Harlequin Mills & Boon Medical Romance Novels, Hot Docs!

A He-Rose by Any Other Name???

What IS in a name? Especially a hero’s name.

Ever thought you’d fall in love with a George? Would you picture someone reliable, slightly dorky, who had his own set of socket wrenches or a daredevillishly handsome cad?

I would pick the former. But then again…Mr Clooney? Who knew a George could be so sigh inducing?

Or a Hugh (Jackman, Bonneville, Grant) or a Bradley (Cooo-aiiiii-carumba-Cooper) or a Benedict. Benedict? Yup. We seem to have collectively swooned at the magnetic pull and dying-to-be-traced cheekbones of ol’ Bennie Boy Cumberbatch.

So this morning – coming up with the name of my new hero (I landed on Dr. Aidan Tate – Boom chica woo woo!) I went through a list of names with my pal and she tried to convince me Howard was a sexy name. I don’t know. I couldn’t bite. Then again – I returned to the George scenario. To me? Not sexy. George Clooney? Knee weakener. Howard? Eww. I still wasn’t there. But then it hit me – the name is less important than the man. Who is this guy? Could I make Howard sexy? Howard Halt.


Howard Wetherly.

Enhhh. Not so much. A but too costume drama.

Howard Stone.

Hmmm. He might be up to something. Howard Stone. Blonde or brunette? Piercing blue eyes or dark as a vat of Ecuadorian chocolate brown? Bolshie Alpha hero or a gentle paediatrician who would really love to settle down with someone who was as passionate about having a family as he was. A Howard Stone who would drop everything to help a mother whose child has been pushed off the top of a slide and a Howard Stone who got the other kid to apologise not by shouting but by getting him to realise the error of his own ways through humour. A Howard Stone who makes a ‘famous’ lasagna and laughs at your jokes. All of ’em. And has one of those Kirk Douglas dents in his chin that keeps teasing you to trace a finger along it.

Okay. I could probably like a Howard.

And a Will, a Tim, a Jack(!!!), a Finn and a Sam. I clearly like my solid, non-wavering, monosyllables. As long as the man who comes with them likes to talk. Okay – the floor is open: what are some of your favourite names and why?

PS – my latest hero to hit the shelves will be Jack Keller – fireman and chocolate milkshake lover. If you read The Surgeon’s Christmas Wish and want to find out what happened to Liesel….this is her story!

Hubba hubba Wah Wah!
Hubba hubba Wah Wah!

28 thoughts on “A He-Rose by Any Other Name???”

  1. Annie,
    Thanks for putting a smile on my face so early in the morning. I don’t worry over names too much but like you some just don’t seem to work. I keep copies of graduation programs, wedding programs and make a list of names I like when I hear them so that I can come up with a solid male name. The wrong ones are easy to cross off. The old Johnny Cash song came to mind–“Boy Named Sue.” That would never happen for my hero!

  2. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Wow! I thought this was going to be a dull Monday and this popped up when I went to wordpress.com.
    Lawdy! My Monday is much better today.

  3. You are so funny and entertaining, you should be a writer! 🙂 Anyhoo, I remember the first time I saw the name Benedict Cumberbatch in movie credits. It was in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and honestly he hadn’t stood out to me in that movie, but his name sure did! Wow, I thought, that person must be 80 or something. Then I saw Sherlock and life suddenly came clear. Ben was special, oh so special.
    Arnold is a particularly unsexy name. However,I LOVE the name Jack. Strength and honor in a single syllable. Love your cover, too.

    1. Thanks Lynne! You’re the tops. Arnold is not remotely sexy. That’s the name of one of my pal’s schnauzers. Jack. Yum Yum. Jack’s can surely all chop wood and know just when a to buy a gal a box of chocolates, right?

  4. LOL! Too funny.

    I have a hero named George. I wasn’t sure, but when he walked into my head as a minor character in my debut he said his name was George.

    Aidan is a great name, sadly it does nothing for me as I have a son named Aidan. James is off limits for me too. 😉

    It’s hard coming up with names! Especially lately for me. I have to keep a list.

  5. I have issues with names, and I’m afraid I would need powerful motivation to go for a Howard… not that it couldn’t happen, but ever since that movie that ended with ‘the Duck’ I find it … cringey.

    Aidan I love! I knew a hot Aiden 🙂 I also seem to like male names that end with an -on/-en/-an. And the last two books? My heroines’ names end in -lyn. Kimberlyn. Adalyn. I think I might need to modify Adalyn… people are going to be all…RUT GIRL IS STUCK IN A RUT.

