Returning to Us

(20 customer reviews)

A new home. A new beginning.

After thirty-five years, Susan thought her marriage was over the morning after their last child’s wedding. Hal, her husband, said he needed to talk about something important. She knew it couldn’t be good. They rarely even spoke anymore. In the beginning they’d been so close, so passionate. Practicing domestic discipline had been a wonderful part of their lives – sometimes. But over the years it had all drifted away, even when Susan asked for what she needed. Hal would occasionally give her a mild taste of what she liked, but the real discipline she craved was a thing of the past.

Now, Hal suddenly wants to talk about moving to Colorado to live in Corbin’s Bend, a community where domestic discipline is not only accepted, but encouraged. Could this bring back the closeness and passion they’d once had? Can Susan trust that this time, Hal will truly step up?

Publisher’s Note: This sweet love story contains elements of domestic discipline. While it is part of the Corbin’s Bend series, it can be read as a standalone.

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Sample Chapter

Chapter One

Susan woke as they pulled into the garage a little after two am. The first clear thought she had was, that’s that. Her third child’s wedding day had gone beautifully, but since all three kids had married in the past eighteen months, all Susan could really feel was exhaustion.

Hal hopped from the car and went in without speaking, not that that was unusual. They rarely spoke these days. She knew Hal was getting ready to leave her. All the signs were there, the lack of communication, the loss of intimacy, and in the last few months she would catch him staring at her for no reason. She’d also heard snatches of phone conversations when he didn’t know she was around.

Colorado. That’s where he was going. Colorado was their dream, but he seemed to be going on his own. She wondered if he knew what had happened to them after thirty-five years of marriage.

They had been so close at one time. Married young, they had grown up together, it seemed. Both sets of parents had been against their marriage, so they had no one but each other to turn to. But as time went on and life became busier and busier, they hadn’t continued to pull together. They had drifted apart. Now it was all gone, the love, the passion, the closeness—all gone. And I never even realized it was going.

Although she knew it was coming, it was a shock when the next morning Hal woke her before he left for work. “I need to talk to you about something important. Can you plan on being home this afternoon?”

Anger hit her harder than she expected. Got the kids married off and you’re getting the hell out of Dodge. Is that it? Susan thought to herself. To Hal she answered, “Yes, I’ll be here.” She couldn’t say more without crying and she wasn’t crying about this in front of him. If he wanted out so damn bad, then good riddance.

Try as she might to stop it, her mind pulled her back to the old days. They had begun dating when she was only fifteen. Hal had seemed like a grown man to her even though he was only seventeen at the time. Her mother said she was too young to be dating. She said Hal was no good, but Susan knew better. To her, Hal was perfect.

Her parents had been old when Susan was born. So, even though her mother fussed, neither of her parents seemed to want to put forth the effort to make Susan listen to them. Most nights, shortly after dark, she was out the window and up to the little grove of trees where Hal would be waiting.

She’d lost her virginity on the damp bank of Blackwater Creek one July evening after they’d first had a fight. Later, they’d gone skinny-dipping. After that, they’d do it anywhere they could find—the back seat of his parent’s car or the floating platform in the small lake where everyone swam during the day. The first school year that they were together, they’d twice snuck out to a school bus when they should have been in class, and once they’d made love on one of the science tables after they’d stayed late to work on a ‘project.’

Hal graduated and went to work in construction. He would sometimes come by her house for some early morning loving. She’d often wondered what her parents would have said if they’d ever caught them, but that never happened. When Hal didn’t have time to come in, he would often leave a flower or a note on her windowsill. Susan had felt he was the most romantic man in the world.

She tried to drag her mind to the present. What she really wondered was, what in the world happened? Do I still love Hal? He was still easy on the eyes. He stood almost six feet. She thought the gray now liberally spread through his dark hair and neatly trimmed beard had improved his looks over the years. Working outside so much had given him a permanent tan and years of working in construction kept him lean and fit. Susan had to acknowledge to herself that he was better looking than in the early days. But he wasn’t the man she had married. He seemed to be a pale copy. She still loved the Hal she had married.

