What’s in a Nickname?


ONe of the things I was excited to do when I wrote the second chance story was give the heroines nicknames.

Not every one of my books has nicknamed heroines, and certainly not every romance novel has them. But for this series, chock full of bad boys who have a hard time saying how they feel, nicknames were perfect.

Bringing Home the Bad Boy’s Charlie is affectionately called “Ace” by Evan Downey.

A Bad Boy for Christmas’s Connor delights in calling Faith “Cupcake.”

And Asher has called Gloria “Sarge” in every single book. He also calls Faith “Legs” because of her height.

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Most of you find the hero’s nicknames for heroines darling (you’re right, they are), but I had a few… ahem… complaints about Donovan’s choice of nickname for Sofie.

He calls her Scampi.

Here’s a little behind the scenes info on how I arrived at that very unique nickname.

In the book Donovan teasingly (and affectionately) refers to Sofie as "Scampi" after she puts him in the weeds (which means he’s crazy busy) at the saute station when they worked at a restaurant together.

As a former server who had given and taken hell from kitchen staff for three years, I can tell you, this nickname thing?

Totally happens. 

The kitchen of Outback Steakhouse was a lot like a zoo. We had a guy who called everyone "dog" and therefore, his own nickname became Dog. Then the other guy who worked with him who had less height was therefore known as Short Dog. Not to be outdone, we also had a busboy named Horse for the size of his teeth (admittedly, not very nice), and a guy nicknamed Fish (don't ask). The manager? Chicken.

Yes, to his face.

Our proprietor who was like a father to us became known as Papa Smurf, a petite girl, one of my besties, was Smurfette. I heralded a brief nickname of "Freckles" when the summer sun brought out the speckles on my cheeks.

And these nicknames went at the tops of the receipts instead of our names. 

Love it or not, Scampi's nickname was earned, and yes, those nicknames stick.


I’m friends with a few of these fine restaurant folks online and whenever I see their faces I don't think of their names. I think “Hickey” and “Cookie” and “Ami-Eye.”

So the fact that Donovan calls Sofie "Scampi" seven years later isn't an exaggeration. Heck, it's been over 15 years since my husband and I worked at Outback, but when a friend's birthday came up on Facebook, Mr. Lemmony made sure to give a shout-out (appropriately) that read: "Happy Birthday, Schmoe!" (not his real name)

Art imitates life, man.

Hit me with your favorite nicknames below in the comments!