Aside: while I was in art school in the late nineties and early oughts, I worked at a kids' furniture store, where I spent my days inhaling enamel paint fumes and decorating toy boxes and such with designs. We personalized just about everything with the kids' names, and since I worked there for four years, I got a first-hand education in the then-current baby naming trends and patterns. Hands-down, Aiden was the most overused boys' name. No wonder I get so irked by it now. Also popular: Jackson, Madeline, Cole, Sophie, and yes, Max. And all the Caydens and Braydens and Jadens. Properly posh names. Names people simply weren't given in the decades our heroes were born. Names aren't static—they're as fickle as fashion. Hugh is now a popular boys' name in the States, thanks largely to Hugh Jackman, I suspect. You may know a few babies named Hugh, but really, did you go to an American high school with any? (Actually I did, but he was the III.)
When I'm naming a character (bear in mind I write contemporary) the first thing I do is head to this website, which lists the 1,000 most popular American baby names by decade. Please note, Aiden's not even in the top thousand in the 1970s. Ditto Cayden, Jayden, and Jace. "Braden" comes 917th, right between "Dereck" and "Lon". There are other sites out there that even offer a year-specific list. Some readers are history buffs and can't stand when the place settings or the petticoats are wrong. Well that's me with names. I know, I know—it's fiction, authors can use whatever name they want, it's their right. Well it's my right to roll my eyes.
I guess what I'd like to say in closing is this: authors, your characters are already special. Don't name them as you would your baby, from fear of saddling them with a boring, forgettable name, and making them boring, forgettable characters. You don't dress them in fluorescent clothes to make them stand out, do you? Let them stand out in their words and actions. Think about who their mother was, and what she would name them, in what year. I honestly won't read another romance starring a hero named Aiden…unless perhaps it's historical (I'm a history know-nothing, so I'm not fussy about naming accuracy) or possibly set in the UK. For those exceptions, I might quit my huffing and come along for the ride. Otherwise, trust me. Save the posh baby names for your hero and heroine's firstborn.