The name game

We’re having a quick discussion about the Dream trilogy on Nora’s Facebook page.  This is probably my most favorite of all the trilogies — I love those women and their friendship and generosity toward each other.

Or it could be that a Laura is the heroine of Finding the Dream.

Once I actually suggested to Nora that it might be simple and elegant to just name all her heroines Laura forever more.

She — rather unsympathetically — told me no.  I’ve slowly accepted that decision over the past decade and have instead enjoyed the variety of names of characters over the years.  My favorites?  Brooks (The Witness) and Cilla (Tribute).  I love Ford as a hero’s name too!

Readers have shared stories about the names they love in Nora’s books.  Some people have named their babies after a beloved character and send lovely photos.

How do you feel about character’s names?  Do you have a favorite?  ~Laura

54 thoughts on “The name game”

  1. I love Mary Alice and Mary Brenna. I plan to name my youngest daughter Alice Brenna, Alice after my sister as well. I love the Dream Trilogy! It has to be my favorite as well. Such rich emotion and characters.

  2. Oh my goodness, yes. And sometimes it has made me love a character more. My current favorites are Kirby (from ‘The Art of Deception’), and Laurel (from ‘Partners’).

  3. A few of them took some getting used to, but they always grew with the character and fit the person. The ones that came immediately to mind are Fiona, Glenna and Rianna – but that last one might have come from an In Death, now that I think of it.

  4. It was interesting to me that heroines in two different books are named Abra. I have never heard of this name, and suddenly it pops up twice! I do like “Mackenzie” and “Parker,” both of which are usually surnames; they suit their namesakes!

  5. I always wondered if Nora has been wronged by someone named Angie or Angela because almost every time you see an Angela in her stories its an ex wife or something … lol. My favorite name has been Declan I love it.

  6. Keeley, that is my favorite name of Nora’s characters. The Dream trilogy was a great read, strong women, and the men that love them, just as they are.

    1. I thought Keeley was a J D Robb character. Are we including them?

        1. I named my beautiful red head after Kelley but spelled it Keelie! I loved those books and characters!

    2. Never mind. I had the wrong author in mind. It was from one of Catherine Coulter’s FBI books

  7. When my friend had a baby girl this year and I heard she named her Willa, I immediately thought of Montana Sky. It is one of my favorites of all time! I have multiple copies of it including electronic, hardback and paperback. I leave one in a cubby in our camper because I know if it’s raining, I can easily enjoy my afternoon by re-reading this gem!

  8. Maybe because I grew up in a household of women (all sisters, no brothers) – and then raised sons and no daughters – I kind of gravitate toward the men in Nora’s books. My favorite “stand alone” is Northern Lights – and I cannot think of a better name for a lost soul in Lunacy, Alaska than Ignatious Burke! Of the trilogies – groupings – it’s hard for me to choose between the McKade Brothers, the Quinn brothers of the Chesapeake bay, or the Circle of 7 buddies – Cal, Gage and Fox. I’m sort of inclined toward the latter. As someone else mentioned, the friendship element is crucial. It’s great when brothers can be friends – but it’s even better when friends can be brothers.

  9. Sometimes I’ll find in Nora books that the hero or heroine has a name that I don’t initially love, but if I grow to love the character that she’s created, then the name will grow on me. And it goes the other way, if there’s a character, usually a secondary or a villian, who’s got a name that I might have liked at one time, then I’ll like the name less as the book goes on. I love the characters of Cameron Quinn and Grayson Thane, but I don’t think I would have picked them as names for my kids (I was well finished with the picking out baby names part of my life when I found Nora’s books). As it is, my son when to school with several boys named Cameron.

  10. I’ve always liked Quinn (I really like the fact that it’s used a both name and surname in NR’s books!), but Cameron ranks pretty high as well. Pretty sure that when the time comes for picking out baby names, I’ll be re-reading to get some inspiration 🙂

  11. I love the names Cameron (Chesapeake Bay series) and Brooks (The Witness). They are on my baby names list lol.

  12. I think the names Owen and Avery work really well together in The Last Boyfriend. Declan and Quinn are my favorite male names, along with Christopher. Wish someone would name a great character Melinda.

    1. I like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. She has a main character named Melinda.

  13. Oh, and I LOVE Ford also. That is my youngest grandson’s name – Ford Robert …

  14. I named my son Aiden, which I got from Jewels of the sun, at the time I had never heard that name anywhere else, and couldn’t even find it in a baby name book, now of course you hear it everywhere.

