by Roslyn Loring; from the novel, To Bed a Beauty by Nicole Jordan
1. Do not present yourself as the savior of this young heart, nor, on the other hand, refer to me at twenty-and-two as “long in the tooth” (as one certain duke is reputed to have done). Any “saving” that needs to be done I can well do myself.
2. If you take pride in making women melt from pleasure from your amorous skills (again, referring to a certain duke), please remove my name from your social register. I prefer not to wind up in a puddle at any man’s feet.
3. If your point of honor is that you only keep one mistress at a time (duke reference, as above), do not even think of pursuing this maiden’s fair heart.
4. If you can have your pick of females, please do so. The process reminds one too much of selecting a mare for purchase at Tattersall’s.
5. Embrace the wonders of this world (as well as me on a frequent basis). A jaded air may serve a man well with the ton, but it will win him no favor with me. Let me see the boy inside who still marvels at a peregrine’s flight and the ocean’s might.
6. Do seek my opinions on worldly matters. My attention will be held by a mind that welcomes a woman’s take on the issues of the day. If a handsome face and well-constructed shoulders come with the attentive mind, hurrah!
7. Do remember to laugh in good times and bad. The man who can tickle my sense of humor (and, on occasion, massage my feet) is a man with whom I could never stay angry.
8. If you see all eligible females as the enemy (duke reference, as above), you are destined to endure some fierce battles. And, I dare say, you shall eventually endure defeat. Ladies of the realm, to arms!
9. Do be a man of honor. Respect is the currency of my heart. I look for a man whose word is his bond and whose name is respected not only by the aristocrats of this world but by the men and women who tend to this world’s daily business. (A man who lies to me may well find himself sprawled on his back. I may look delicate, but I possess a strong right hook.)
10. Never underestimate the value of a true, loving heart. If I pledge you mine, I will expect same in return, and woe be to the man who dishonors such a sacred vow. I do, after all, have two sisters who also possess strong right hooks.