I’m a Sucker For Endearments

The first time my husband called me ‘babe’ I melted. I probably stayed in my marriage longer than I should have, and I think part of the reason was because he always called me ‘babe’. To be clear, my ex wasn’t the type of man who called all women by this often-overused endearment, he only used it with me. And that made me feel special, even adored. My first lover, after my divorce, called me ‘gorgeous’. I think I stayed with him too long as well. But as I told you, I’m a sucker for panty-melting endearments.

Growing up, my mother was a stickler for using our full names. It was verboten for my sisters and I to shorten our names or even to use nicknames. My one sister’s name is Danielle. If my mother ever heard us calling her Dani, she’d throw a canary. ‘If I wanted to name her Dani, I would have,’ she’d rant. I guess she had a point—and Danielle is a lovely name.

Perhaps this childhood discipline has contributed to my weakness for a good endearment. I enjoy a novel tenfold when the lead protagonists use endearing nicknames or endearments. Kristen Ashley is a pro at this. Her over-protective alpha heroes often melt their lady-love’s hearts with names like ‘kitten’—Mace in Rock Chick Reckoning—or Sweet-pea—Luke in Rock Chick Revenge.  In my WIP (work in progress), Gray’s Promise, my heroine calls her hot guy ‘Tough Guy’. Don’t you love that?

Of course, there are some endearments that make me cringe, like ‘doll’ or even worse, ‘doll-face’.  And I never did understand calling a loved one by unsexy food like ‘lamb-chop’. I get ‘peaches’ and ‘sugar’, but ‘lamb-chop? Really!

My favorite is still ‘babe’ or ‘baby’. That’s probably why I use it in my debut novel, Luke’s Redemption. My hero, Luke Hunter, always calls Katya ‘babe’, and when he’s being especially loving or sexy, he calls her ‘baby.’ I tried to slip in a ‘sweetheart’ here and there, but my editor wouldn’t have it. ‘It has to be ‘baby!’ she wrote in capitals on my first draft.

What do you think about endearments? Do you have a favourite that makes you melt into a puddle of easy-to-seduce mush? Or a pet hate that makes you grind your teeth?

I wrote this blog post as a guest on Casi McLean’s wonderful blog—Live Your Dreams. (3/11/2017)