What’s in a Strong, Sexy, Male Name?

What’s in a Strong, Sexy, Male Name?

Hello everyone! It’s fun to be here at Romance Junkies to visit with you today.  I’m Elizabeth Amber, author of an erotic historical paranormal romance series for Kensington Aphrodisia called The Lords of Satyr. The 4th book in the series, Dominic, releases in a few days.

Okay, let’s get right to it. I need a name—a strong, sexy, male name. And I’m hoping you can help. You’ve likely already had experience choosing names in your life, perhaps for your baby, pet, doll, car, or maybe a FaceBook page. When making those choices, you considered your own preferences.  When naming the heroes in The Lords of Satyr series, I do to. But I also consider what that name says to readers, especially since the name of each hero is also the title of each novel: Nicholas, Raine, Lyon, and Dominic.

I chose the first three of those names, and they sailed through the Kensington editorial and marketing departments without difficulty. The original name I suggested for book 4 didn’t fly, so I wrote a short list of suggestions, and we all liked Dominic.

This week, I signed off on contracts to write two more novels in the series.  Yay! These will tell the tales of two full-blood satyr brothers, who fled the ElseWorld wars as young men and entered EarthWorld, where they fought to revive two thousand year old olive groves of the ancient satyr in Tuscany, Italy. They’re alphas who’ve been wounded emotionally in different ways in their youth, but they’ve matured into strong, sexy males. So I need to name them accordingly. The name of one brother has been decided—Dane (book 5, coming in 2010).

Here’s my current short list of names for his brother (book 6, also 2010): Quinn, Seth, Sebastian, Bastian, Rafael, Pierce.

I have a theory that strong consonants make strong male names, as in the “K” sound in Dominic and Nicholas. I also think long vowels sound strong, as in the “A” sound in Raine and Dane. But since I’m already using those names, I’d like to stay away from the long “A”, so no Jason or Jacob; and I’d like to stay away from the “nic” sound since I’ve already used it in Nicholas and Dominic.

This is where you come in, and where you get a chance to win an autographed copy of my new March release, Dominic, The Lords of Satyr.  Just leave a comment here indicating which of the names on my list above are your first and second favorites. Please also offer a third suggestion of your own that’s not on my list if you have any favs of your own.  Romance Junkies will randomly select a winner on Sunday, March 1st, so you have over a week to post. I’m looking forward to hearing all of your thoughts and suggestions! (Don’t forget to check back on March 1st to see if you’ve won.)

Thank you so much to Romance Junkies for having me here. Hugs to all.

~ Elizabeth



Chapter 1

Temple of Bacchus
ElseWorld, 1837

“Her name is Emma.”

The Facilitator’s voice echoed off the ancient stone walls, lending his words authority as he directed Dominic’s attention to the large, mirrored disk positioned prominently in the middle of the temple’s bloodied floor.

The image of a woman, who existed somewhere in a neighboring world, was reflected on the disk’s surface like a living portrait. Her countenance was serene, oblivious. For she was unaware she was being watched.

Carved from polished obsidian as black and impenetrable as the night, the six-foot mirror was encircled by nine more disks of lesser circumference. Each was convex and had been shaped from a disparate exotic stone intended to represent one of the lunar phases. All were set at an angle meant to capture the moonlight streaming in through an aperture in the roof and to direct it toward the central mirror where the woman was on view.

“You expect me to rape her,” Dominic stated, his voice flat.

The woman’s hand moved, and a page flipped. She was reading.

“We expect you to do what is necessary. As always,” the Facilitator replied, speaking for himself as well as the two silent Acolytes, who flanked him.

At first glance, the woman appeared to be plain, unremarkable in every way. Dominic judged her to be a quarter of a century old like himself, perhaps a little older. Except for the occasional movement of her hand, she was utterly still. Her head was bent intently over a tome entitled The Fruits of Philosophy, which lay before her upon a polished desk.

She wore spectacles, and her profile was half turned from him, so that the shape of her delicate cheek was limned by flickering candlelight. Tendrils of ash brown hair curled along a vulnerable nape.

The garment she wore was stiff and lengthy, and it almost completely hid her body from view. He’d heard that EarthWorld females sheathed themselves in swaths of fabric impermeable to the masculine eye, but until now had believed this to be only a rumor. Her breasts were full and her figure shapely. Why did she hide it?

“You’ll bow to Our Will in this matter?” prompted the Facilitator.

