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The Heart Won't Forget

By: Sheri Lynn
Published By: Blushing Press
Copyright: ©2017 by Blushing Books® and Sheri Lynn
Eight Chapters / 32,300 Words
Heat Level:
4.7 Out Of 5 (4.7 on 12)   |  Write a review
Price:
$2.99

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Frannie thought she had life all figured out. Don’t get involved. No expectations means no disappointments. And that’s exactly how she chose to live her life with her four-year-old son over the last three and a half years. Safe and quiet.

But in the span of ten days, her safe, quiet life starts to fall apart. Corey, an ex-boyfriend, moves back in next door. He apologizes for breaking her heart, and wants another chance. He’s as good looking as ever, and their children pick up their friendship right where they left off. But Frannie can’t forget the agony she experienced when he left her.

Adam, her ex-husband and son’s father, also comes back into her life. He was her first love, and they had remained in each other’s life for their son’s sake – as friends. Now he’s forcing her to confront the pain of her past in the hopes of ensuring a better future, one that includes him. He’s different than the young man she married just out of high school. He’s confident and commanding.

Frannie has a difficult, life-changing decision to make. Give a relationship with Corey another try, or give Adam and their failed marriage another try. Or, is she better off alone following her safe and quiet life plan? Which man will step up to win her heart? Which man is strong enough to convince Frannie she is safe with him? 

Publisher’s Note: This emotional romance is intended for adults only and contains explicit scenes, adult language, and elements of strict discipline. If any of these themes offend you, please do not purchase.

Chapter 1

She thought she moved past it. She believed she left those days and nights of hurting unlike any pain she ever experienced in the past. That heartbreak returned to her with one look. One look at Corey Webb, and she became that weak, wounded woman once again. It prompted the memories she thought buried. Memories of excruciating hours, days, weeks, and months it took her to pick herself up, hold her head high and relearn to enjoy her life.

“Come on! In the house,” she yelled at Zach. Instantly remorseful for doing so, she walked around the car and rubbed his head, shutting the car door.

He looked next door, noticing the U-Haul and people moving about, but she averted her eyes. Getting to her door and the sanctuary of her home, her only focus. “Mom. New peoples is moving in.”

Anger built inside her. Angry that a glimpse of Corey could take her back to that dark, painful place she wanted to leave behind her. Forever. Unlocking the front door, she followed Zach inside. She needed a minute, a minute to regain her composure, be the mom Zach deserved. Setting her purse and keys down, she headed to the kitchen. Her hands shook as she grabbed a box of Cheez-Its from the cabinet, and a plastic bowl from out of the drain rack. Opening the fridge, she pulled out a juice box.

In her rush to get his snack ready, so she could retreat and give in to some of the emotions flowing through her, she spilled crackers all over the counter. This, too, made her angry. Snatching the bowl, she set it and the juice box at the bar. “Zach, your snack is ready. Eat your snack and you can have a little game time.”

Racing down the hall, his innocent blue eyes questioned hers as he climbed on to the bar stool. “Why do I get iPad time now? Does it mean I won’t get it after my bath?”

Sighing, she smiled. “Mom has a headache. I’m going to lay down for a few minutes. You just get extra computer time tonight.”

Shoving crackers in his mouth, his excitement obvious, crumbs blew out his mouth with each word he spoke. “Okay, Mom! Thanks. You’re da bestest.” She envied his true innocence, wishing she could protect it forever.

Rounding the bar, she kissed his forehead. “Thank you, baby. Just let me try to get rid of this. I love you.”

Making her way down the hallway, she struggled not to burst into tears before she had her bedroom door closed behind her. Once she made it, she went straight to her bed, laid down, and let it out. All the  why’s and did’s ran through her mind. Why is he back? Why would he come back? Especially after what happened and how he left? Did he ever think about her? Did he feel bad and want to make things right? She cried harder and got angrier as these questions pervaded her mind.

She wasn’t that person any longer. She didn’t want to be. What did she think would happen now that he came back? What did she want to happen? Nothing. He hurt her. Deeply. The immense worry she lived with then, wondering if she was a ‘rebound’ girl. Her fears came to fruition in the worse possible way, killing her dreams and hopes of love. It wouldn’t happen again. And it hadn’t in the last thirteen months. She didn’t want it. She vowed to never feel that wounded and disillusioned again. She hated what Corey Webb did to her. He didn’t deserve any of her time; mentally, emotionally or physically.

