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Behind the Name: Clayton and Doyle

Clayton coat of arms

Devon Clayton, my third British Agent, is English born, with a family name that dates back to the 10th century, though back then there were different variations of the name. It is locational from various places now called Clayton in the counties of Lancashire, Staffordshire, Sussex and the West Riding of Yorkshire.* Clayton was another one of those names that just fit with the personality and lineage of the character. 

Unlike his fellow agents, Devon is not titled, but he comes from a family of great wealth. In Alaina Claiborne and Blackwood Crossing, Devon was the devil-may-care, adventure-seeker of the group, possessing more charm than one ought to. In Clayton's Honor, we delve deeper into Devon's personality and past, though he's still as charming as ever. We also see a lot more of Devon's brothers, Derek and Zachary Clayton.

Like the other names, I immediately visualize Devon's personality and looks when I say his name. In Clayton's Honor, Devon will face his greatest personal challenge, uncover secrets, and save a woman from herself and the demons who haunt her. 

Doyle coat of arms

The name Doyle in Ireland is thought to be of Norse origin and comes from the Irish Ó'Dubhghaill or dubh ghall, the "dark stranger or foreigner".* I like this description of the name, and it's fitting for our heroine, Anne Doyle. Doyle is one of the most ancient surnames of Ireland, and it is now also quite common.

This was one of those surnames where I scoured lists of Irish surnames that are common in the region in which Anne lived. "Doyle" simply fit, though there is nothing simple about the name or about Anne. "Doyle" is a strong name befitting of a strong Irishwoman. Some may think Anne is delicate at first glance, but I wouldn't discount her abilities, or her dedication to justice. In that way, she is much like Devon, our hero of Clayton's Honor.

Anne is fiercely proud of her heritage, and though she does not possess great wealth or as lofty a title as her counterparts in the stories, her birthright is just as noble.

*Read more:  Clayton's Honor

On the wind swept shores of Ireland, a British Agent must leave behind duty to country for the sake of his honor.

Anne Doyle lost her father to a foolish war and her mother to madness. Left with debt and an ancient family home, she struggles to keep the rest of her family together even as an enemy attempts to take them away. After witnessing a brutal murder, Anne must enlist aid from the only family she has left if she is to save those she loves.

Devon Clayton had no intentions of leaving behind his life of adventure and danger, but when he is charged with protecting a witness and her family, he must choose between duty to the country he serves and a woman who tests his honor and willingness to change.

Together they will discover that nothing is what it seems and that without honor, love and life are for nothing.


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