Dominic grunted a grudging assent. His hard, quicksilver gaze flicked over the woman again. He’d been required to do worse in his life. And he had little choice.

From the corridor behind them came the swishing sound of the votaries’ brooms. Solemnly, they swept the sacred remnants of what had been a colossal statue of Bacchus into vessels that would later be placed in reliquaries.

Rage simmered in him. This hallowed sanctum—his home—had been brutally attacked. And to think that just hours ago he’d been out fighting the very beings, who had taken advantage of his absence to defile it!

He resided here, alone for the most part, sleeping in an alcove with few creature comforts. Like a bird of prey, he swooped down on the enemies of his people by night and returned to the relative protection offered here in the temple to roost by day. But this attack had altered his schedule.

“Seven were killed in the strike here last night,” the Facilitator informed him, though he hadn’t asked. “And the amulet in the statue has gone missing. We can only thank the Gods that the time involved in its removal prevented our enemies from reaching these mirrors.”

“Our enemies,” Dominic mocked, shooting him a cynical look. The stench of demons was everywhere, yet the Facilitator adamantly refrained from referring to them directly as if doing so might somehow raise them in the flesh.

“They weren’t prevented,” he informed his elderly companion. “They came here with specific intentions. They destroyed the statue, but painstakingly hacked its genitals and right hand off. The fact that they left only those pieces undamaged and to be discovered by us in this mess was no accident.”

It had been a message directed at him, for those were his susceptible points.

The Facilitator’s placid gaze didn’t alter.

“It’s widely known that these scrying mirrors allow us to see into the adjoining world,” Dominic persisted. “They were purposely left intact so that we might continue to do so.” He jerked his jaw toward the woman in the mirror. “Let me postpone this new duty until I can find out the reason behind this attack. Until I can hunt down the demons who were responsible.”

The two Acolytes on either side of the Facilitator stirred for the first time, murmuring in distress. Whether in response to his suggestion of postponement or to his profanity in calling the demons by name, he neither knew nor cared.

The Facilitator calmed them with the lift of a hand, then shook his head at Dominic. “No. You will do as We have directed.”

Dominic heaved a frustrated breath and stalked away. Standing in the arched entrance of the chamber, he watched the votives at their work. The twelve marble statues that ringed the room regarded him coldly, unspeaking. Accustomed to their unwavering, brooding gazes, he ignored them.

Slamming the side of his fisted, gloved hand against a limestone column, he felt the familiar bolt of lightening zap up his arm, a cruel reminder of his duty. Free Will was a luxury he had not enjoyed since the age of ten. The three males behind him ruled his sect and he would obey their directive.

“How am I to get through the gate?” he gritted after a moment.

“Ingratiate yourself with her husband. Cajole him into offering you safe passage. He’s one of the EarthWorld Satyr, but he serves here in our regiments.” Dominic’s brows rammed together and he whipped around toward the female in the mirror.

“She’s wed? To one of our fighters?” he demanded. “And you would have me usurp his rights with her?”

Another page flipped under the touch of a feminine hand, reclaiming everyone’s attention. Gold flashed on the woman’s finger. She wore a wedding band.

“She’s not of our blood,” he was hastily assured, as if that would render the unsavory task he’d been assigned perfectly palatable. “Her sister is King Feydon’s offspring. One of the infamous half-Human, half-Fairie brides wed to the three EarthWorld Satyr lords. But this one–” He tapped the mirror with a gnarled finger causing the woman’s image to undulate for a few seconds. “This one doesn’t share the deceased king’s blood.”

“How strong is the blood of her husband?”

“Him? He’s hardly fit to call himself Satyr,” the Facilitator scoffed. “He boasts that he’s a quarter blood, but We believe him to be less. And he doesn’t fight as you assume. No, he serves himself up to the other soldiers in a base manner, as one of the cinaedi. You’ll find him in the regiment camped closest to the gate. He chose to be stationed there so that he might easily return to his world regularly, at Moonful.”

“To fuck his wife,” Dominic conjectured. “As you would have me fuck her. Why?”

The Acolytes whispered again, gently rebuking his plain speaking. The Facilitator overlooked it, preferring as always to gloss over the more sordid details of the sequential duties that made up Dominic’s existence.

“She’s newly plowed. Her husband lay with her last evening,” the elderly man remarked significantly.

At that, Dominic returned to stand before the woman, his eyes dropping to her waist. He opened himself to her for the briefest of intervals, learning what he could.

Her belly was not yet rounded, but even with a world of distance between them, his instincts quickly informed him that she did house another man’s seed within her womb–seed planted there only last night.

