A Reader’s Experience with Indie

By Pinkmads Picks

Nicola Hudson is a self published British New Adult author. I first became aware of her in December 2014 when she held a take over on the Facebook page of a blog that I have followed for a while. I see these happen quite regularly but often miss them either because I’m working or the author is American so the takeover happens in the early hours UK time.

I feel quite fortunate that as Nicola is British her take over happened not only in the evening UK time but on a night when I was at home rather than at work so I was able to read and interact with Nicola’s posts as they happened. Nicola had recently published Heart the 2nd standalone novel in her Define series.

Curve-Heart_img_3067During her take over Nicola told us about her debut book Curve and her new release Heart. One of the first things that appealed to me about Nicola’s books was that they are set in England. I read a lot of NA and college romance books all of which up to this point had been set in America and by American authors.

By the end of Nicola’s take over I had liked her author page and had added her books to my TBR list pretty confident in the knowledge that I wanted to read them soon. So I was absolutely thrilled to win an arc of Heart as a result of entering the giveaway she posted during the take over.

After exchanging a few messages with Nicola so that she could send the arc to my kindle she mentioned that her debut book was set in Birmingham, UK and a surrounding town that could even be my own. I haven’t read too many books set in England so to find one set somewhere I know as well as Birmingham was another reason I’m glad I was online when I was.

I was ready to choose a new book early in January 2015 so decided to start Nicola’s books. While the characters from Curve appear it is possible to read Heart as a standalone book. I’ve been lucky enough in the last year or so to read the debut books by a couple of indie authors I now consider favourites and I wanted the same experience with Nicola. So I chose to 1-click and read Curve first. Best decision ever.

Curve is an amazing debut novel. It’s the story of 17 year old Cass. While Cass is younger than me her insecurities were my insecurities at that age. Her upbringing, raised by a single mom in a Midlands town, is similar to my own. I’ve read so many books and wanted to be the heroine so to find a book where I can relate to the main character so intensely was something really special.

The ways in which I could relate to this book just kept on coming. Cass and her best friend Neve spend time in Starbucks in Birmingham. This was easy for me to imagine myself doing because it’s the same Starbucks I’ve spent time in with my best friend! I’ve been back since reading Curve and it gave me butterflies because it’s such a special part of the book for Cass.

I loved Curve and I thought I had found just about the best thing and then I read Heart. This book broke me and then changed me forever. It really is something very special. I’ve read books that have made me cry before but nothing like this. Not even Nicola’s tag line for this book “Sometimes it doesn’t end with a happy ever after…” clued me into how this book was going to make me feel. Reading this book hurt, it hurt a lot but it was so good. If there’s one book I want everyone to read it’s Heart.

I had gotten to know and like Neve and even Jake briefly, who’s story this is, in Curve. Heart is told by both Neve and Jake. The double POV just increased and strengthened how much I liked these characters. Their relationship was believable. I loved the ease and familiarity they had with each other. I love that Nicola took this idea and told the story she believed in. I didn’t realise at the time how much I needed to read this story.

In July 2015 I read Colleen Hoover’s entire published work back to back, 8 novels and 2 novellas, for someone who reads 2-3 books a month this was epic. I know how much of an inspiration Colleen is to Nicola so after such a strong reading run and let’s face it a huge book hangover there was only one book (or two) I could read next. I decided to reread Curve and Heart.

I had a totally different experience reading these books the second time around. I love Heart just about as much as it’s possible to love anything and still remembered it vividly so I was surprised to find I appreciated different things on the second read. I found that I loved Curve even more when I read it again and that I was hyperaware of the characters that crossover into Heart as I knew their fate.

It was actually a few weeks later after I had been telling my best friend about these books, again, that I realised what it was about Heart I appreciated so much the second time. Whenever I talk about these books I want to reread them so I read through the extracts I had highlighted on my kindle. This was when I recognised what a quiet but wise character Grace is in Heart.

Grace is Jake’s younger sister. She is wise beyond her years and while she appears in Heart she is a minor character. She gave Jake some wonderful advice about love and it made me realise just how wise and worldly she is. Nicola has already revealed that Grace will be the main character in her next book Fault. After meeting Grace in Heart I am excited for the story she has to tell and to get to know her better.

Nicola is currently working on Fault, the third and final book in the Define series, with the plan to publish it in the autumn of 2016. She is also in the depths of conversation with her cover designer.

Nicola’s books are available in ebook and paperback from Amazon.

You can find out more about Nicola Hudson and contact her on Facebook, Twitter or her website www.nicolahudsonauthor.com.

Originally posted here: https://pinkmad17.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/curve-and-heart-by-nicola-hudson/


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