MISSY: I hate you.
MELJEAN: What? What do you want me to do? You, my precious inner/former child, should learn to like the closet a bit better.
MELJEAN: If I do that, then you’ll never see how Tender Rebel turns out.
MISSY: It’s a romance, they end up happily-ever-after.
MELJEAN: Oh, dear Missy. But you haven’t gotten to the chair scene yet.
MISSY: What chair scene?
MELJEAN: Now where did we leave off?
MISSY: Anthony kissed Roslynn, and the horrid yucky James had just given up his pursuit of her. What chair scene?!
MELJEAN: Ah, yes, that be it. Just for posterity’s sake, let’s show that cover again, in which the aforementioned leaving-off scene is depicted:
ROSLYNN: Ooch, that bloody scoundrel kissed me on a balcony! Oh, but I must get up and go find myself a husband…though it won’t be that bloody scoundrel!
ANTHONY: I am waiting here, sexily, sans cravat, for you to exit your bedroom and happen upon me.
MISSY: Without a cravat?
MELJEAN: Yeah, that’s what I said. They’re at a house party and he’s wandering around without a cravat during the day, with his chest hairs poking out? It’s okay for striding sexily through the mist at dawn, but in the middle of the day?
MISSY: No, I mean: what’s a cravat?
MELJEAN: You stupid chit. You obviously have not yet read many Regency-set historicals. You probably call the guy who ties it a val-ette.
MISSY: Oh, it’s just like ball-ette!
ANTHONY: I intend to help you in your quest to find a husband!
ROSLYNN: I don’t believe it.
ANTHONY: The sooner you are married and bored, the sooner you will come to my bed. Because I am a rake! The most profligate of all the rakes! The rakishly, roguishly, disreputable rake of RAKES! And I shall never marry.
ROSLYNN: Well, I’ll accept your help, but it doesn’t mean I’ll let you sleep with me afterward.
ANTHONY: (aside) Bwhahahaha! By god, my rakish penis wants her.
ROSLYNN: I’ve woken up, kidnapped!
MISSY: What? What just happened? She was just thinking of how Anthony was ruining her chances of finding a husband and then she’s kidnapped?
MELJEAN: Remember she has that evil cousin, Geordie, who will stop at nothing to get her money. And we know he’s evil because he never speaks without his Scottish brogue–unlike Roslynn, who has mastered her upper class English accent…except for when she’s mad. So mad = brogue = Geordie must be mad and evil all the time.
MISSY: Oh yeah. But the kindly maid–
MELJEAN: Shut up. I like my theory. He’s also evil because he has red hair.
MISSY: Oh, now that makes more sense!
GEORDIE: Dinna think tae be tryin’ tae escape!
ROSLYNN: You can’t force me to marry you! I shall leap from the window into a hay wagon!
ANTHONY: What the bloody devil?
BUTLER: There is a woman in her nightgown to see you.
ANTHONY: Send her away!
BUTLER: Very good, sir, though I fear her Scottish temper!
ANTHONY: Whuh? Scottish, you say? Send her in!
ROSLYNN: I need the name for a husband, right now.
ANTHONY: (aside) I don’t want her married off yet! I shall lie to her about all of the prospective men she’d been considering. (to Roslynn) One’s gay, one’s in an incestuous relationship with his sister, one’s a murderer, and one’s a gambler.
ROSLYNN: Goddammit! Well, I’m back to Scotland to marry a farmer then.
ANTHONY: (aside) No! (to Roslynn) Marry me!
ROSLYNN: Hahahahahahahah! *gasp* Hahahahahahahah! *gasp* Hahahahah!
ANTHONY: It’s not a joke. I can’t believe it myself, but it’s not a joke.
ROSLYNN: Well, I still think it is–but, since I’m going to be marrying a farmer anyway, let’s have sex.
MISSY: I love this book! Oh my god! Anthony couldn’t let her go to someone else after all!
MELJEAN: He just wants to get into her panties.
MISSY: They didn’t have panties back then, you twit. He loves her! He just doesn’t know it yet, because he’s a rake, a scoundrel, and he’s never felt love before!