On the heels of that realization, another struck him with the impact of a giant fist. He staggered back from the mirror, his accusing gaze flying to his companion.

“Yes,” the Facilitator affirmed, refusing to meet his eyes. “She’s with child.”

A heartbeat of silence passed. Then another and another.

“Not just any child, though, is it?” Dominic demanded with soft menace. His right hand vibrated as if the evil that dwelled in its palm had been agitated by his suspicions. He raised the hand between himself and the other man, and carefully flexed it within its silver-threaded glove.

The Facilitator shifted uncomfortably. Darting a glance at the glove, he subtly distanced himself from it. The Acolytes began to hum. Nervously, they cupped their long-fingered hands together, catching the rays of the moon overhead in their palms—an act believed to ward off demons.

Dominic’s lip curled, cruelly voluptuous. His lashes lowered to shadow the slits of his eyes. And for just a moment, he savored the latent power that made others—even these influential beings–fear him.

“As you . . .” The Facilitator cleared his throat in a rare display of uneasiness. “As you’ve no doubt guessed, the child will be a Chosen One. Your successor.”

A chill crawled up Dominic’s spine. He stared at him, thunderstruck.

“This can come as no surprise,” the Facilitator rambled on. “You were aware your replacement would be selected one day.”

Yes, he’d known. But he’d been too engrossed in the never-ending hunting and killing that comprised his nightly routine to dwell on the matter. This news had taken him completely off guard. Did it imply that his death was imminent?

“Now then, you have four weeks,” the Facilitator informed him crisply. “With the coming of another Moonful, it will be imperative that you mate her in order to endow her child’s powers. Four weeks–is it time enough to find her husband and secure an invitation to his world?”

Dominic nodded slowly, his fascinated gaze returning to the mirror where it resettled on the woman. On the delicate blush of her cheek. On the inviting slope of her shoulder. On her flat belly.

Like his own mother, she would have no inkling she was to bear a Chosen One. Wouldn’t be informed of her child’s destiny until Dominic’s eventual death. His own predecessor had been unknown to him, for the demonhand—quite literally a hand that held demons—didn’t pass to a successor through bloodlines. It selected its hosts seemingly at random, one after another. Only once in a generation was a single child given the power—the curse—that had been bestowed upon him as a boy. A mirrored palm.

© Copyright 2009 by Elizabeth Amber

41 Responses to What’s in a Strong, Sexy, Male Name?

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  7. Lisa Morgan

    OMG! I love the Satyr series!
    But, I personally love the name Edwyn.
    Okay, yeah, it sounds like Ewdward, but its dark, mysterious and most definitly sexy!
    Love you Elizabeth!

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  11. Gelicane

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  13. Jonathan

    Zachary is the most annoying name in all of human history, it not only sounds like the name of a nuisance teenager with a drum kit, it actually is!

    Think of longevity too. Taylor, Ethan (and all those that are trending right now owing to famous actors etc) won’t be so popular a few years from now.

    One more negative for Bastien… he’s going to need a very stern personality to be convincing… no emotional outbursts or jokes. In other words, it could be the name of a man who sounds strong, dark and intriguing at first, but rigid and boring over time.

    One typo in the post above “I didn’t felt distaste at all” should read “I felt distaste at all”.

  14. Jonathan

    I have given this a lot of thought and time (since I am thinking of changing my own name, and this will influence what people think of me for the rest of my life). In my search I have discovered some important facts:

    1.The name which has positive connotations for all people doesn’t exist.
    2.How a name is thought of depends heavily on the age and personal characteristics of the observer.
    3.There is some trade off: Names which are sensual (like Ashton and Ethan), also lose out on masculinity, and vice versa. Also, highly distinguished sounding names lose out on broad appeal (many broadly appealing names like Bill or Kevin are very common). Aristocratic sounding names can sound brittle and starchy (Alexander, Christian, Sebastian).
    4.Although names usually sound more aristocratic the more syllables they have in them (like my own or Andrew) others commonly shorten them to much less flattering names (like John or Andy).
    5.Latinate names, unfortunately, sound gay.

    I think Dominic is an excellent choice of title. The plus side is that it has class and masculinity and DOMinating qualities. Also, it doesn’t suffer too much from shortening to a more familiar sounding ‘Dom’ (which also has fetish S + M connotations as in Sub / Dom). The minus is that being such a tough sounding name it loses some of the approachability felt with softer romantic names.