* * *

Allowing herself a little time to experience and process Corey’s return yesterday afternoon helped. She withstood the initial shock of Corey moving back in next door. She found her strength again. It sat in the back seat making funny faces at her in the rearview mirror.

Turning onto their street, she saw Corey’s truck in his driveway, but she didn’t expect to find him and Max playing in the front yard with a puppy. Great! No avoiding him today. He knew damn well she couldn’t get inside with a four and a half year-old once he noticed a puppy, and his friend.

She wondered if he felt it necessary to break the ice now that they were neighbors again. She didn’t.

“Mom! Mom. Look at the dog. Can I go pet it?” Zach asked as they pulled into their driveway. Then he realized the dog’s owners. “Mom! I know them. That’s Max!”

Putting the car in park, she took a deep breath before responding. “I think it may be.”

Unbuckling his belt, his impatience and delight evident as he pulled on the door handle multiple times. “Unlock the doors, Mom! Please.”

Pushing the button, she heard him rush out, slamming the door behind him. She sat in the car, dreading this encounter. Only catching a glimpse of him yesterday, she hoped he got fat— and ugly. Hearing the boys’ laughter, she knew she needed to face the situation, and Corey. Reaching for her purse, her door opened behind her.

“Hey, Frannie. How’ve you been?” He addressed her in his deep, smooth, southern drawl. She didn’t want to turn around and see him.

She didn’t have a choice, and if possible, he looked better than ever. He wore his dark hair cut short and neat. Long eyelashes, any girl would die for, framed his honey brown eyes. His wide shoulders filled her door, and he topped it off by gracing her with a knee buckling smile.

Hurrying past him, avoiding looking directly into his face, she replied with more annoyance than she intended. “I’ve been very well, Corey. What brings you back to Windsor Drive?”

Keeping her back to him, she heard his footsteps following behind her as he answered. “So many things have brought me back here. Too much I don’t want to leave behind.”

Certainly, she read more into it than he intended. Either way, he should feel like a shit for the way he left. She couldn’t forgive him. She didn’t want to. “Come on, Zach. You need to get in and have your snack.” Ignoring her, he continued running with Max across the yard with the dog nipping at their heels.

“Listen Frannie…” Hearing him say her name still stirred a plethora of emotions within her, but now it didn’t consist of just desire and dreams of a possible future together. It irritated her. It forced her to put up her defenses. To preserve what she experienced, learned and gained. To not forget how far she had come.

She interrupted him. “I don’t want to listen, Corey. I don’t have anything to say to you, and more importantly, I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.”

Wrapping his fingers around her elbow, he tried to turn her around, but she jerked free of him. He offered a weak-ass apology. “I know how stupid I was. I was fucked up. I did everything wrong. Never, ever should I have just upped and left without even a word.”

“You got that right.” Rushing to the door, she hollered, “Don’t make me tell you again, Zach! Inside!”

“Frannie, you can’t mean to let our difficulties interfere with the boys’ friendship. You didn’t even look at Tsar. You love animals.” He beseeched her, but hearing his voice and his words made her sick. Her stomach rolled, and she ran inside and to the bathroom before he realized the effect he had on her. She vowed to remain aloof in any and all aspects involving him. For her own sanity.

* * *

A slow work day made for too much time to think. Replaying her morning with Zach, it seemed he held a grudge for having to come inside yesterday afternoon. He took his time finding his shoes, then putting them on. Frannie called to him three times stressing they needed to be in the car or she would be late for work. She shook her head at such a silly notion. He was four, almost five he would correct her. He couldn’t remember what he ate, even if only fifteen minutes earlier, so doubtful he held any grudge.

Giving in to a bogus headache two nights ago, and making Zach come in last night for no other reason than she didn’t want to deal with Corey, equaled unacceptable behavior. She needed to set an example for Zach, not demonstrate immature behavior, even if he didn’t comprehend the situation and her reactions. Leaving the past in the past, and dealing with today became her new, renewed focus. So, the man she didn’t think she could ever get over, moved back into the house next door, but making excuses to justify her behavior wouldn’t suffice, it was unfair to Zach. Zach didn’t understand her reasoning for not allowing him to play with Max and the pup. As his mother she didn’t owe him an explanation, but it felt wrong. He threw quite the tantrum, too. Time out is where he ended up. No television, no game time. Just dinner, bath, and bed.