  15. I’ve always felt the names of the Donovan Legacy were so extremely well chosen – Anastasia is such an elegant, romantic name and suited her perfectly. Morgana is such a strong name – Perfect for her. She was amazing. MEL??? Oh my, spitfire – simple direct but could get a bit romantic for Sebastian with the full name. And Rowan and Liam – well, in case you haven’t guessed, the Donavan Legacy will always be one of my absolute favorites. Even the parents were absolutely wonderful.

  16. Phoebe MacNamara: it probably helps I’m from the South so it just flows off the tongue so beautifully. I also love Siobhan and I’m hoping one day to see and Aoife 🙂

  17. My absolute favorite Nora Roberts book is Honest Illusions. I actually named my son Luke because I loved Luke so much!!! I also love the name Nathaniel from Honest Illusions. I also like the names Caine & Serena from the MacGregors.

  18. Serena (Playing the Odds) is my cousin’s wife’s name so I’m sort of partial to that. I like the name Hope, too. I think the InnBoonsboro trilogy is my favorite since it uses a little bit of history in it.

  19. Fairly certain I will comment more than once… Fair warning!
    I’ve mentioned before that Laurel is my long lost fictional twin, so that definitely makes my top five. Right up there with Laurel is one of the more old school names, Margaret Mary. Aside from the simple fact that I LOVE the Born In trilogy, when her father calls her Maggie Mae, my heart melts! Both Noah & Olivia, from River’s End, join in those faves… That is all. For now 🙂

  20. I like how the names always seem to “fit” the characters. So even though there are similarities between Nate in Montana Sky and Nate in Northern Lights (who are both favorites of mine), they are each individuals who happen to have the same nickname.

    I like the Irish names. And when she gives characters middle names, too, even if it’s just an initial. Phineas T. Hector (High Noon) has more of a ring to it with the T, as an example.

    I also think Nora uses the most wonderfully creative names for the dogs and cats in her various books.

    ~ Kelly

  21. Who didn’t fall in love with Cameron in the Chesapeake series, but personally I loved the name of the little boy, Seth. A perfect fit for when he had his own book.

  22. I am surprised no one yet said Shadrach/Shade from one summer… that was a new one and i completely loved it. I’ve said this before and i’m saying it again.. The Dream Trilogy introduced me to Nora.. so it is my first choicce for absolute faves.. Byron De Witt, I wish you were real!!

  23. I love the romance story but i love the death series expecially Eve Dallas and Roake because they make the series fun and magic and gives you chance to fun out what makes a romaance.

  24. I love Eve Dallas, because not only does it fit the character, but the way they gave her the name. When I first read it I admit I thought it was too “girly” for the character, but then I realized it being short and to the point yet elegant and sweet is perfect.

  25. Nora is a genius at picking names for her characters, as they always seem to fit perfectly. Personally, because I love the stronger, no nonsense type women of her books, I particularly love the names Roz (Garden Trilogy), Mia (Three Sisters Trilogy), Morgana (Donovan Family), etc., I could go on, but you get the drift. Of course, Eve, is a favourite, too, and while that name is soft in sound, Eve Dallas has had to be tough to withstand all the hardships in her earlier life, yet has a soft side that comes out more and more as you get into the series. Thanks Nora, for never disappointing us!!

  26. I actually just finished the dream series and loved it. My favorite series so far by Nora Roberts is the garden trilogy. The name I absolutely loved out of that series was Lilly. I agree with some of you that have said the names she picks for her characters in her books always seem to fit the character perfectly. The names themselves seem to be and even describe part of the character….. For instance; Michael Fury.

    The only problem that I ever have with her trilogies is that they end!

  27. So many names to love, but when I read Laura’s question two popped into my head immediately: Roman DeWinter and Jed Skimmerhorn.

    Then again, what’s life without a Roarke in it?


  28. I have a niece named Avery, so of course it is a good name. I also love Mia, Parker and for some reason I love the name Ripley.

  29. A personal fav of mine is Delia (as in Peabody from the in Death series). Her name fits her perfectly.

  30. I also think the names from the Donovan books couldn’t have been more perfectly chosen. As for my favorite Nora name, since my Grayson is sitting right next to me – it’s not hard to guess! Of course when Nora (and I) used it, it was not as well known as it is now.

    It was a happy surprise when she used my (unusual) name in Whiskey Beach.

