Top Ten Favorite Character Names That Always Grab My Attention

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday

This week, the topic is “Top Ten Things That Make Me Instantly Want to Read the Book” but I have a similar post coming up, so I decided to switch it up a book. Last week I talked about some unique character names I’ve seen in books. So today I thought I would talk about some of my favorite names for characters that make me want to read the book solely based on the name of the character. Again I’m focusing on romance, because it’s my favorite! 🙂

In no particular order . . .

Quinn
Sooo, my name is Quinn. And when I was younger it was super uncommon. Not that it is common now, but it’s a bit more popular (thanks Glee, Daria and Scandal), so I see it more in novels. Whenever a character it named Quinn, I instantly have to look more into that book. What’s funny is that often a man is named Quinn (because it’s a gender neutral name), which can actually be a bit confusing for me. Here are some examples: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid (male Quinn), Best Worst Mistake by Lia Riley (female Quinn), Sworn to Protect by Katie Reus (male Quinn)

Emma
I just love this name. It’s so pretty. Examples: Emma by Jane Austen, Splendid by Julia Quinn.

romancing mister bridgerton julia quinn

Penelope
Honestly, my love for this name comes solely from my love of Penelope Featherington from Romancing Mister Bridgerton. No one has ever quite lived up to Penelope, though.

Rosalie/Rose/Rosa
Rosalie is one of my all time favorite girl names. If I ever have a daughter, she will probably be names Rosalie. I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a book with the heroine named this, but if I came across one, I would be all over that! But I have read books with similar character names like Now That I’ve Found You by Bella Andre (Rosa), Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan (Rose)

Elizabeth
Hello Elizabeth Bennet! You have made me love this name forever. Examples: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn

Harry/Henry
I love both these names so much! Examples: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn (Harry), And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle (Henry)

Gabriel/Gabe
One of my all time favorite names. It’s a contender for a possible baby boy name for me. Examples: Rock Hard by Nalini Singh, Saving Grace by Julie Garwood, Taking the Heat by Victoria Dahl

James
This is also a major contendor for baby boy names for my future children. I just don’t love the nickname Jim o Jimmy. Examples: Dearest Rogue, How to Marry a Marquis by Julia Quinn, Present Danger by Susan Andersen

Belle/Annabelle/Isabelle/Arabella
I know these names are very popular, but I love them anyway. They are so feminine, and so pretty sounding. Examples:
Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn, Dancing at Midnight by Julia Quinn, Mad About the Major by Elizabeth Boyle, Danger Next Door by Katie Reus, Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Daphne
I love this name so much that I actually named one of my dogs it. Examples: The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle.

Jack/John 
It’s such a masculine, no nonsense name. Perfect for a hero, in my opinion, although my mother always says it makes her think of the toilet. Examples: Always on My Mind by Jill Shalvis, Something About You by Julie James, Dancing at Midnight by Julia Quinn

Sebastian
There is something pretty swoony about this name, right? Examples: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas, Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn

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What are some of your favorite character names?

11 Responses to “Top Ten Favorite Character Names That Always Grab My Attention”

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    Great spin! When I was in college and just starting to read romance I went through reading sprees based on the name of the guy I was dating at the time. I discovered a lot of really bad books but some great ones too. I always like women with surname like first names (like Quinn, Parker, and a few others) it just automatically makes them seem interesting and likable. Other than that I always like the name Lucy for some reason and I love a Sebastian – probably because of Devil in Winter!

  2. Sophia Rose

    Yes, sometimes it only takes a name to make a book more inviting. I’m always on the lookout for Sophia of course. There are some villainess Sophia’s so I have to be careful what I wish for. I love old names so your Henry, James, and Johns, Emma, Sarah, Anne etc work for me, too. I do like Phillip and Phillipa, Esmerelda, Emilio, Sean, Bridget, Crispin, Dominic, Tess, and even Hilda (but that might be because I had a most beloved grandmother type neighbor with that name when I was a kid). I’m actually not real picky about names even old oddities like Ermingarde or something, but I do hate those obvious made-up ones or just plain pretentious ones.

  3. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    My favorite Harry is the (female) main character in Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword. (It’s short for Angharad.) I don’t know that I look for specific names when I choose what to read, but names can really enhance or detract from a character. There are names I have a hard time relating to because I associate them with unpleasant memories, and names I love for no apparent reason (like Kit — male or female, I’ve always loved that name.)

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I’ve never read The Blue Sword but it’s on my list! I loved her Beauty. I can’t say I don’t read a book because of a character name, but some names I love so much I’m more likely to read that book.

  4. Joann B Downie

    I loved this post!! First, I used to have a blog and I had a challenge for your name being either in the book or in the name of the author, but it didnt take off too well-what with all the other challenges!! 2. I loved and won a copy of Because of Miss Bridgerton-which is the only one I have read in that series!!James is my ex-hubby’s name, Rosalie is a very pretty name, and I always associated Belle with Beauty and the Beast!!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      That is a fun challenge! A few years ago it would have been really difficult for me, but Quinn is popping up in books more often now. I originally started reading Julia Quinn because her last name was my first name (and that’s not even her real last name!). It was a good discovery though. You HAVE to read the Bridgerton series, though. If you liked Because of Miss Bridgerton, anyways. That one is a prequel to the original Bridgerton series.

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