Thinking of Hal’s looks drew Susan to the mirror to study her own image. She had recently lost weight getting ready for all the weddings. She was in better shape than she’d been in for years. She didn’t think the gray trying to sneak into her hair improved her looks as it did Hal’s, so she had it professionally colored, a bit lighter than her original brown and with a few red highlights. Her daughters helped her to keep her fashion current. Classy was what she went for. She wasn’t trying to look like an eighteen-year-old. Susan admitted she looked fine for a woman of her age, but she didn’t feel that was going to be enough to keep her marriage intact.

She still wanted love. Romance. Passion. But at fifty-three, would she be able to find it again? Was she going to be alone for the rest of her life? Bitterly, she realized that Hal would have no problem finding some young thing. But how many men were looking for a middle-aged, mother of three and grandmother of one with no remarkable talents to her name? Tears came then, and Susan found herself sobbing for the changes that were coming.

Hal came home early in the afternoon. She didn’t rush to greet him. She stayed in the den on the computer, but she could hear him moving around upstairs and wondered if he was packing to leave. Nearly an hour passed before he came to find her.

“Would you close the computer so we can talk?” he asked.

Susan hesitated, then slowly closed her laptop. Setting it aside, she saw that her hands were trembling and she felt vulnerable with the computer off her lap. The computer had become a security blanket. She turned to face Hal.

He began at once. “Susan, our marriage isn’t working. I think we’ve both known this for a long time. We’re leading separate lives. I’m feeling like we’re both here out of habit and that’s no reason to be married. Have you felt that way too?” Hal felt like he was talking too fast and took a deep breath trying to calm his nerves.

Susan stared at him. “This is your conversation, Hal. I have nothing to say,” she answered coldly.

Hal could feel his heart racing. Dammit! he thought, as he looked at Susan. She looked so cool and composed. He felt like nothing he was going to say would affect her. But he was going to tell her what he was thinking anyway.

Clearing his throat, he began again. “We used to be so good together. I still love you. But I know I haven’t been the husband I should be.” He saw the tiniest flicker of interest in Susan’s face. “I’ve thought a lot about the old days lately. We’ve changed so much that I don’t know if we can get it back. But what I want to know is, are you willing to try?” His heart was still beating fast as he awaited her answer.

“You’re not leaving? I thought you had already made up your mind.”

Hal hoped he was getting this right. He’d thought of little else in the past few months. He’d practiced what he wanted to say, but he didn’t want it to sound rehearsed. Hal not only wanted Susan to listen, he needed her to hear him.

“I admit, I’d thought of just leaving by myself,” he told her. “I don’t want to leave you, but we can’t go on like this. I want to try to get back what we’ve lost, and I believe we can. Are you willing to listen to my ideas and at least think about them? Do you agree our marriage is worth that?”

Hal seemed sincere, but what ideas could he have that would change their reality?

“I… I don’t know,” she answered truthfully.

It wasn’t a ‘no’ and Hal took that as a good sign. “I’ve moved some things into the guest room. Come with me, please.” He held out his hand. Susan hesitated as anger flared again. He wants to work on the marriage by moving into the other bedroom? Perfect.

Hal stood looking at her steadily and repeated, “Please?”

Susan breathed deeply and took his hand. At the guest room, Hal opened the door for her and stood back as she entered the dark room. Stepping in and closing the door behind him, Hal flipped on the light.

Susan gasped and stood stock still. Where? What? How? The bed was covered with items. Many were from their past, but some were obviously brand new. Her eyes couldn’t take it all in at once. Some she remembered vividly. The paddle with the holes in it. The wicked hairbrush. She remembered it often left bruises. His old black belt. She thought it had been thrown away long ago. There were spatulas, wooden spoons, ping-pong paddles, paint stirrers—her ass tingled as her eyes passed over each one. But that wasn’t all that was on the bed. There were restraints, several new plugs and a few items Susan couldn’t even identify.