  31. Ummm… How could I have forgotten?! I ended up with two boys, so I was not able to name a daughter after Dr. Mira. Charlotte, I absolutely love that name! I fell in love with Eve. With that, anyone who loves Eve is a friend of mine. In many ways, she’s the only woman who has filled the role of mother to Eve. I cherish the love she has for Eve as much as I cherish her name.

  32. And Grayson! Love the name Grayson! It might not have been his birth name, but it really suits him 😉

  33. I love the name Moira (Valley of Silence, Circle Trilogy) and Fiona (The Search). I actually named my basset hound Moira, because I really loved that name and the story as well.

  34. Nora certainly seems to have a rich reservoir of character names. So many to love makes it difficult to name a few favorites. In the Dream Trilogy, I have to go with Laura. I have a few Laura’s in my life who are beautiful souls that I greatly admire. Laura was my favorite, though I have a soft spot for Margo. Others … Darcy Gallagher, Abra Walsh (Whiskey Beach), Quinn Black (Sign of Seven), Tate Beaumont (The Reef) .. are but a few.

    I have to say, though, Nora’s choice of animal names is beyond stellar. I can not begin to list favorite character names without including a few of the pets. Who can forget DA from the Inn Boonsboro trilogy? Or Galahad in the In Death series. Then, there’s Bastard the horse from the Dream Trilogy.

    My hands-down favorite is Lump from Sign of Seven. “Lump leads an active and demanding internal life that requires long periods of rest.” I LOVE this dog! In fact, I have one just like it! Only, I call mine “Lard”.

  35. I love almost all the names! Nora has a real gift for choosing names that perfectly fit the characters. Even though I dislike the name Margo, it’s impossible to imagine that character by any other name.

  36. My favorite name out of all the characters is Cian and my love for it shows as my four year old carries the name now. I had read the Circle Trilogy books before I became pregnant and fell in love with the name as it is pretty uncommon and Irish to boot which is part of my family’s history. When I found out I was pregnant at 6 weeks I told my mother if it was a boy it would be Cian to which, of course, she-and everyone else-said I’d change my mind about. I held fast and Nora met him in 2009 when he was a month old. The best part was an amazing picture of the three of us together and the story behind how she came up with Cian’s name for the trilogy.

    As far as other names, Declan, Hoyt and Grayson are in my top list as well as Brenna and Natasha, but Natasha I’m already programmed to like 😉

  37. When I read Tribute and saw that the main character’s name was Cilla, it reminded me of another Nora Robert’s book that used that first name. The main character in Night Shift was named Cilla O’Roarke. Nora must like the names Cilla and Roarke!

  38. Well, my absolute favorite of her series is the Chesapeake Bay series. I think I have read it at least a dozen times and that’s not counting how many times I have listened on my audio version. Cameron is my favorite…every time I read it I picture Tom Berenger (in his Major League days) in my head. Always thought if they ever made the book into a movie, he would be obvious choice. I also like name Landon from Whiskey Beach and Malcom and Parker from Bride quartet.

  39. Love the Chesapeake series, my favorite. I couldn’t wait to have a son so I could name him Thad. As it turned out, starting with his first grade, there was always . . Thad, Brad and Chad. Drove the teachers Mad !

  40. My favorite series are the Three Sisters Island trilogy, I have read about Nell and Ripley and Mia multiple times, the Dream trilogy is also a favorite as well as In the Garden – I could go on and on. The names are great and give the characters interest.

  41. Obviously a fan I too agree with her never ending list of outstanding names. Driving back now from Florida to New York i thought I’d research good irish male names for our first grandchild due in February. What better place to start? Any suggestions? ? I have a faint recollection of one of her books that listed names, expressions and pronunciation. Can’t think of it now.

    1. I loved this website for finding Irish names for our upcoming baby! They give you the audio pronunciation, as well.I also went though all the Nora Roberts books and made a master list of names, lol. 🙂 What I love my NR books!!

  42. I named my youngest son Gage after the seven trilogy so I guess I have to say it’s my
    Fave:))) now I need a girls name! Any suggestions!?

  43. I used Mary-Brenna Elizabeth for my eldest daughter’s name! She is now 13 and we rarely meet another ? Love the names Nora uses.

  44. My son is named Cian which i found in one of her trilogies i absolutely love which is the circle trilogy! He is 8 years old now.

  45. 3 of my four have names that I found in Nora’s Books Brenna, Ethan, and Beckett. Now that I am expecting baby #5 (ahhhhhh) I am on the search again. So far its Teagan for a girl but not sure about a boy yet…..

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