    Have to agree that the cover looks like toe-curling good fun. The sexy mussed hair, the three-day I’ve-Been-Saving-Lives-And-Didn’t-Have-Time-To-Shave scruff gets me every time!

    1. Yup – the fireman done good. Three cheers for the Mills & Boon cover department on that one! My girl’s names tend to have to be girls I think I can get along with. There will never be a Jilly. Ever. Just saying. (Apologies to all Jillys out there – I’m sure you’re all lovely – except for one of you – just one.)

  6. I’m quite partial to the name George, too. A very good friend is married to a George (who is an outstandingly lovely person) and I have uncles and a cousin called George, so I guess I’ve been habituated to the name over the years. But then I might not be the best person to ask – I’m all for a man who owns his own set of socket wrenches 🙂 (Although the devilishly handsome bit is good too…)

    I’m not sure I could really come to terms with a hero called Howard. Or Bernard. But then I wasn’t too sure about Edward until I was asked to write an Edward. As soon as I had a face to go with the name I turned into an Edwardophile.

    1. I had a cow named Edward and he was LOVELY. Edwards remind me of costume drama and a nice boy I once knew called Ed who my friend Laurie ‘accidentally’ fell on top of in high school and she was a cheerleader and I wasn’t and so ended my nice friendship with a boy named Ed.

      PS – Socket wrench operators can be deeply foxy. A guy who can fix stuff? Likey likey.

  7. LOL! You are so funny! I think I could be convinced any name is sexy and heroic if I get a decent description of his character and (ahem) attributes. When I need to find a character name I use scrivener- it generates as many names as you could possibly want and usually something stands out. I’m not overly fussed about George (and since Mr Clooney chose a whole other woman to marry instead of me we haven’t been on speaking terms), and even though I love Benedict I’m not sure I would name a character after him. I tend to go for short strong names like Jack, Jake etc… maybe it’s time for a change?!

    1. Louisa – it was very rude of George to marry someone else – but maybe since you already have his surname as his name he thought you were taken on the George front. Although – I know a gal named Paige who married a fellow whose surname is Page. That should be fun when booking things on the telephone!

  8. Annie, I needed this laugh, thank you! All I know is that to write my hero the name has to be “Right”. I have struggled through half a book only to change the name of the hero and find things improve! However, I am running out of names. I must as Caroline Anderson and Kate Hardy how after so many books they still find names to use! Or is there some recycling going on? 😉

  9. Annie, I love it!! I would NEVER have thought Benedict was a sexy name until Sherlock. Still not sure I could write one. I tend toward one syllable names as well (and names with a hard “c” or “k” REALLY appeal to me for some reason), but I’m definitely going to run out at some point. Strangely, I find it harder to figure out my heroes’ names than my heroines…have no idea why.

    1. I could definitely write a Ben – but not a Benedict. Couldn’t do a Rick. Reminds me too much of Rick Springfield and just how deeply he wanted Jesse’s girl. Jesse sounds like a scoundrel. I think the heroes can be hard to figure out because you have to fancy them. A gal I know just met a doctor named Matthew Davenport. I find it very difficult to believe he is not fictional. Although I have seen pictorial evidence that he is real.

  10. Thanks for the laugh to start my day, Annie! The name thing can indeed be tough, both when you’re deciding on character names and your children’s names (though the latter is definitely a little more important and long lasting!) 🙂 I’m married to a George. And while he does own socket wrenches, I can’t say he’s particularly skilled with them! My youngest son is George as well, though if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t go there – too confusing! No one ever knows which one I’m talking about, not to mention that it’s not a ‘cool’ name. But that plays right into your point, doesn’t it? My son is cute and funny and has lots of friends, so maybe he’s turning ‘George’ into a cooler name at his school after all!

    The reason my hubby and I went with the name George was because we simply couldn’t agree on anything else. He didn’t care for my name choices, but loved the name Elijah. Elijah?? I couldn’t wrap my brain around that one. So maybe that means I should challenge myself to an ‘Eli’ as my next hero! Hmmm….I just might consider it!

    1. Ooooo – Eli. I could do an Eli! I mean, not literally ‘do’ an Eli – but hubba bubba. I could definitely go there. Mine would have dark hair, be that kind of lean that makes them only a little irritating because they can eat everything and not get fat – but not so lean that they’re wiry…but he might wear wire-rimmed glasses. Not that your name has set me off on one! Go Robin, go!

  11. Lovely post! I think nearly any name can be romantic/hero-like if the hero is dashing! I’m useless with names (although I’ve only named pets so far) – we’ve had Budgie and now we have Monty Python 🙂
    I do like a hero who likes chocolate milkshakes, especially if he likes preparing them for would-be heroines 🙂

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