While there may be more than one way to skin a cat — and just who came up with that disgusting idiom anyway? — there’s definitely one guaranteed way to catch a rake: At a house party! If Regency romances have taught us anything, it’s that a house party is the natural habitat of the rake. And if you have had your eye on a sinfully delicious man for a while, but weren’t sure how to set the trap … have no fear, the RT Book Reviews Team is here! We’re bringing you tips that will make your party the cream of the crop, the talk of the season, the top of the ton!
Okay, maybe not the ton. But Facebook will most certainly be all abuzz over your smashing success. Ladies and gents, we are pleased to bring you:
Rolling with the Homies — The Top Three Tips To Throwing A Modern-Day, Regency-Style House Party They’ll Never Forget
We were going to think up a shorter, catchier title, but we decided to stay true to the Regency era and give our web-pamphlet a rather long-winded one. You can thank us later (and you totally will!).
Let’s dive right in:
Tip 1: Nooks and Crannies
You’re probably puzzled right now. “RT,” we can almost hear you asking, “Just what do those delicious buttery English muffins have to do with my swanky soiree?” Answer: Only just about everything! Where do you think the makers of those enjoyable breakfast treats actually came up with the idea of nooks and crannies? They, like us, were inspired by the house parties of Britain’s upper crust!*
We’ve studied this manner thoroughly. The success of your shindig is directly proportional to the number of hidden alcoves, balconies, empty libraries, linen closets, and anywhere else a rake and his lady can sneak away to, away from the public eye. Everyone will want some alone time, and you’ll need to provide it. Not everyone is an exhibitionist. Why, back in the olden days it was considered scandalous just to be caught kissing!
Let’s examine the case of Lady Carissa Portland and Viscount Beaucamp that can be found in My Scandalous Viscount, a book by Gaelen Foley. When the Viscount catches the naturally curious Carissa spying on him yet again, he does what any red-blooded, titled gentleman would: He plants one on her that makes her toes curl! Now, had they been safely ensconced in one of the aforementioned nooks (or crannies), the innocent kiss would have stayed a pleasant memory. But as it is done in the view of the public, the honorable Viscount has no choice but to offer his hand.
A simple kiss won’t stick your guest in the parson’s trap these days. But still, one can’t discount the importance of a hidden bungalow of love. And make sure to put them to use yourself! You’re a host, not a martyr.
* We made up that English muffin factoid, but think about it. It’s a little plausible, right?
Tip 2: Mo’ Money, Mo’ Men
Everyone needs to line their pockets now and again, especially the dissolute, but delectable men we all love. Why not give them the chance to do so at your party? Regency guests always expected some kind of sport or entertainment from their hosts. But it’s not like musicales are actually in style any more — remember, no matter how “talented” your nieces or nephews are, just say no to screechy violins. Instead, have your guests take a chance on the luck of the draw.
Gambling! Who doesn’t love it? (Except for some regulatory agencies, but they don’t need to know about your undertaking.) Make the lights of Vegas pale in comparison to what you have on offer, and dazzle them with the flashing lights of the slots you’ve had imported. You. Are. A. Party. Master.
You’ll almost, but not quite, reach the level of Neville Roscoe, kingpin of one of the most infamous gaming hells of London. His story can be read in The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens. And we can tell you, Future Party Master, that his gambling business keeps him quite busy and leads him to live a double life. At night, he is the infamous Neville Roscoe. But by day, as he reveals to the lady who would unmask him, he is … a duke! Shocked? So is she.
But at least you’re in good company with this whole “set up a gambling fun zone” thing.
Tip 3: Wallflowers, Courtesans and Widows, Oh My!
You’re going to want a mixed bag of company at your party. Invite too many shy, retiring wallflowers and the atmosphere might turn a bit dull. On the other hand, if you invite too many courtesan-like characters then you’ll have another kind of party in the works. And we’re not giving advice on an orgy here (maybe later in another web-pamphlet). The point is, you’ll want to have an interesting, mixed crowd.
Even Lord Xavier from Theresa Romain’s Season for Surrender comes to realize that his annual naughty holiday party needs some new blood. When he invites bluestocking Louisa Oliver — okay, when he is dared to invite bluestocking Louisa Oliver, he never expects the impact she will make on him or his party. Which just goes to show, parties can’t always be one-note. You have to diversify!
So there you have it: Our top three tips to throw a rager that we garnered from Regency romances. Books are so versatile, aren’t they? Enjoy your parties and enjoy the rakes they bring.
Just remember to keep your eyes open for a rake that can be tamed. You don’t want to end up with an Elton.
Have any tips you would like to share with the rest of us party animals? Spill them in the comments below! For more romance visit RT's Everything Romance Page!