What’s in a Name? Favorite Romance Novel Character Names.

In the comment section of the review of “Passion’s Treasure/Just Say Yes” by Betina Krahn that I reviewed, our colleague Mary Ann Landers asked about the name of the heroine of the book, Treasure Barrett. That query got me thinking about romance novel names: do I have favorite ones? I certainly do!

Some of my favorite romance novel names:

Amethyst (Durango):

Book: Bandit’s Embrace by Georgina Gentry. (March 1989)

This character was named after her beautiful purple eye color. When I read this book, it got me thinking about other “precious gem” names for females, such as Diamond, Emerald, Peridot, and Sapphire.

Audrina (Harris):

Book: Dakota Flame by Sonya T. Pelton. (July 1989).

I loved this name when I first saw it. The name Audrina is a contraction of her first and middle names, Audrey Tina. 

Breanna (Kenton) Remington

Book: Dakota Dreams by Constance O’Banyon (June 1991).

Breanna is not the most unusual name, but it is one of my favorites. I also loved Breanna Kenton Remington.

Cynara (Williams)

Book: The Devil’s Price by Carole Mortimer (January 1986)

This may be my all-time favorite romance novel name. It is so unusual. It’s a Greek name meaning “thistly plant”. If I had a daughter, I would name her Cynara.

Although these books weren’t published during the time we focus on here at Sweet Savage Flame, I want to mention another series of books with great heroine names. That is Heather Heyford’s “Napa Wine Heiresses” series. All of the heroines in the series are named after…wines. The titles of the books all contain the heroine’s names:

A Taste of Chardonnay

A Taste of Merlot

A Taste of Sauvignon

A Taste of Sake

Do you have any favorite romance novel names (heroines, heroes or supporting characters)?

Why Do I Read Romance?

In a recent post, Jacqueline asked “The Hero, the Heroine, or the Love Story?”, querying about what people read romance novels for. I answered in the comments section, but I also felt like I wanted to elaborate a bit more. Hence, this post. 

I read romance novels for all the reasons Jacqueline stated, plus these other reasons:

  • I read to escape the world. I work in human services, working with people with extensive trauma histories and helping them find their way back to more solid ground. It’s a very emotional job and I need to find a counterbalance to that. Reading is that counterbalance.
  • I read for entertainment. Reading, for me, has always been an enjoyable pastime, and it remains one to this day. 
  • I read to learn. People who scoff at romance novels say you can’t learn anything from them. I strongly disagree. I have learned many things from romance novels; I have learned how to be a better, kinder, smarter person from reading these books. I’ve also learned what NOT to do, thanks to the many crappy heroes in the books I’ve read. Thanks, guys. 
  • I read to experience new things. I’ve not traveled much in my life, due in part to many things, one of which is a fear of heights. In books, I’ve traveled from Abilene to Zimbabwe and every place in between. 
  • I believe in love. I’m not a believer in Happily Ever After, but I do strongly believe that loving someone and being loved in return is one of the greatest things a person can have in the world. 

What are the reasons you read romance novels?

My Romance Novel Journey

By Blue Falcon

Recently, Jacqueline asked why people read romance novels. I’ll answer that question in another post, but I wanted to use this one to explain how I became a romance novel aficionado.

How it All Began

My romance novel journey began in 1980. My late mother had a small collection of books and I picked one up and started reading it. (I don’t recall the name or author of the book, but it was a Harlequin Romance about two figure skaters whose previous partners dumped them. The hero and heroine then teamed up, and fell in love. Little did I know what that first book started.

Expanding the Circle

As the 1980’s went on, my reading choices expanded, from Harlequin Romance to Harlequin Presents, Superromance and Temptation, as well as Richard Gallen contemporary romances and Zebra/Kensington historical romances.

First Changes

As the 90’s came and went, I turned away from historical romances and went all in on Harlequin and it’s sister imprint, Silhouette, books. (The clerks at B. Dalton, a sadly defunct bookstore chain, began to know me by name as every month, I would go in and purchase two baskets full of books).

Turn of the Century

As the new millennium began, so began a new series, Harlequin Blaze, which I immediately jumped on when the series was introduced in August 2001.

Second Changes, a Hiatus, and the Return to Reading

Life circumstances stopped my reading for several years, then in 2012, I decided to come back to reading. There was only one problem: I didn’t remember most of the books I read in the past, nor did I know what was hot at that time. (I’m neither a trendsetter or follower). I did remember one book, First Love, Wild Love, by Janelle Taylor, that I read in the past. So, I purchased that book. Then, the floodgates opened.

Since 2012, I’ve obtained more than 10, 000 books. (The term “obtained” refers to books I’ve bought, won in contests, and gotten for free). 90% of those are ebooks. I am also trying to add to my collection by repurchasing books I previously owned back in the day.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. What’s your romance novel journey?