Strangely, among all these things, her eyes settled on a bar of soap in the center of the bed and her mind flew back to a day when they had been married less than three months. They had been in the yard of the little house they’d rented. She had been so mad. She couldn’t remember what she had been mad about, but she did recall that she had screamed and cussed at Hal for all she was worth. Neighbors sitting out enjoying the cool evening had turned to look as she had pitched her temper tantrum.

Hal had upended her in a fireman’s carry and stalked into the house. He had been nearly as mad as Susan. “What did I say I was going to do the next time you cussed at me like that?” he demanded in an angry voice, as he stood her on her feet.

“You said you’d wash my mouth out with soap, but that ain’t happening you son-of-a-bitch! Let me out of here!” she yelled.

Hal’s muscular frame completely blocked her way out of the kitchen. Mad as she was, he seemed to be calming down.

“What I said was that I would wash your mouth out with soap and then bare your ass and give you the whipping you deserve. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” he told her in a calm matter-of-fact tone. Hal took a clean cloth from the drawer, wet it and rubbed it vigorously over the soap. “Now open your mouth.”

“You are out of your fucking mind, asshole!” She’d snarled, starting to panic. “Get out of my way.”

Hal grabbed her and quickly bent her over the counter. He reached into the drawer for a wooden spoon and began laying into her ass full force.

The pain was intense. Susan screamed at him to stop. He was killing her!

“I’ll stop,” Hal told her over her shouts, “as soon as you’re ready for me to wash your mouth out. I told you cussing at me would lead to this. Did you think I was kidding?”

The assault on her ass was too much to take. “Stop, stop! I’ll open my mouth!”

Hal stopped and laid the spoon down. He re-wet and lathered the cloth again and Susan, her eyes still blazing with anger, opened her mouth. He rubbed the cloth with the vile tasting soap on her tongue, cheek and even the roof of her mouth before he stopped. It was as horrible as she had expected, though it wasn’t as bad as the spoon had been. A minute later, longer by Susan’s count, he let her rinse out her mouth.

Taking her hand, he walked her to the living room and over to the corner. “You stand right here until I’m ready for you to come out. Then you’ll get your whipping.”

“You just whipped me! You can’t do it again!”

“That was for not opening your mouth.”

“I hate you!” She cried. “I’m leaving you!”

“Well, I love you,” was his answer. “But you screaming and cussing at me ain’t how our marriage is gonna be.” Turning her to face the corner, he’d continued to talk. “You stand here and think, and you think hard. Do you really want to leave? You think we’d be better off apart? If you stay, are you gonna let me be the head of the family? We’ve talked about this before. I told you your temper and your mouth would cause you to get your ass busted. But the least little thing gets you mad and you act like a fool. I told you I’d whip your butt if it happened again.”

“I didn’t think you really meant it. I thought you were just mad at me for yelling at you,” Susan had whined.

“I was mad,” he’d told her. “But I meant what I said. You need to learn some self-control. And until you get some, I’m in control and you’re going to do like I say. You got some important decisions to make and you’re going to stand right here in this corner and make them.”

Hal had gone on, “In a little bit, after you’ve done some thinking, you’re going to have to make a choice. You can come out, get your things and leave me, or you can bare your butt and take the whipping you’ve got coming.”

She’d heard Hal sit down in a chair behind her. Her mind had been spinning. She had only said that about leaving him because she was so mad. She loved Hal. He’d treated her so well and he’d really cared about her since they’d started dating. Her parents had let her run wild and she’d been tired of it all. They’d never cared. Hal did. She would never leave him.

Ten minutes later Hal spoke, “Susan, it’s time to decide. What’s it going to be?” Susan hadn’t said a word, she just pulled her pants down and waited…


Susan brought her mind back to the present. That had been so long ago. They had been kids with little education and no money, nothing but a deep love for each other. Now they were middle-aged, they had college degrees, careers; they were affluent; they were parents, grandparents… how could they go back to this?

This lifestyle had come up several times over the years, mostly at Susan’s request. Hal would seem willing enough, but only for a week or two, then it would die out again. Susan had dreamed of it for so many years. It never lasted. Now, the memory brought tears to her eyes and she remembered the love and passion that had followed that night so very many years ago.

