When I’m considering a new New Adult Contemporary Romance book to add to my collection, the first thing I do is read the blurb. My preference is dual POV, so I look out for that. I want a believable conflict, so I look out for that too. Sometimes, I fancy a gritty read, so I look out for that also. But before I look for those things, I check the names of the characters. What a weird thing to do, right? NO!
If there is one thing that I cannot stand, one thing that makes me growl, one thing that puts me off clicking Buy Now, it’s stupid character names. ARGHHHHH.
(Now remember, I’m talking New Adult Contemporary Romance here, if I’m after a fantasy or such like, names I’ve never heard before are totally okay.)
I want the characters to have believable names. Jason, Ella, Kate, Dylan, Jack, Maia – those are cool, but if the names are something like Phlangewilly Grandypants (okay, terrible example), I’m sorry, but I’m not buying that book. And here’s the why.
I love romance books, I’m a total junkie when it comes to them. They blur the line between fiction and real life, because it makes me feel like somewhere out there, this could happen, has happened, is happening. These people, whose lives have been uber crapola, have found each other and in doing so, have found not only happiness, but the strength to let it go, leave the past in the past.
I love a bit of grit in these stories, a haunting past that’s left scars, a chilling event that’s left the character broken. I want Jason to find his way. I want Ella to fight. I want Kate to exhibit personal development. I want Dylan to trust. I want Jack to move on and I want Maia to slay her demons. I do not want Phlangewilly Grandypants to make an appearance. AT ALL.
But seriously, I know I need to show you some rational reasoning behind this obvious contempt I hold for dodgier-than-a-Santa-stuck-in-a-chimney-in-July names.
I don’t want to be distracted by a butt-weird name. If an outrageous name appears in a book, I will find myself tripping over it every time it’s mentioned, rather than enjoying it as I should be.
And I swear to the stars above, if I ever find a book with a character called Hashtag, I WILL BURN IT WITH FIRE.