To her relief, they arrived home before the neighbors. She breathed out the breath she was unaware she held, believing today she might be fortunate enough in avoiding any exchange, verbal or visual, with their neighbors.

Transferring some clothes from the washer to the dryer, the doorbell rang. Cursing under her breath as she opened the door, there stood Corey. He appeared hesitant, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, wiping his hands over his jeans.

Looking into her eyes, a shy smile started across his lips, before it transformed into a firm, serious line. “I’m not trying to bother you, or upset you.”

“Who said I’m upset? Bothered, yes.” Her retort came quick.

“Frannie, I know you.” He leaned with his right hand against the doorframe.

Her frustration mounted. “No, you don’t.” His voice conjured memories of words and phrases he spoke to her, before he crushed her. “What do you want?”

Moving towards her, he halted when she started to close the door on him. Throwing his hands up, he spoke fast, “I get it. Not now. But can Zach come over and play with Tsar and Max? Please. I’ll put them in the backyard, and keep an eye on them.”

Twisting her head, she hollered into the house, “Zach, get your shoes on if you want to go play next door.”

Within seconds, he bounded around the corner, shoes in hand. “Really, Mom? Thanks.”

Kneeling, she helped with his shoes, kissing his cheek. “Have fun, and listen to Mr. Corey.”

“I will, Mom.” Rolling to his knees, he bounced to his feet. “I’m ready.”

Patting his head, Corey smiled. “I see that, buddy. Come on.” He waited on the boy to pass before he turned to Frannie. “Thank you.”

She shut the door. As much as she wanted to convince herself she could remain unaffected by Corey, she couldn’t. She remembered how close they were. They spent every evening together talking, making dinner, spending time with the boys, for six months after Sheila left Corey and her son. Before it all blew up. She fell in love. He wasn’t ready. She knew this, yet her feelings for him shifted from just a neighbor friend into something much more, but how does one prevent the heart from wanting what it wants?

After her divorce, she didn’t want to think about getting into another relationship. Her belief in relationships faltered. She never imagined herself ever being with any man other than Adam, her ex-husband. Adding the whole debacle with her parents, she didn’t want to depend on anyone else for her happiness. That’s the thing with expectations, though, they carried disappointments.

She understood and respected Corey’s situation but, sharing and supporting him through that rough period, they grew closer. Once they moved from the friend zone and engaged in a physical relationship, she fell hard.

She realized her role in the demise of their involvement, but she couldn’t and wouldn’t understand his reluctance to confront or resolve it. He left without a word. After all they shared, she thought he valued and cared for her more than he did. And not only her, he and Max left Zach. Both she and Zach were left with so many questions, and broken hearts.

The longer she reflected on this, the more fired up she became. It was one thing to disappear from her life, but from Zach’s—it was unforgivable. Stomping her way out of the house, she crossed her front yard into Corey’s and banged on the front door.

It took him a few minutes to come to the door, when he did he wore a pair of workout shorts and running shoes, his body covered in a sheen of sweat. Lifting a towel to his forehead, he wiped it before flipping it over his shoulder. “Hey. Just working out, wanna come in?”

She didn’t think it possible, but he looked better than she remembered. Tipping his head, his lips turned up in a smirk at her admiring his solid physique, jolting her out of her appreciating stupor. “No, no, I don’t.” For the life of her, she couldn’t recall why she marched over. “Are the boys out back?”

“Yeah. You aren’t ready for me to send Zach home yet, are you? He hasn’t been here thirty minutes.”

Being this close to him stirred her up, she couldn’t formulate any coherent thoughts. It confused her. An onslaught of emotions and thoughts bombarded her, and she realized she lost her confidante when she lost him. Her pain and skepticism existed prior to him, he just added to it. He knew how she agonized over the difficult issues with her family, because she had confided in him. She needed to go home, so she hurriedly answered, “No, that’s not it. Get back to your workout.” She turned to leave.

