On a Highland Shore came highly recommended by friends, and Givens has a reputation for historical accuracy. In terms of historical detail - events, places, and so forth - this seems to be true. But... the heroine's best friend, a secondary character who plays a big role in the first 50 pages, is named Fiona. The novel's set in Scotland in 1263. This is a problem, because the name Fiona - very popular in Scotland nowadays - was a 19th century, or maybe 18th century, invention. Some background: it was popularized by Scots novelist/poet William Sharp, who chose "Fiona MacLeod" as his pseudonym beginning in 1893, and likely first used by James McPherson, supposed "translator" of the Ossian Cycle, in his poem "Fingal" circa 1762.
More details on the origins of "Fiona" here. The literature seems clear that it's not a medieval name; it's never been documented as such.
Am I being pedantic? You tell me, but I'd be lying if I denied that every time I saw the name, it pulled me out of the story. I would have quibbled just as much if a medieval English heroine was named Pamela. The story itself was engaging, and the heroine appealing (if a bit too modern in her actions), but I'm also not a fan of accents written out phonetically in dialogue. I understand that we're in Scotland, but don't need to be hit over the head with it every time someone speaks. (Diana Gabaldon, however, does this well.)
Chacun à son goût and all that, but for me, the novel's been reshelved - maybe to be picked up at another time.
This got me thinking about first names invented by authors. Surely all names were used first by someone, but not all can be documented. Sir Philip Sidney not only invented "Pamela" for his 1590 poem "Arcadia," but also - if you believe this page (whose data comes from a variety of name dictionaries) - the name "Stella." Samuel Richardson named the heroine of his novel Pamela after Sidney's character, and the name grew in popularity after that. Not surprisingly, Shakespeare is credited with inventing many female names: Jessica, Olivia, Viola, Miranda, Cordelia.
These days, of course, anything goes. Apple, Sailor, Moon Unit, anyone? I was also greatly amused by last night's episode of Ugly Betty, in which our intrepid heroine plans for a photo shoot for the celebrity infant known as "baby Chutney."