Who doesn't love a historical heroine who's not afraid to bend the rules of courtship? In Grace Burrowes's The Captive, hero Christian, Duke of Mercia, is a traditional fellow, while heroine Gilly, the Countess of Greendale, thinks he could use a few pointers. Today the author tells us how Gilly sets Christian straight.

Christian, Duke of Mercia, was raised as the heir to any great title would be, with a firm grasp of the rules of courting. He’s been married, so he knows those rules lead to a proper conclusion at a proper altar with a pretty, smitten lady wearing a pretty, expensive ring of his choosing. He relies on the tried and true procedure when pursuing his second duchess, Gilly, the widowed Countess of Greendale, but the results suggest his rules need revising.

Rule No. 1: Propose on bended knee.

Gilly’s revision: Men who propose on bended knee when wearing their dressing gown look ridiculous, and are at risk for falling on their lordly bums when they must rise to hear the lady’s rejection.

Rule No. 2: Every little girl wants to grow up and become a duchess.

Gilly’s revision: Every duke should be disabused of the notion that his offer of marriage is the most sought after in the land. This is particularly important if the lady is, in fact, considering in her secret heart of heart of hearts becoming the fellow’s duchess. Or at least feeling wistful about the possibility. Maybe. If he’ll take off that dratted dressing gown off and ask a few more times in a location involving sheets and pillows, upon which he does look ever so scrumptious.

Rule No. 3: Abide by the rules of war, and never allow warm sentiment to color a marital declaration.

Gilly’s Revision: Never accept a proposal of marriage from a man who will not admit a passion for his lady. Marriage is not a battlefield, such that mercenary intentions, mere cordial ceremony, or tactical considerations ought to prompt acceptance of a man’s suit. Nothing less than love should carry the day, and even that motivation should be greeted with great suspicion, lest one be taken captive all unawares.

- Grace Burrowes

You can pick up The Captive, available next week digitally and in print. For more historical romps visit our Everything Romance page.

Tags: RT Daily Blog, Romance
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