“Frannie, what did you come over for?” He stepped outside after her. “Why don’t you just come in, and we can talk?”

Her heart, and her body, didn’t stand a chance being around him. Her firm resolve weakened just by the sight of him, recalling how she believed him a friend. She believed they developed a true friendship which evolved into a friends with benefits situation. “No, thank you. I had something I wanted to say, but I changed my mind.” Rehashing anything with him just cracked open the door, presenting him with an opportunity to enter. So, she wouldn’t.

“You really look great, Frannie. I’m so sorry for leaving like I did. I thought about contacting you every day. Then one day turned into another, and I felt like it was too late, but I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I’ve missed you.”

Halting her retreat, she kept her back to him, recalling the hundreds of times she heard a car outside and hoped for it to be him. “I stopped missing you some time ago. We can be neighbors, because, well, we are, and the boys are friends. And that’s it.” She used to love the way she felt being around him. Now, she hated it. She resumed her departure.

Hollering, not only did his words reach her, they touched her and it pissed her off. “Go out with me tomorrow night! A real date. We never had one.” All the heart wrenching days, thirteen months ago, she waited and wished for those words, any words, and now they only made her cry.

Without responding, she entered her home, shutting the door behind her.

Richard Crocker on 07/30/2017 10:56am
Just another Great story by this very talented writer. Her unique style of including a strong emotional connection between her characters and the herione is outstanding. She leads us through Frannies ups and downs while expressing her feelings very well. With the twist and turns along the way she is able to bring along a very erotic subcurrent of intense erotica that excites and titillates your imagination as Frannie experiances it. Not only do we get the personal emotion between Frannie and her husband but her trials with everyone in her life. Interestingly not only is she transformed by these new revelations but everyone she interacts with seems changed. Great read and awesome story. Looking forward to more.
Hope W on 07/28/2017 11:32am
I loved this sweet domestic discipline romance. Frannie is alone and taking care of her young child. She thinks she has accepted her life, until both her ex boyfriend moves in next door and her ex husband comes home from overseas. With her emotions going up and down, she tries to understand her past relationships and decide who if anyone she wants to build her life with. Both men are good men but different in personality. Who will she choose?

The story is realistic and pulls at your emotions. The author includes friendships, family issues, co parenting, sex, spankings, all within this sweet dd romance. Watching the characters go through old emotions and try to rebuild relationships helps the reader to see the characters and how you can usually go back and do things a little differently. How Frannie chooses her future was fun to watch and see her grow. I recommend this great romantic story for an easy enjoyable read! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Margaret Corcoran on 07/28/2017 11:08am
A lovely sweet story of life and love. I loved this sweet story where Frannie learns that the man of her heart is the man who has always been there. The characters are well written, very human and well developed. There are spankings but lots and lots of love, hugs and support. It is very easy to read and easily holds the reader's interest. I received an ARC copy of this book and I highly recommend it.
DONNA L on 07/27/2017 08:14pm
I really enjoyed this sweet spanking romance story.Are second chances really possible.Frannie is a single mother raising her son Zach.She has sworn off men after a divorce and a painful breakup with her boyfriend Corey.Adam and Frannie were childhood sweethearts but life got in the way.Their divorce was amicable and they remained friends.Life becomes complicated when both men want her back in their lives.
Adam still loves Frannie but can she accept his discipline.
Adam does not hesitate to spank Frannie when she needs it.The emotional growth between Adam and Frannie was captivating.This was a easy book to read,the author kept it simple and allowed the characters to tell their stories.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.
DB on 07/26/2017 09:00pm
This was a very sweet love story. Frannie is dealing with two men, one she is divorce from (Adam) and the other she was dating (Corey) prior to him up and leaving a couple of years ago. Now Corey has moved back in next door to her and Adam has decided he can't live without her and their son Zach. She is upset with Corey with the way he up and left her and never called the two years they were separated. Adam is in the military and travels all over the world and she doesn't think she would like doing that but he has come back and gone alpha on her! This book had: hearts/hurts being healed, spankings, joyful reunions and a friend that would do anything for Frannie. Loved this book! 5 big stars
Nicolette Swanepoel on 07/26/2017 12:01pm
Frankie is a single mom with a bad track record on love. First her marriage did not work out and then her affair with her neighbour also did not work out he upped and left. When she returns home to find her neighbour has returned and wants a second chance she refuses to ho there again. To complicate matters her ex husband who is in the army also shows up all demanding and sexy as ever. She needs to decide what or whom she wants in her future. A really entertaining read.
Tami on 07/26/2017 07:09am
Frannie is very disappointed when it comes to relationships. She doesn't want to meet any men anymore. Then her ex-boyfriend moves in next door and her ex-husband also wants to have her back. Frannie still has feelings for both and it is not easy for her to decide which of those two men she wants back in her life.
It's a sweet romance with a hot alpha male.
Redrabbitt on 07/25/2017 02:43pm
I enjoyed this emotional second chance romance story that will take the reader on a roller coaster ride. Just as the story begins and you think you can see where it%u2019s going, an unexpected twist wrenches its way into the mix. Life comes with many decisions and sometimes things don%u2019t always go as you hope them to. People are fallible, dreams can be shattered, but it is how you react and handle them that determine your strength and character.

