What’s in a name? Forget what Romeo told Juliet. A rose by any other name might still smell as sweet, but who wants to name their heroine Rosaceae? If names didn’t matter, romance writers wouldn’t spend countless hours trolling Nameberry. We’d name all our heroines Jane, all our heroes John, and call it good.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the classic names, but heroines come in every size, shape, texture and color, and their names should reflect their characters. Take Iris, Violet and Hyacinth Somerset. For three blue-eyed heroines cursed with whimsical parents, the playful blue flower names work. If you’re looking for a quirky name, the garden is a great inspiration!
- It flows off the tongue, doesn’t it? Smooth and sweet as honey, the name Camellia makes you think of cold lemonade and sultry southern nights. Camellia is a demure, ladylike heroine until she gets a few mojitos in her, then a hidden wild side emerges. Her hero is a charming southern gentleman with a slow drawl who calls her Cam, and knows his way around a strapless sundress.
- The edgier, more dramatic version of Daisy. Replace the cut-off jean shorts with leather and spiked heels, and you’ve got Daisy with a sexy twist. Yes, I know your neighbor has a golden retriever named Dahlia, but that’s because it’s got good mouth feel. Who doesn’t want a heroine whose name is fun to say?
- Tall, sophisticated, and curvy, callas are the sexiest member of the lily family. This is the cool, restrained, intellectual heroine (she’s a librarian, maybe, or a physics professor), and her hero is a motorcycle-riding bad boy who’s turned on by brainy women.
- Is it an herb, a plant, a flower? Yes, yes, and yes. How’s that for versatility? Rue might not be the first flower you notice in the garden, but like her medicinal namesake, she’s a total badass. Rue is the best friend heroine turned love interest. She gets a rugged, outdoorsy hero who stages a seduction in his tent while they’re on a camping trip.
- Be careful with this one, because not every heroine can pull off this name. Lotus is a ninja heroine in a sexy mystery/romantic suspense novel. She’s mysterious, spiritual, exotic, and a touch deadly. Her hero is a hard-bitten undercover cop who’s a champion MMA/cage fighter on the side. (PS: romance needs more ninja heroines!).
- Ivy’s a climber, an evergreen, and a survivor. She’s a green-eyed, long-limbed heroine who doesn’t flirt with your man, doesn’t talk smack about you behind your back, and holds back your hair when you’ve had one too many apple martinis. Her hero is the tall, dark and silent type with a tragic past who’s sworn off love forever until Ivy entwines herself around his heart.
- A little wild, a little crazy, a little witchy and a lot wise, Hazel’s an impulsive, creative heroine. She’s a writer or a musician, or maybe a painter. Her hero is brilliant beta, a computer programmer who’s wary of chaotic women, but Hazel, who digs guys with glasses, sweeps him off his feet.
- No, not Britney—that’s so 90s! Bryony is a younger heroine (Bryony literally means “to sprout”), and like the wild climbing vine she takes her name from, she’s got endless energy and spirit. Blonde and perky, Bryony has a 150 IQ and speaks six languages. Her hero is a football legend turned coach who quickly learns the error of his ways when he mistakes brainy Bryony for a bleached blonde cheerleader.
So, what’s in a name? Plenty. Sorry, Shakespeare. I agree with you on most things, but when it comes to sweet-smelling roses, sassy dahlia, or witchy Hazel, the name says it all.
A beautiful debutante in Regency London seems destined to make a good match. But the Somerset sisters have made courtship and matrimony a deliciously scandalous affair…
Hyacinth Somerset’s debut is the most anticipated event of the season, as it will be the reclusive young lady’s first public appearance. But within moments of being asked to dance by a dashing stranger, Hyacinth calls him a murderer, then faints dead away! Now all the ton is a aflutter over Hyacinth’s baffling shun of their most intriguing newcomer—the wildly handsome Lachlan Ramsey…
Recently arrived from Scotland, Lachlan only wishes to claim his place in society to secure his sister’s future. When that is threatened by the accusations of a hapless slip of a girl, he will do anything protect his family. Yet it appears Hyacinth has only damaged her own hopes, inspiring the label of hysteric—and ultimately inspiring Lachlan to shelter her from harm. Now if only there were a defense for the surge of feeling he has every time Hyacinth turns her gaze his way. If only there were a way to make her his—while keeping the true secret in his past from destroying everything—and everyone—he cares about…