    There is also a trend for preferring names which belong to current, famous, good looking people such as Justin Beiber and Timberlake upping the share-value of the Justins.

    Personally, I believe there is no better example romantic lead name than Romeo. The growling ‘R’ is animal and has connotations of Ribald and Rambunctiousness…. you can’t say Romeo without saying “Roll me over”.

    Bastian, to me, is much too hard. Beginning with a plosive you have to spit to say it. Some people may like that kind of thing.

    Sebastian is nicer, once again, perhaps a little too crunchy though. Sebastian doesn’t sound too brave or good at withstanding pain.

    I dislike all the Latinate names like the many listed in the first post, Christiano and Alonzo… yeuch! They sound disreputable, slimy and in need of a bath.

    Names like Cole, Evan, Ewan, Taylor sound cute, but inexperienced. Great to be seen in bars with or for mid-term affairs but no good in a battle of honour in a field on men. Again, this is age related. Taylor Lautner is an attractive looking lad but I’d expect there is a watershed age after which he is not thought of too highly. Is this the kind of man who could tame a wild woman? No, it’s a non-threatening name for shy, book loving teenagers. Think of your intended audience.

    Raphael, yep, great. Artistic, not too hard, upper class, handy if a fight breaks out.

    Gabriel is quite good, name of the angel but tends not to actually belong to the most attractive, classiest males despite its biblical heritage (think Gabriel Byrne, Peter Gabriel).

    Please note: I think it would help the quality of your search to note the social class of the people voting (yes, some people hate me now). I hate to sound classist, but I’d suggest there is a reason why I didn’t felt distaste at all of the suggestions of somebody who turned out to be called ‘Billie Jo’.

    Pierce is great. Sounds masculine, bold, dashing, penetrative. Is also the name of an English actor who embodies many of those qualities. Not very aristocratic though.

    Raine… quite nice but moody and damp. Could be useful for an impetuous accessory character.

    Of all the posts above I like Sheena’s suggestions the most. I am clearly heavily out-voted on Bastian. It is a very strong, hard, aristocratic, masculine name. I rejected it because it sounds too forbearing, aloof and detached. However, these qualities could serve a fictional romantic character very well.

    One final tip: google image search any name the appeals to you to find out what people with the name are really like! : )

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  18. Nadra

    Yeah, i need some time to think about this. I need some time to think about this

  19. Maggie Lee

    Neverending Story ruined the name Bastian for me forever…

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  21. Sheena

    I know you probably already picked by now but I love to come up with names and maybe you can consider them in the future if not for this one… so here goes..

    All of your names are great but the ones I like most are 1. Bastian and 2. Seth

    Other names I like are …

    Roderick or Rodericq
    Dorian, Darin or Darian.
    Boedrik (Bo for short maybe?)

    Thanks 😉

  22. Kelli Ray

    Sexy names I think:

    Kiel (Keel)

  23. Kellie

    Hello Elizabeth,

    I am expecting a baby boy in November and I am in search of a strong, sexy name. A few that I have considered is:

    Quinn, Dalton, Warren, Caleb, Mateo

    Im still searching….let you know if I find more!

  24. Petra

    Hey Elizabeth,

    I love Seth, which originally is the name of the ancient Egyptian God of storms and of the desert. He’s got a rather darker side to him, too, so kind of mysterious and such, which is always sexy. 🙂
    My second choice would be Pierce, because it reminds me of the way someone can look at you.

    Personally, I like Shawn or Alex, too.

    Just tripped over this site searching for a sexy male name myself for a character of a short story I’m writing for a friend. lol

    What I was wondering about was what the name was you first chose for your 4th book, the one who didn’t fly?

    Many greetings and lots of success for your new book!!

  25. Sheila

    I’m good with Bastian myself, then Rafael.

    Other strong Alpha names I think are Chase, Cole, and another added fave of mine, Victor.

    Love your books!!!

  26. Jean Bennett

    Hi Elizabeth.
    I just wanted to stop by and give my input too 🙂

    1.) Bastian ( I like how it sounds when you say it)
    2.) Quinn

    My favorite male name is Alexander (Alex) if I had a son that would have been his name but I was blessed with 2 girls.
    In reading other comments I also liked Marco, Vincent, and Cole.

    I am anxiously awaiting for Dominic. I have reread Nicholas and Raine and I’m about 2/3 the way through Lyon. I just love your books. They are great!