Frannie has put the pain to bed, or better yet, in the grave to remain buried, and then he shows back up next door, looking as good as he always did. When her son, Zach, and Corey%u2019s son, Max, see each other again, it is as if nothing has changed. Corey and his ex-wife were her neighbors, and then after the divorce, they became more than friends, but then one day, he packs up and moves, leaving her behind. She is angry, bitter even, and then he shows up and acts as they should just pick up again.

Adam and Frannie were childhood sweethearts back in Fargo since they were fifteen. They married right out of school where he entered the military and went to college. They had Zach, then he was deployed, and their marriage hit a brick wall, and Adam thought by giving her a divorce, she could move on and be happy. Playing Dad via Skype and coming stateside from his duty station in Germany he has decided it is time to win Frannie back.

The plot will have Adam forcing Frannie to confront anger issues from her parent%u2019s divorce and making amends with the family she has avoided since she had Zach. It also gives them time to reconnect and hopefully find that they still belong together. Too many things left to chance, a misinterpretation of a situation will nearly derail them once again.

The time that Adam and Frannie were separated and divorced Adam learned the advantages of domestic discipline, and when he spanks Frannie, it has a positive effect on her. Will this be the beginning of a new and happy future for them? Sometimes you have to walk away from someone to see if you are on the same playing field and want to win the game of life together.
Sam on 07/25/2017 02:29pm
This is a sweet spanking romance. Frannie has been alone and is suddenly faced with a choice between two guys from her past. She is also faced with overcoming some family difficulties. She eventually will get her HEA but with whom? I really enjoyed this book and the second chance at love aspect.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Goldie Nut on 07/25/2017 12:18pm
Frannie thinks she has her life all figured out and has decided the way she wants to live life with her 4
year old son Zach. Her first love and Zach's father stay in contact . She wanted a divorce frrom Adam
and thinks she will be happier without him. She tries to start over with boyfriend Corey and he doesn't
want a commitment. She leaves Corey and is convinced life will always be just her and Zach. The
most amazing twists and turns happen after this I don't want to spoil it for you. Suffice it to say this
is an awesome book.
lillie1922 on 07/24/2017 04:48pm
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. Frannie is a divorced mom. Her ex-husband is out of the country and her ex-boyfriend and next door neighbor comes back home. Her life is a little crazy when her ex-husband also comes back into the picture and he's not afraid to smack her bottom to make her see sense. Spanking romance
Stats23 on 07/24/2017 03:51pm
This is a story of the heart, for the heart and from the heart. A truly sweet, gentle, romantic love story that has no bad guys, just good ones and better. It also features a couple of young best friend boys and a puppy, so how much sweeter could it get? Frannie and Adam have been divorced for a few years, but circumstances (Corey in particular) bring them face to face again, and the sparks begin to fly. When Adam first spanks Frannie, he means it to be disciplinary but to her it seems more therapeutic. From that point on a renewed relationship and love story develops. Yes there are some spankings and yes there is some sex, but the crux of the story is the relationship. For someone looking for an emotionally charged romance, one that will touch them deeply and leave them very satisfied, this story should be at the top of their short list.
I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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