What exactly does that title refer to? I’m beginning to think it’s to this book, and its place in my heart.
Here’s what I wrote in a private-group Facebook post almost exactly a month ago:
I woke up this morning wondering if I’d ever have another experience as wonderful as writing my little contemporary. It has been a joy, almost a euphoria, every step of the way.
For eight years I’d worked on and off on this story. It used to be my break book–the one I wrote between other deadlines for the sheer pleasure of writing. And because I can’t judge my own work, when I sent it to my agent, she hated its guts. I liked it so much I had to send to someone else to have it confirmed that my agent was right.
That was probably about five years ago. The manuscript sat idle for a couple of years, then I slowly started to get into it again, rewriting it from scratch, changing everything but the characters’ names and maybe a bit of the hero’s backstory.
Last year I finally got serious about finishing it for publication. The editorial process started in January. Except for a fan I asked to beta read for medical stuff, everyone wanted everything changed! And yet throughout it all, the joy remained constant. No actually, the joy increased day by day.
Usually at this point of the process–two days from submitting it for proofreading–I’m wrung out, physically and emotionally, and only the fear of putting out a bad book keeps me slogging along. But this one, oh this one. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to play games. I don’t want to do anything but immerse myself in it.
Sometimes I think to myself, this book doesn’t have to do anything except earn back the money I spent on cover and editing. And then I’m like, no, it doesn’t even have to do that. If this kind of happiness can be bought, I’d have gladly paid for it.
Sigh. The Chinese say, there’s no feast that lasts forever. But I’m going back to my feast now, while a few crumbs still remain on the table.
Sigh. THE ONE IN MY HEART–which is truly the one in my heart–releases today.
Bestselling historical romance author Sherry Thomas branches out with her first contemporary romance about a chance meeting a lifetime in the making, and an all-consuming affair without a single predictable moment.
When Evangeline Canterbury meets the gorgeous, intriguing doctor next door, despite their instant connection, all she wants from him is a bit of distraction, to help her get over a few rough days.
Her one-night stand, however, has other plans: He needs an accomplished and presentable girlfriend to bring before his parents—and for six months of her time, he is willing and prepared to spend an obscene amount of money.
Nothing but trouble can come of such an arrangement. But can Eva stop herself? Or will she fall headlong in love with a man who will leave her when their contract expires with a smile, a check, and hardly a backward glance?
As usual, there is more to the story than meets the eye at the blurb. You can read an excerpt here. And you can purchase it at Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Google, and Kobo. And yes, there is a print-on-demand version already available.
I hope this book will find a place in your heart too.
27 thoughts on “THE ONE IN MY HEART”
I could not stop reading…a good thing considering I was sick in bed and bored with daytime TV. Loved the tie-ins to Private Arrangements and Not Quite a Husband! I hope you throw out another contemporary in the future.
I hope you are feeling better now. I love it when my books can help readers pass time during convalescence. Thank you for letting me know!
I liked it a lot. There were elements that were slightly cliched (fake-but-convient-girlfriends and the like) but the way you wrote them made me want to see the ending, and I’m really glad I did.
I will wait (im)patiently for your next book!
(fake girlfriend referes to their relationship, not her friends, by the way)
Lol. If it’s not a cliche of some sort, I don’t write it. It’s fun to see what I can do with the same old premise. 🙂 Thanks for giving it a chance and I’m so happy you liked it.
I’m only halfway through. I never devour a book I want to savor, so I only read a chapter or two a day. You’ve got such great poetry and insight imbedded in your writing, so I like taking my time with it. I’m glad you made the leap to contemporaries, and hope to see more from you!
Then the book ought to last you a good week then. 🙂
So thrilled it’s working for you!
Hey I just want to say that I really loved this and found it weirdly allegorical to my relationship with romance novels in general (at arms length and a little bit aloof because I’m afraid that people will see my inner romantic). Your novels continue to defend your spot for “favorite romance writer” in my heart.
I’m just wondering, any plans for possibly writing about Carolyn or some other Asian girl as a protagonist? I know Milan wrote Trade Me this year and I enjoyed My Beautiful Enemy so I shouldn’t be greedy, but I guess whenever I venture out into contemporary romance I realize how starved I am for a character who looks like me, instead of this steady stream of girls with black hair who get to be “just exotic enough.”