Hal touched her shoulder and she turned to him. “Oh, Hal we’re not kids anymore. We stopped this a long time ago.”

“That was my fault. Even when you’d ask for it, I didn’t do it. I let you down when we stopped.” Hal paused, he took Susan’s face in his hands before continuing. “I want you and I want our marriage. Are you willing to give it a try? Will you give me a chance to make it up to you? Will you give me, us, one more chance? Will you at least think about it?”

Susan stared at Hal. How long has it been since we’ve looked into each other’s eyes for more than a second? Could this possibly work? Can we handle all that it implies? She didn’t know, but she knew that whatever she decided could change their lives. Taking a deep breath Susan said quietly, “Hal, this is a big decision. I wish I had somewhere quiet to think.”

Hal understood at once. “I’ve got the perfect place,” he said and led her to the corner.


20 reviews for Returning to Us

  1. Rhonda

    Best DD story I%u2019ve read in a long time!

    I always enjoy PK Corey%u2019s stories and Returning to Us is a wonderful example of her phenomenal story telling skills. There were so many things I loved about the story, including the fact that the main characters were a long married couple working at revitalizing their relationship as they entered a new time of their lives as retirees. Susan and Hal were so believable and their challenges at reconnecting were very realistic. I loved the secondary characters, both revisiting with familiar Corbin Bend residents and meeting new ones. I really hope that PK Corey gives us Megan and Max%u2019s story soon. I%u2019ve been reading the Corbin Bend series since the beginning and while they all can be read as stand alone stories they are all worth reading.
    I received an advance reader copy from the publisher.

  2. Lillie1922

    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.?? All of the Corbin Bend books are great. If you get the chance to go back and read them all, do it. This is the story of Hal and Susan. When you’ve been married a long time, life gets in the way of your relationship sometimes. This story is of a couple finding themselves and who they are in a relationship and going for what will make them both happy.? It’s a rough go, but they go for it.? Spanking romance.?? Hand, spoon, paddle, hairbrush, belt, soaping, plug.

  3. Lillie1922

    I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.?? All of the Corbin Bend books are great. If you get the chance to go back and read them all, do it. This is the story of Hal and Susan. When you’ve been married a long time, life gets in the way of your relationship sometimes. This story is of a couple finding themselves and who they are in a relationship and going for what will make them both happy.? It’s a rough go, but they go for it.? Spanking romance.?? Hand, spoon, paddle, hairbrush, belt, soaping, plug.

  4. pjb

    This was so good. revisiting Corbin’s Bend in this new series is wonderful – just like meeting up with old friends. I loved this story so much. Susan’s needs were not being met by her once alpha husband and so when they both retire they move to Corbin’s Bend but their problems don’t end there. The tale of this couples struggle to get back to where they were once happy in their marriage is intimate and intriguing. I highly recommend this book!

  5. Miss contrite

    This was a very powerful book emotionally I felt sorry for susan because Hal didn’t keep his word, I could feel her frustration. Very well written

  6. Joanie M

    I read this excellently written book in one sitting; I was so drawn into the story. It was about a middle aged couple trying to reestablish the dd lifestyle they once had. It wasn’t an easy journey for them and was very emotional. The author did a great job of exploring the difficulty of the lifestyle from both the submissive and dominant perspectives. Of course, being a Corbin’s Bend book, it incorporated beloved characters from the series as well as the setting and culture of the community. The charm, wit, humor, and dominance I’ve come to expect from these characters added great depth to the plot. Well done!

  7. Redrabbitt

    Meet Hal and Susan, married thirty-five years, three grown children, financially secure, sounds great%u2014but there is trouble in paradise with complacency in their marriage. Just when Susan believes he is going to tell her the marriage is over, he shocks her with a revelation, he wants to return to having a domestic discipline lifestyle, like when they were first married. Susan craves that, and feels incomplete without it, but can they do this? Then Hal informs her he has looked into a community for people who live a HoH-TiH lifestyle called Corbin%u2019s Bend.

