Last night, I was browsing on Amazon and noticed that Virginia Henley’s forthcoming romance, Notorious, had its description posted. Notorious, set in 14th-century England during the reign of Edward II, features a heroine named Brianna, whose love interest is Wolf Mortimer, son of the Roger Mortimer who’s been mentioned on this blog.
Don’t start Googling, folks. Roger Mortimer did some dreadful things, but naming a son “Wolf” was not one of them.
So what’s with these names? Are romance readers really put off by heroines and heroes with monikers that suit the times they live in? It doesn’t seem so; I trolled through Romance Reviews Today and found that most of the historical romances there had protagonists with reasonably authentic-sounding names (though there were some groaners too).
For what it’s worth for you marketing people out there, un-period names scare me off. Here are a couple of romances set in the nineteenth century that I wouldn’t read on a dare, even though they sound strangely familiar somehow:
Fine-eyed, spirited Raven Bennett disliked proud, arrogant Brayden Darcy, her new neighbor, from the start . . .
Try as he might, brooding, mysterious Blake Rochester could not take his mind off his daughter’s governess, Jade Eyre . . .
Moving on, in the always popular Prove Me Wrong department, my rambles brought me today to a romance novel with a plot that revolves around a nearsighted, glasses-wearing heroine, Love Is Blind by Lynsay Sands. There’s hope for us spec-wearers yet.