After reading one Regencyland* romance too many, I wrote the following spoof.
Remember, you read it here first!
His Grace, the Duke of Savage, was bored. Gambling no longer held his interest, his latest mistress was too compliant, and, after the peace with France, there was no skullduggery in the world for a restless nobleman to engage in. What he needed was a challenge. Getting up from the faro table £10,000 pounds the richer, the Duke accepted his hat and cane from the doorman. Stepping out into the chill evening, he waved away his a carriage. Not that his coachman accepted that but followed him down the road a short distance behind.
It was a dreary evening with a sharp wind ripping through the capes of his greatcoat and his steps echoed loudly in the stillness of the street. Too still. With sharpened instincts he felt the presence before he saw it, and suddenly spinning around, his action caused his follower to cannon into him. Strong hands shot out to grasp surprisingly slender wrists as the Duke captured his follower. He didn't need to breathe in her sweet perfume to know she was a woman.
Miss Damita Holloway was dismayed at the capture. She had been waiting for so long in the shadowed alleyway opposite White's club awaiting her prey and to be caught so easily was not what she had bargained for. Frantically wondering if she could still attain her goal, she went limp in his grasp. With a quick move he transferred his grip and swept off her concealing cap.
"Why, beauty self she is," he quoted, then kissed her startled lips, filling Damita with a strange yet sweet yearning.
"Ah, so the beauty knows who I am, does she?" he replied in a voice like rough velvet. "So, you caught my attention, as you intended. Let's go somewhere where we can be comfortable. My place or yours?"
"How dare you, sirrah! I am not one of your light-skirts!"
"Not yet, but that can be arranged." And he quickly swept her up in his arms and carried her over to his carriage that his faithful servant held open. "Dorcas Street," he instructed.
"No," Damita screamed. "I won't go with you!"
"Too late," he said and dragged her back into his arms. Within minutes his kisses had reduced her to a quivering mass of longing and she had no strength to protest when they arrived at his love nest.
(Here follows the grand seduction scene and the virgin climax. The Duke is horrified to find his mistress an innocent but she's not wellborn enough to marry. His abominable pride wars with his growing obsession for his feisty mistress until he can't stop himself from proposing. She, feeling unworthy and unsure of his love, nobly turns him down. He goes off and tries to drench his sorrows in all sorts of debauchery but it's no use. So, after she's suffered agonies imagining him marrying another and he has had more hangovers and light-skirts than any man should have to put up with, he comes back to her.)
"I can't live without you, Damita. You must marry me, please. I do anything. I reject my dukedom for you. We can go to America and start over."
"Oh, Damian, if you're sure then I'll marry you. Oh, and by the way, I think you will become a father in about five months."
"Damita," his eyes filled with tears. "Life can hold nothing more precious for me than spending it with you and our child."
© Yvonne Forsling 2010. All rights reserved.
*Regencyland - A description coined by Janice to describe Regency romances where the characters and mores are those of modern people in Regency clothing, with little or no attempt at historical accuracy.