It's Monday, so it must be Smart Bitches Day!
Time for a Ranty McRant about Romances, romance, or sex & love.
Emmmm. Kind of don't have one lined up. Except that maybe I'm getting the sense that in Regency Romancelandia, some of the names don't quite work for me. Perhaps it's the Gaelen Foley I just read, but I'm kind of over Lucien, Damien, Gabriel, Adrian, or any other kind-of-sounds-like-an-angel name. I don't have access to 1790s birth records in London, but I'm guessing that Adrian wasn't at the top of the roles there.
I don't have a problem with king names (Richard, John, George), but we don't see too many Henrys, do we? And what about Alfred? Albert? (Andrew and Anthony show up a good deal in Regencies, and that "feels" right to me. Could do with more Geoffreys and Pauls--something other than Robert.) But what about Surnames? Jocelyn is one I've seen, there's the ever-famous Fitzwilliam, of Pride & Prejudice's Mr. Darcy. But I'm not thinking of too many Historicals I've read recently where the hero's given name "feels" like a possible surname--and I'm fairly sure it was a common practice for boys to be named for someone else's last name.
My grandmother grew up in a very New England Victorian family--we had lots of Johns and Roberts, and John Roberts on that side. But there were the names which died out after the 1930s too. Elwyn (Welsh, so maybe not a go for a Regency ball), Lester, and Lynde. Florence, Phebe, and Grace. On my father's side we have John, Thomas, and Douglas all confusingly reordered through the generations. (John Douglas begat Douglas Thomas who begat John Thomas, etc.) But then there's Dandridge as a first name, and the brothers of Nathaniel and Bartholomew. Nat and Bat.
Americans used to tend towards wonky names like Zebulon, Ezekiel, or Barnabus, and I'm not sure I want that in a hero's name (although I did grow up with a very good guy named Zebulon). But there's either something safe about the names Americans choose for British Regency heroes (Michael, Andrew) or something rather bizzare (Lucien, Damien, Wolf).
Two names I like which mean something to the book they're in: Hazel Motes in Flannery O'Connor's Wise Blood and Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. There are layers of meaning (some a little obvious) to their names, but it forever links that character to that book for me. Unlike, say, Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises. It's a strong name, one you can say when you're drunk, a masculine, aggressive, American name. But I don't immediately identify the name with The Sun Also Rises in the same way that I do with, say, Sam Spade, Hazel Motes, or Nick Carraway.
I think that's my problem with Lucien--overused and it doesn't ring out as belonging to one particular book or author.