    I love when a story involves mature adults, and it is great to be back in Corbin%u2019s Bend. While Hal and Susan%u2019s plan to reenter into a DD lifestyle sounds great, the execution is seriously lacking, and once again, Susan feels let down after the one week of immersion. If she had to ask for or do things to have Hal punish her, why bother%u2014apparently he really doesn%u2019t care%u2014and that is a ticking time-bomb for this couple. When it explodes, the fallout won%u2019t just involve them, but many others.

    The story takes Hal and Susan on a journey of entering a community of like-minded individuals who all live a DD lifestyle. Where spanking is the norm, and disobedience is handled swiftly. Both Hal and Susan are equally responsible for the problems they endure, and when the lid blows, their continued acceptance into the community is placed in jeopardy. Hal isn%u2019t holding Susan accountable or overlooking issues, thinking a quick little talks is enough. That, in turn, has her believing her really doesn%u2019t care and leaving her hurt and confused, but then she isn’t honest with him when he asks her questions, saying everything is fine. Lies by omission, lack of guidelines and consequences, and a break down in communications will possibly break this couple. Will the mentor system in Corbin%u2019s Bend, the threat of a public spanking, or an honest, heartfelt conversation make the difference?

  8. Nancy Hughes

    Hal and Susan move to Corbin’s Bend, a community that. believes in domestic discipline. They have made up their minds, to once again incorporate DD, to save their marriage. Hal is head of household, and delivers many spankings. And I mean many. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

  9. Ajjmb

    Wow! I loved this book. I totally understand how Susan feels and it was hard reading about Hal not taking her seriously. Communication is so important to marriage in general and nobody is a mind reader. I really enjoyed this look into the DD lifestyle and that not everyone just falls into it naturally. I really enjoyed the aspect of the story taking place in Corbin%u2019s Bend too. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book.

  10. JackiK

    I absolutely loved this story set in Corbin’s Bend! It was like coming home to my favorite fantasy town!! The characters in the story were so real to me! I am at that age, empty nester, marriage and the sex sparks still going, but maybe not as strong as they used to be. It seemed like Hal and Susan were maybe even heading for divorce, but they finally talk, and take a big chance by moving across country to Corbin’s Bend. They really seem to be getting back on track until old problems sneak back in!! No spoilers!! It is a great read, and a real reminder about communication!! LOVED IT!

  11. lani

    I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy for an honest review. Finally, another Corbin%u2019s bend book! I love this community and the stories almost never disappoint. This is an interesting story about a couple finding their way back to DD after many years of marriage. It wasn%u2019t my favorite Corbin%u2019s bend book, but was decent. I hope to see more books in the Corbin%u2019s bend series soon!

  12. Marybeth

    Hal and Susan have been together for 35 years and their marriage is faltering. Susan is convinced that Hal is going to ask for a divorce. But instead, Hal wants to get back to their D/d roots and move to Corbin’s Bend. Susan agrees because she wishes wants the marriage they had when younger.

    I’m not enamoured by Hal. He seems very wishy washy for a HOH. But, with help from his mentor, he makes changes that are good for him and Susan. Susan is like many women of my age, wanting to do everything for everyone except herself. Hal teaches her that she must be more open and tell him what she needs.

    There is a HEA and I can’t wait for the next book!

  13. John Lindow

    What can I say. I absolutely love this series about couples living in a spanko heaven called Corbin’s Bend. The characters are a delightful mix. The story is light and fun and oh so very interesting as the ladies and women always seem to find a reason somewhere along the line to get their bottoms spanked. Yet, the book treats the subject of living a domestic discipline or being Takein-In-Hand lifestyle very seriously as it tells what are its fundamental reasons and importance to each couple introduced. And, of course, it shows the overall caring and loving aspect that absolutely MUST be a part of it. I can hardly wait for the next couple to show up to Corbin’s Bend. This is a voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Blushing Books.

  14. Sam

    Susan and Hal have been married for many years and are not at close as they once were. This book tells the story of how they improve their marriage. I loved getting to see a few of my favorite characters form Corbin’s Bend as well. This book was wonderful.

