Home of authors Holly Hunt & Jophrael L. Avario

Ruin of the Rogue – Promo

What’s in a Name?Ruin of Rogue

Miranda Neville

Many years ago, when I wrote my first historical romance, the hero’s name was Marcus. As I sent the book out on submission, it seemed that every book I read that year had a hero named Marcus. Mine never found a publisher (I don’t think it was because of the name!) and I finally sold a different book, hero name Anthony. Since then I’ve had Cain (nickname for John), Sebastian, Tarquin, Blake (nickname for Arthur), and Thomas. Also Max and Christian in novellas. “On deck,” (i.e. planned but not finished) I have a Damian and a Julian.

But I love the name Marcus and it was good to waste on an unpublished hero. So today Marcus Mark II hits the book stores In THE RUIN OF A ROGUE.

Charm, wit, and nerves of steel have helped Marcus Lithgow gamble his way across the Continent. But when his heart is at stake, all bets are off for this most perfect of rogues…

Anne Brotherton is tired of being an heiress. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind heart rather than her impressive dowry? When she meets Marcus Lithgow she thinks she’s found the right man, until she learns he’s nothing but an unscrupulous fortune hunter.

She nearly falls for Marcus’s smooth seduction. But when Anne realizes she’s being strung along, a lust for revenge empowers her like never before. Two can play at the game of deception. The game of love, however, has its own rules…

Naming is important. I’ve sometimes changed a name half way through the book because the one I chose no longer fits the character. The given name also has to be appropriate to the historical period and the background of the character. Writing books in early 19th century England, I have a relatively limited number of first names to choose from. If we writers of historical romance were to be realistic, half our heroes would be named George. With the new baby prince, George may be back in fashion, but I don’t think it’s going to replace the Sebastians, Luciens, and Gabriels that currently inhabit the genre.

Why do certain names seem to travel in packs? The writers don’t all get together and say “psst, this year all our guys are going to called Colin.” It must be something in the air, or the water, or the collective unconscious. Why else would several writers of historical romance (including me) have heroines named Minerva last year? It’s not like it’s a common name.

Anne, on the other hand, is a common name – in real life. But it doesn’t come up very often in romantic fiction, perhaps because it is so ordinary. The heroine of The Ruin of a Rogue was originally planned to be Claudia. But another rule of character names is not to have too many beginning with the same letter. I had a Caroline and a Cynthia in the same series so Claudia had to go. Anne really suits the character. Here’s how Marcus sees her: “Even in a cheap gown of a dull green cotton, she looked unmistakably a lady and an aristocrat. Perhaps it was because her tall smooth forehead, defined cheekbones and straight nose beneath flawless glossy braids wound around her head made him think of a portrait of a Tudor queen. Apparently centuries of breeding and privilege left their mark.” Anne Brotherton is a woman so established in her own privilege that she doesn’t need a fancy name.

What names do you see often in your reading. Does it bother you when first names are repeated by many writers. Are there any you particularly love – or hate?


MARCUS LITHGOW is the wastrel son of a worthless father. Only his well born mother gave him any pretense of respectability and this he squandered with his hellraising antics. Now, with an unexpected title and the mantle of responsibility nearly choking him, Marcus returns to England–titled, destitute, and in need of a wife.

Anne Brotherton is sick of running into fortune hunters wherever she turns, and is not about to fall for so obvious a one as Marcus Lithgow. Howeve,r it doesn’t mean he can’t be useful to her. Association with him will bring scandal down upon her head, and certainly chase of the boringly respectable men her guardians wish her to wed. As long as she keeps her heart to herself, what’s the harm in a bit of fun?

But Anne didn’t count how seductive Marcus’s world–and the man himself–could be. As for Marcus, what started as a means to an end is now the only possible option…because the one thing this gambler can’t afford to lose is his heart.

Buy Links:

Amazon B&N Indie Bound iTunes BAM

Follow the Tour

Author Info

Miranda Neville grew up in England before moving to New York City to work in Sotheby’s rare books department. After many years as a journalist and editor she decided writing fiction was more fun. She lives in Vermont.




Rafflecopter Giveaway (TWO Backlist Paperbacks from Miranda, Winner’s Choice)


“Did he ever kiss you?”

“No.” The answer was more a breath than a word. Her eyes grew large and lovely and her lips parted, just enough to emit a breath. Gently he cupped her cheek. He lowered his head and brought his mouth to hers. He found her as pliant yet firm as he’d suspected, and every bit as sweet. In her inexperienced way she kissed him back. It wasn’t much of a kiss, little more than a mingling of breath, and he wanted more. His fingers found the wild pulse at her temple, threaded into the hair she wore firmly coiled about her head. Closing his eyes, he let her scent and taste and the texture of her lips wash over him. She felt clean and pure. He wanted to pull her into his arms, to discover the body hidden by ill-fitting layers of wool, and most of all to kiss her properly, until she was gasping and crying out for more.

Her untouched enthusiasm touched him, and shamed him too. A man like Marcus Lithgow had no business with this artless girl.

Too bad. He needed her and he couldn’t afford scruples.


August 27, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments