Fault by Nicola Hudson
Release Date: October 21st
Genre: Contemporary Romance
We all have our faults.
GRACE DAWSON is desperate. Her father is dead and her mum is in prison for killing the man who attacked her. She is about to turn eighteen and homeless. Her options are limited. Life is bleak.
NOAH CARTER is twenty-four, a writer, and burdened by his family responsibilities. Forced to live in the same small town he grew up in, he knows it would be wrong to wish for a different life.
When Noah offers Grace a place to stay, it is an act of generosity that she has little choice but to accept. As they spend time together, their feelings grow beyond friendship and they become increasingly important parts of each other’s lives. But it’s not just their lives they have to think about and the challenges they face threaten to overwhelm their relationship. Both make mistakes but can they overcome their own faults to forgive each other’s?
FAULT is a story about love, loss, family and forgiveness. It’s a story about life.
- A flaw or defect which prohibits perfection.
- A weakness or defect in character.
- Responsibility for a mistake or wrongdoing.
- (verb) To find error in; to blame.
Fault is the third novel in Nicola Hudson’s Define series but can be read as a standalone from Curve and Heart, although it does contain spoilers if read out of sequence.
I tried to scream but my brain was stuck on registering details: the cold kitchen counter under my cheek, the painful pressure of a drawer handle sticking into my hipbone, the stale alcohol on his breath as he groaned in my ear.
“It’s been a long time since I had a redhead. I bet you’re already all fired up, aren’t you?” He pulled at my leggings, the weight of his upper body keeping me pinned in place. The material refused to cooperate, stretching outward rather than moving down, generating a grunt of frustration.
“Please, don’t,” I cried as his hand ferreted between my legs, my clenched thighs unable to offer enough resistance. “Please. Please. Please.” My begging fell on deaf ears as he tugged again at my waistband. I knew what was going to happen and couldn’t believe that this was my fate. Vague memories of my brother Jake’s attempt at teaching me self-defence skirted at the edge of my consciousness, but I couldn’t move enough to stamp on his instep or hit his windpipe.
I knew I couldn’t give in.
I squirmed and shifted, fighting harder than I had ever needed to before.
“Stop it, you little bitch,” he spat before grabbing my hair and slamming my head against the counter. “Do you like it rough? Is that what you’re after?” Bile burnt my throat at the sound of his zipper. I heard the rip as the material of my leggings started to give way in his hands, my life and soul leaching out of me at what it meant.
I stopped moving.
I stopped breathing.
I stopped hoping.
And then there was noise, the cry of an animal in agony, and the dead weight of his body slumped on mine. I couldn’t work out what was happening. His guttural moaning had nothing to do with pleasure, and he repeatedly pushed into my back, but made no contact anywhere else. I took advantage of his loosened grip on my hair to twist my head.
And saw Mum stood next to us.
Holding a knife.
As she lunged for him again, I managed to pull myself away from the counter and felt the weight of him slide off me. Pain shot through my arm as the knife caressed my skin, leaving a red line in its wake.
Silent waves of rage rolled off her, rendering her oblivious to my cries. She launched at him again, even though he was slumped, unmoving, in a growing pool of red. The sound of knife plundering flesh made me retch and I tugged at her, causing us both to slip in the blood. As we fell to the floor, I managed to knock the knife out of her hand and pull her to me.
“Mum, what have you done?” I tried to make eye contact with her, but she was like a wild animal, unable to make a connection. Even on her darkest days after Dad died, or her most hung-over days, I had always managed to get through to the hidden her. But not in that moment. She was beyond me, lost in a world I didn’t know how to get to.
A gurgling sound brought the realisation that the monster may not have been slain. The dilemma of what to do next was overwhelming. Who needed me the most? Mum still appeared unaware of my presence, staring into the abyss of her mind.
That left him.
I moved across the floor on my knees, warm blood soaking into my clothes, and turned him over. His front was covered in congealing blood and his eyes were glassy, staring into the same space Mum was inhabiting. I couldn’t hear or see any signs of breathing so I felt around his wrist, not knowing how or where to find a pulse but compelled to do something.
“Nine, nine, nine” was the whispered instruction from behind me. I looked at her, but her eyes were still elsewhere. Running to the hall, I picked up the phone, dialling as I returned to the carnage.
Looking back, I wish I’d sat there with her for longer before making that call. I wish I’d had the chance to try and find her, my mum, one final time. I wish I’d thought about how to protect Josh from it all. I wish I’d thought about whether I had the strength to deal with the ensuing chaos.
Other Books in the Series:
About the author:
Nicola Hudson is a British writer who discovered what was becoming known as New Adult fiction the same week she downloaded the Kindle app; within a week she was hooked into a one-clicking frenzy. After reading Hopeless by Colleen Hoover and Easy by Tammara Webber, the urge to write her own novel, but with a British slant, was overwhelming.
Her first novel, Curve, was published in 2013 and her second novel, Heart, was published a year later. Although romance is an important part of Curve and Heart, readers will know that Nicola also writes about serious, some may say dark, issues and their impact on young women. This theme continues in the final book of the Define series, Fault. She works full-time with teenagers and so it seemed like a natural step to write about them as well.
Nicola lives close to Birmingham, England with her husband and cat. When not writing, she is reading. When not reading, she is probably reading about reading, flicking between social media sites and Goodreads. Probably with a bar of chocolate at hand.
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