  15. Toni L

    It took me a while to warm up to this story – I didn’t feel that it had that Corbin’s Bend feel to it. However, the more I read the more I enjoyed it. This is a story that builds as it progresses so don’t expect everything to be laid out from the start. I feel that it’s a clever title given that it’s really a story about a married couple returning to how they should be. Given the nature of the characters & what they’re going through it feels very much like a ‘How to Incorporate DD into your relationship’ guide which worked well in this setting. As with all of the Corbin’s Bend books, this is completely standalone but you will get visits from your favourite characters.

  16. Goldie Nut

    Susan and Hal used to practice domestic discipline as a way of life. Now
    after 35 years of marriage they are going to move to a community called
    Corbins Bend in Colorado. They decide to move to Corbins Bend a community
    that lives by domestic discipline and strongly encourages this lifestyle.
    Hal seems to be going to step up this time and take Susan in hand. She wants
    nothing more but once they are moved in it only last a couple of weeks.
    Due to his not stepping up Susan does things that carry a very severe punishment
    for her lack of concern of the rules they agreed to when they moved in. Will
    they finally get back what they lost?

  17. Margaret Corcoran

    This return to Corbin’s Bend is wonderful. I am so glad that this series has been continued. Its very well written with well rounded characters. There are also plenty of fun, spankings and hot spicy sexy scenes. Susan and Hal love eachother but have lost their way. I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy of this book and I highly recommend it. One not to be missed.

  18. Tami

    Hal and Susan are married for quite a long time and Susan thinks now, that the last child left the house their marriage will be over as well. She is surprised when Hal suggests that they move to Corbin’s Bend, but she agrees. And then she learns that her new life will be so much better than she thought it would be.

    I loved Susan and Hal and was more than happy to read a new story of the Corbin’s Bend series. Somehow I can’t get enough and Returning to Us is a story that I will read again very soon. It was fantastic.

  19. Susan Kirkland

    Hal and Susan have been married a long time and now that their last child is out of the house what now? They decide to move to Corbin’s Bend, a spanking community, to see if they can get their lives back on track. Does Hal finally give Susan the spankings she needs or do they divorce? Loved this story.

  20. Etta

    The new series of Corbin’s Bend continues in great style with PK Corey’s Returning to Us. This book follows Vanessa Brooks’ Sub-Divided, where the heroine was a spanko who wasn’t sure if she wanted a Domestic Discipline relationship. In contrast, Susan, the heroine of Returning to Us definitely knows that she wants DD. The problem is, most of the time she isn’t getting it.

    With their children all grown up, Hal and Susan have plenty of time for themselves as a couple. They can enjoy some ‘us’ time except that they’re not really sure what ‘us’ means any more. They enjoyed a DD relationship in the first years of their marriage but life, kids and – most importantly – Hal’s indifference have got in the way of that.

    At the start of the book, Susan believes that Hal is going to end their thirty year marriage. Instead, Hal suggests that they move to Corbin’s Bend – the world’s first and best spanking-based community – so they can find their D/s selves again.

    It’s a make or break move and, god, I really, really wanted then to make it. It isn’t straightforward because marriages are hard and being married for along time doesn’t make it any less so. It just makes it easier to slip into bad habits.

    Susan doesn’t communicate with Hal about her feelings and Hal is way too ready to accept Susan’s curt non-answers as a legitimate response.

    Honestly, Hal. What are you doing? If your wife is saying stuff like “It doesn’t matter. It’s fine,” then it almost certainly does matter and it’s not fine.

    Happily, the couple are in the best place in the world to find their feet. They have great mentors, supportive friends and the opportunity to really make a go of things. It’s heartbreaking to see them get so close to throwing it all away.

    It’s an involving and relatable story. Also, as would expect from a Corbin’s Bend book, it’s frequently hot as hell. PK Corey writes with a great deal of maturity and insight, sensitively tackling the subject of stagnation in a longstanding marriage.

    I read a lot of books that can be described as “Adult”. Lots of them are even “Adult XXX”. PK Corey’s book is more than that. This is a book for grown-ups.

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