From the time I was five, Jesse Collins was my world. He was my partner in crime. My best friend. My confidant.
We were inseparable. Soul mates. Forever hearts. But all that changed when he took on a new role. Lover.
He told me to trust. To have faith. To believe in our love.
And I did.
But we all eat lies when the heart is hungry. And mine was damn hungry for Jesse Collins. I couldn’t stop myself from falling for him, even if I wanted to.
This is our story.
The good. The bad. The heartbreaking.
But in the end, will the thread that binds us together be strong enough to weather the storm?
I used to think so, but now I’m not quite as sure… Forever Hearts is a friends to lovers new adult romance. If you like sexy and sweet, hot and handsome, mixed with a whole lot of spice, then you’ll love this steamy romance by best-selling author CJ Martín.
I realize that I left my cell phone in my apartment. I pat my pockets, check my
purse, and glance at the dashboard to see if the Bluetooth symbol is
illuminated—it isn’t. I groan audibly as I switch off the ignition and rush
back into the cold. It’s mid-March, yet the thermometer has barely reached
thirty degrees this week, and with the wind whipping through the air, the “real
feel” is in the single digits.
counter, still plugged into the charger. As I pick it up, my eyes scan over
several notifications, one of which is a text message from Bill.
parents. Reservations are at seven. Are you on your way?
across town with plenty of time to spare—I think. Bill’s
perpetually early, as in, if we do not arrive twenty minutes prior to the start
of any function—and I do mean anyand every function—
he panics. He’s chronically early; I’m chronically late. We balance each other
out…in theory, anyway.
register the touch, so I drop the phone and blow into my hands in an attempt to
warm them up. A minute later, I type a quick message to Bill.
kitchen and I would never text and drive. He should know
that after nine months of dating, but he simply agrees.
later—traffic was heavier and slower than I anticipated. His mother and father
are seated on the sofa. It’s not the first time I’m meeting them, but every
time they visit I have the feeling I should be walking on eggshells. They’re
prim and proper, formal, refined—the exact opposite of me.
then his mother, in the world’s most awkward hug. “So good to see you.”
never told me to call her that—says. “Bill was just telling us he has a special
announcement before we leave for dinner.”
quickly scans over our last few conversations. I can’t remember him talking
about any major deal specifically, apart from the new property, but that deal
closed weeks ago. All right, okay, I may not pay one hundred
percent attention when he blabs on and on about investment properties or the
price per square foot of Building A versus Building B, but can you blame me?
Commercial real estate is freaking boring. Take it from me, I should know; it’s
all Bill ever seems to talk about.
mantle where he stands, but he extends his hand and pulls me toward him. “Can
you come here for one second? There’s something I want to ask you. Something
I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time.”
bounce around my brain. You’ll be engaged before me. But
surely that’s not what this is. We haven’t been together that long. I haven’t
even given him a key to my apartment yet. He just met my
to close my mouth, which gapes open in the most unflattering way.
what I think he’s going to—
automatically correct in my head— “has been the happiest year of my life.
You’re everything that I want in a life partner: smart, beautiful, kind,
“Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?”
chest, not from excitement, but from fear.
small, velvet jewelry box. “It was my grandmother’s. It’s been in our family
for generations. I asked my mother to bring it in with her.” He waves with his
free hand to where his parents sit. “It’s part of the reason why they flew in
early.” He smiles again. “So, will you? Will you be my wife?”
my lips together, sending another silent prayer heavenward that I didn’t just
say fuck in front of his parents. In front of my (potential)
but I can see the tension around his eyes.
“Yes.” My voice is the faintest of whispers. “Yes, I’ll marry you.”
front of her chest. Bill pulls himself to his feet and slips the ring onto my
left finger. It’s delicate, a solitaire, round-cut stone, light and classy, but
it feels like a heavy anchor pulling me down. I’m suffocating. Sinking.
They shake hands as though they’re business associates rather than father and
plastered on every billboard within a thirty-mile radius beams at me. He mouths
“I love you,” but all I can do is nod, because there’s only one thought looping
through my mind right now, and if I’m not careful, the words will escape and
topple the house of cards that I’ve struggled to build this entire year.
and tells me how happy he is.
he has fallen asleep. Then, and only then, do I let the devastating truth fall
past my lips:
Pennsylvania with her wonderful husband and her adorable (sometimes
infuriating) dog, Albert. She is an avid reader and has been known to spend her
days ignoring her responsibilities while engrossed in a good book. She enjoys
traveling and yoga.
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