar coat this part of history.
    • If authors are going to include blacks in their stories that are set pre-civil rights or during slavery, then be honest.  If authors don’t want to bring up this sensitive subject because they’re uncomfortable, then don’t have a black character.  I appreciate the inclusion of POC but it needs to be written better.
  • Plot Holes.  A small but significant part of the story was about a maid who was bossomy and flirtatious with a lot of men in her employment but this storyline didn’t drive the plot.
  • Predictable.  There were major reveals that were extremely obvious from the beginning.

 Overall

What this story has going for it is a forbidden love between a black girl and the son of a merchant in the mid 17th century London.  Castroman missed the opportunity to immerse the reader into London during slavery.  This should have been the driving force for this romance.  Without this, Blackbeard is just another romance.

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3 thoughts on “Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

  1. I actually knew that this one wasn’t about pirates — the author dubbed it a “pre-pirate” book (however, I do see what you’re saying/why you felt mislead). I didn’t like this book either! It was predictable, like you said, and the ending kind of infuriated me. There is no contracted sequel which makes me sad!

    Anyway, fantastic review, Dawn!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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