'The Duke And I' relies on all romance and romantic comedies authors favourite premise - a pretend relationship. Somehow two people find themselves having to pretend they are in love with each other and inevitably, and to their own embarrassment, end up falling in love for real. Sadly this never happens in real life. Well, the falling in love for real part doesn't happen. Pretend relationships do. And they usually involve a significant sum of money and a passport.
[here be the spoilers]
Despite the unrealistic premise, there is a lesson to be learnt from 'The Duke And I'. Our heroine Daphne falls for her 'pretend' suitor - Simon, Duke Hastings. Simon seems to like Daphne alright but he refuses to ever get married or have children. And let's face it, ladies, this is a situation many of us will face at some point in our lives.
And usually we will go about it all wrong. We will think the way Daphne thought:
"And she thought - what if she kissed him? What if she pulled him into the garden and tilted her head up and felt his lips touch hers? Would he realize how much she loved him? How much he could grow to love her? And maybe - just maybe he'd realize how happy she made him".
So she kissed him. And guess what? That didn't fucking work (the more experienced ones of you had already known that). No marriage proposal followed.
That's when Daphne changed her approach. Do you want to know how it is done?
You need a brother, or in absence of a brother, a father or a male friend would do, as long as they have a gun. You need to have that male relative or friend of yours point the gun at your chosen on and tell him that either he marries you or he will be shot dead. Now, the Duke (as any other sensible man) initially chooses death but Daphne just needed to talk some sense into his head. Eventually, if you are as lucky as Daphne, you will strike an agreement with the Duke, that he will marry you, but there will be no children. Say yes. One step at a time.
A couple of months later you are the Duchess, have estates all over England and a dashing husband who is giving it to you day and night but always withdrawing to make sure that there will be no children as per agreement. You, of course, as any 21st century girl, would know the reason behind withdrawing right away, but Daphne needed about 60 pages to figure it out as she knew little about this whole baby business. But as soon as she found out, she didn't waste anymore time.
This is how you get babies Daphne-style from your no-babies husband - you need to make him really angry or do something so he ends up drinking himself stupid. Once this is accomplished, put your completely drunk husband to your bed and wait.
Now, that's the crucial part. You need to time it right. You need to get him at the moment when he is sober enough to be able to perform but still drunk enough to let you have your way. When you decide to moment has come, get on top of him and ride him like there is no tomorrow. Do not let him throw you off until it is all done. (You can practice on those bucking bulls simulators at fairs).
Believe it or not, but all this will make him love you till death do you apart. Trust me.
And if you think I am making any of this up, I am not. It was all in this book.