  27. Elizabeth Amber

    Hi Carol, Weird is good! I’ve never heard Toryn before. I love Rafe, but am thinking it might get confused with Raine. I’ll add your suggestions to the list. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the satyr novels if you do get a chance to read them. The order is:
    Dane (coming soon)

    Thanks for your thoughts, Amy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the Dominic excerpt. Woo hoo!

    Kayelle, thank you for the meaning! I hadn’t looked that up, but I tend to find out name meanings, too, before I use them. And the meaning you found for Bastian is terrific. Very alpha. Helter is cool–I’ll have to see what his character is. The nickname idea is a good one. Bastian would work as a Sebastian nickname.

  28. Kayelle Allen

    Bastian jumped out at me. The word means, “A stronghold into which people could go for shelter during a battle.” That sounds like an excellent name for an alpha.

    What if his brothers have a nickname for him when they’re being affectionate, or he’s seriously wounded, perhaps dismayed or distraught. Something taken from the word shelter, like Shel, or Hel, or Helter. I like the middle one best, and it might even fit his personality a bit, if he’s a hellraiser who still goes out of his way to protect the innocent. Names make the man!

  29. Amy S.

    Excerpt is great! I like Sebastian.

  30. Carol L.

    I love Bastion and then Pierce.
    can’t wait to pick these books up to read .I have to catch up. 🙂

    I like names like Toryn, Paolo, Kieran and Rafe. Weird, I know . 🙂

  31. Elizabeth Amber

    Aloha, Jan! I spoke to LoriMarie too soon. You, she and I all liked Bastian as one choice. Thanks for your other ideas–I’m adding them to my permanent list of hero names. BTW, I have a friend who’s Latvian, whose brother is named Gunnar. That one’s probably too Nordic-sounding for this particular book, but I like it. Love Cole, Evan, and Zach–some of my ongoing favs. Thanks for dropping by!

  32. Elizabeth Amber

    Lisa, thanks so much–I’m glad you’re enjoying the satyrs as much as I’m enjoying writing them! Armand is one I hadn’t thought of. It sounds mysterious, which I like. My enewsletter group on yahoo has cast many votes for Pierce as well.

    Hi Krystal, I have a feeling Sebastian’s not going to make it because it’ll be too long on the cover. However, a lot of people seem to like it as much as you and Julia. I do too, which is why it’s on the list. So, we’ll see. Gregori’s interesting, too.

    Hi LoriMarie, Thank you for coming by and for your thoughts. You’re the first one who has liked Bastian, besides me. It sounds strong to me. Like Pierce, Quinn’s getting a lot of votes from my yahoo newsletter crowd.

  33. Jan

    Aloha Elizabeth,

    I would have to go with:

    3) My suggestions:


    Of course, I love the Satyrs. 😀 Can’t wait for Dominic!! 😀

    Mahalo (thank you) for sharing this world with us!

  34. LoriMarie

    I would have to say that Bastian is my first choice then Quinn.

    I have always loved the name Trystan/Tristian. How ever you spell it I love the way it rolls off the tongue as you say it. I find it a very strong sexy name.

  35. Krystal

    I personally like the name Sebastian. Other great names I like are Gabriel and Gregori. I hope you find a name that really fits, I can’t wait to get Dominic!

  36. Lisa F.

    I really want this book. I love The Lords of Satyr.

    I think Pierce is a great name, with Rafael in second. Other great names are Gabriel, DeMarco, Armand, and Vincent.

  37. Elizabeth Amber

    Hi Debbie, Billie Jo, and Julia! Thanks very much for your picks and additional suggestions. My yahoo group is weighing in on this as well, and it’ll be interesting to see if the picks line up with yours. I’m going to run the finalists by my editor, who makes the ultimate decision.

    Now that I think about it, I’m wondering if Sebastian will fit on the cover–it’s one letter longer than Nicholas.

    Elizabeth Amber

  38. Julia B.

    Great names in your list. When I began reading your post, Sebastian came to my mind before reading your list, so my choices would be 1-Sebastian and 2-Rafael.
    Some names I think could fit:
    Gabriel, Julius, Edward-Eduardo, Colin, Roberto, Marco, Giovanni, Adrian-Adriano, Leonardo, Ariel


  39. Billie Jo

    Ugh the first part of my post did not show up lol

    I personally love the name Seth and then Rafael.

    Billie Jo

  40. Billie Jo

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Great names you have. So I will give it a gander on some for you…


    Here are a few my tired old mind could come up with…LOL

    Good Luck
    Billie Jo

  41. Debby

    I like Sebastian and then Rafael

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