Er, wow, that got a little salty. (sorry)
Ha, think of me. I can’t even deny my inner romantic, no matter how much I’d like to, because there are romances with my name on them.
Anyway, so glad you enjoyed TOIMH. I actually had no plans to write any more contemporary romances until–it might have been the day TOIMH became available–I was listening to a podcast and boom, an idea hit like a meteor strike. (I very rarely get ideas so that was an Event.) Unfortunately the idea is better suited to Bennett’s sister than Carolyn.
HOWEVER, my young adult publisher wants to see something contemporary and romance-y and diverse from me. And I kept turning it around and around in my head. I had the characters and I kind of had the setting but I didn’t know what kind of a frame to hang such a story on and the beginning of this week that frame revealed itself. So I am working full steam on the proposal about this half-Chinese girl and this half-Indian boy. The working title is PA Junior–PA standing for Private Arrangements, because it’s a reunion story and because her nickname is The Terminator.
Fingers cross that HarperCollins wants it.
“HOWEVER, my young adult publisher wants to see something contemporary and romance-y and diverse from me.”
I love TOIMH, so this piece of news gave me such a thrill!
I adore your historical romances (and I plan to read your YA too–I’m just waiting for the third one to come out later this year) but I’m a big reader of contemporary romances, so I’m hoping that you will continue to write contemporary romances. YA, NA, etc. I don’t care. I love your contemporary voice.
I am having a lot of fun writing the new YA romance proposal and my agent is also excited about it–since two weeks ago I still had no idea how to pull it together. This week I will get to work on the H/H’s first scene together and I am totally salivating.
And gosh, how thrilling to hear that I have a contemporary voice. (Much gratitude goes to my critique partner, who went through the manuscript with a fine-toothed comb, marking everything that sounded too historical.)
I love all of your books! This new cont. romance actually inspired me to post my first comment, ever. No matter which genre, you write so beautifully, with amazing details and research (like NQH). Your stories balance the love/fear line of romance perfectly. They are smart, funny, sweet and sexy. You have an amazing gift! and I look forward to all your future books (and re-reading older ones, which I often do).
Oops forgot to mention- keep the contemporary romances coming- I can’t wait to read the books for all of Eva’s Material Girls !!
So glad you enjoyed The One In My Heart–and my other books. And thank you for your kind words–they are very, very much appreciated.
I do intend to write more contemporaries, but have some contracted books that I’m working on right now, so it’s just a matter of finding the time.
I enjoyed TOIMH and The Immortal Heights, although that’s not to say the ones before that were less deserving. You are witty and the depth and breadth of your knowledge—the little snippets you throw out casually (“my kingdom for a…”, you’ve got to have read Shakespeare for that, “they come to me as boys…”), and the familiarity with haute cuisine, the ability to capture a character’s speech and behavior as a reflection of their background, e.g. Frances and Rowland Somerset, the spot-on portrayal of Upper East Side society, the wonderful description of the Italian countryside which could only show that you spent significant time there or else are a fantastic sponge of a reader-I guess I could go on and on about your brilliance as shown in your books. You are, for me, the best romance writer around, bar none. While I found the first paragraph of TOIMH almost incomprehensible, after that the book just soared (the amorality of Mrs. Asquith excepted). That you came here at 12 not knowing English and reached this level of mastery of the English language and Brit/American culture in all their varied nuances convinces methat you are a genius—seriously.
Prescott’s story also, please—B seems to have gotten everything, from the portrait, the Tremaine ring, the Patek Philippe watch!
PPS Please hint to us that Leo and stony Bryony (who E seems to resemble) had a child —it’s been deprivation upon deprivation and suffering without letup for Leo before their HEA. At least I would like to think they get taken care of in their old age (unless they spontaneously combusted together). Childless by choice is different from barrenness, and poor Leo excessively suffered from Bryony already to also be deprived of the joy of being a father. While I thought Camden was a bit of a sadist in PA, Leo on the other hand was quite the martyr. Don’t inflict childlessness on him too, please! And could Millie and Fitz be parents, please? No couple could be more perfect parents. All the other stories can stay as is but it’s these 2 books and their HEAs that I was hoping could be extended a little. And oh, I caught the allusion to Delicious in Bennett’s name.
PPPS Ms. Thomas, you love the word “chortle” saying “to not” instead of “not to” and similes: sweetness to rival all the sugar cubes in Cuba, maple syrup of Vermont, etc. Because I have read all your books, I saw the patterns!
TOIMH was one of those books that had dozens of different openings and none worked really well–my favorite is still “It was a dark and stormy night”, seriously, I used it for a long time–and in the end I just threw something in because nothing else was better anyway.
And I had a sticker on my old computer, reminding me to say “not to” instead of “to not”, because sometimes when you start learning a language at 13, you miss bits and pieces and don’t instinctively gravitate to the correct version. And as for chortle, I can only blame Judith Ivory, who introduced me to the word. 🙂
I actually think “not to” and “to not” are fine? I’d use them interchangeably, too. I just observed the pattern, I hope I wasn’t critical! But maybe you can use more verbs other than “chortle?” I have this game when your new romance book comes out: I bet Sherry will use “chortle”. But guess what, you never used it in the YA books! But who am I to quibble, I will NEVER be able to write as gloriously as you do. I am in awe. P.S. I gift my friends with your books. TOIMH has gone to 3 of them!
Reminds me of those romantic movies where the guy gets the girl along with plenty of kisses, some stolen and others given with need.
That’s about it. 🙂
Hi Sherry, just wanted to say (and as cliche as it sounds) that I am SO MADLY IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. So much that I finished reading this in one seating and barely blinked for 4.5 hours. 😉 But at the same time, I was truly heartbroken that it was only in her POV. I would have loved to know Bennett’s thoughts and struggles, especially in that part when the Material Girls asked him those questions. Lol. Really, I just wanted to soak in all his feelings for Eva and I would’ve died a happy and satisfied reader. Do you mind of I ask why the story was written in first person? Would you by any chance, have some scraps written with Bennett’s POV and have tiny, teeny chance of releasing it as a novella of some sort..?
So DELIGHTED you enjoyed TOIMH.
If you want to know a bit more on how I came to write the book, you can go here for some background. But the short answer is, alas, it’s never been in anything but first person. Not a single scrap of anything from Bennett’s POV.
And the reason for that is that Bennett’s the only hero I’ve ever written that I was personally infatuated with and I was just happy to experience him from Eva’s POV. I know, bad author. But there you have it. 🙂
I absolutely love all your books.. I know it’s a long time ago that the book was published, but I just read it recently and TOIMH was the book that had me swoon for the Hero (I have read the book more than 5 times. Can’t get enough of the feeling of love between the h and H). Just a small question.. I can picture Bennett’s physical features… but I couldn’t picture Evangeline’s… did you purposefully made her physical description vague so that the readers can focus more on her emotional aspects? And lastly I would love a sequel for Eva and Ben maybe spice things with an angsty evil OW clutches drama… ? hahaha
Delighted this book worked so well for you. It’s my preciousss so I’m just so chuffed.
You are right in that there is no physical description of Eva at all. In a prior version of the book, her mother was half Native American. But in this version, I’d written her mother in a less flattering light–changed the family background completely in fact. And then I was a little unsure how to cast the mother. So I was a little unsure about Eva’s ethnicity as well. So I just decided to skip it altogether and let readers picture Eva however they liked. (Not knowing, at the time, that if I don’t describe a character as otherwise, s/he is assumed by readers to be white by default.)
I want to bring Eva and Bennett back as secondary characters in someone else’s romance but haven’t had either the time or the story come to me yet.
Thank You Sherry for clarifying that part.. I actually pictured Eva with dark hair and dark eyes much like Gigi or Bryony (which I love too).
I hope you are brewing a little at a time something wonderful like TOIMH again… but all your books are so profound and being a person with English as a second language continues to amaze me! I am also of Asian ethnicity and you have made me very proud!
LOL, if I’m not careful, all my characters will have dark hair and dark eyes. That’s just default for me. 🙂
And thank you very much!
I love ❤️ This One. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read it – at least once a year since it came out. It’s fairy tale full of truth. Thank you for the escape, sparkling dialogue and gasping for air drama. And lunch in Chinatown. I miss Chinatown, the subway & museums. Thank you for all your books. They make me happy and hopeful … and hungry. Many, many thanks for writing.
This makes me so happy. Thank you! I love this story too, it’s as if someone else wrote it for me, but to my exact taste. 🙂