MELJEAN: Okay, so I have to admit I like that he’s at a complete loss, and less than in control.
MISSY: I love you, Anthony! I love you! I’m red-headed, too, just like Roslynn! I love you!
ROSLYNN: Oh my god I’ve never felt like this before!
ANTHONY: Me neither! That was the hottest pussy ever! Out of the millions and billions I’ve done, that was the best! It must be because of her Scottish temper.
ROSLYNN: For sure. That’s what friends are for. Keep smiling. Keep shining!
MISSY: What. The. Hell. Are. You. Doing? That was like the hottest thing ever and you’re ruining it with that?
ANTHONY: I’ve obtained a special license for us to marry. By the by, don’t you think it’s awfully easy for a romance hero to obtain one? They must not be very special at all!
ROSLYNN: Okay, I’ll marry you. (aside) But if he keeps diddling me like he did last night, I’m sure to fall in love with him and he’ll break my heart.
ANTHONY: Aw, yeah. Sweet hot lovin’ every night.
ROSLYNN: But you must take a mistress!
ANTHONY: Are you stupid? This isn’t going to be a marriage of convenience!
ROSLYNN: I want a kid, but you also must keep your ladybirds on the side.
ANTHONY: What the fuck? What kind of moron are you?
ROSLYNN: These are my demands!
ANTHONY: Okay, whatever… (aside) I’ll just have to sow her garden with my magic rake-penis into her a few more times, and she’ll change her mind.
MELJEAN: God, I love this book.
MELJEAN: Oh, shit…did I say that aloud?
ROSLYNN: We’re in a carriage about to be robbed!
ANTHONY: Time for me to be manly! Show your tits as a distraction.
ROSLYNN: Okay. Since you are only marrying me for my money, I suppose that’s why you are being so stupid to make certain it isn’t stolen.
ANTHONY: Oh, yes, certainly that’s why I married you.
MELJEAN: Oh, god–a heroine all too willing to believe the worst, when he specifically said he was marrying her to get into her lacy pantaloons.
MISSY: I love you, Anthony! It’s all a misunderstanding on her part! She really loves you!
MELJEAN: God forbid they actually talk to one another.
MISSY: Shut up! She doesn’t want to be hurt! And he doesn’t know he loves her yet!
MELJEAN: Well, it’s so freaking obvious. Now it’s just one misunderstanding after another.
MISSY: Don’t ruin it for me, you meanie!
ANTHONY: I have no intention of keeping a mistress.
ROSLYNN: But you promised!
ANTHONY: I lied. I only want you!
ROSLYNN: That must mean you care for me a little bit.
ANTHONY: Of course, you moronic chit!
MELJEAN: Ah, how sweet. It all seems to be going well until it crashes down around them. *takes notes for her current manuscript* The better to yank the reader around by their emotional heartstrings.
LILITH: You’re taking notes from a Lindsey?
MELJEAN: Yes, ma’am! Do you know how many readers she’s pulled into this genre?
LILITH: Yes, but they all grew up. Unlike you. I should slay Missy before you ruin Colin’s book.
MELJEAN: Noooo! You bitch!
MISSY: Are you talking to your characters? Idiot.
ANTHONY and JAMES walk into a tavern.
ANTHONY: Well, this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.
JAMES: The joke’s on you, brother! For while we are looking through London’s underbelly for your wife’s evil cousin, a wench will come and sit on your lap!
ANTHONY: I don’t want a wench.
JAMES: I’ll take her. Oh, and let’s get into a tavern fight to show how manly we are!
MISSY: Eeeew! James is just…eeeeew!
ROSLYNN: Why do you have a wench’s hair on your coat? I can tell it isn’t mine because it isn’t as luxuriously fine as my own tresses!
ANTHONY: Now, wait a minute…!
ROSLYNN: Oh, you rake! You lied! And I knew what you were!
ANTHONY: You stupid bitch do you really believe I’d do that?
ROSLYNN’S HEART: *breaks*
A LONG INTERLUDE in which not much happens but Roslynn refuses him her bed and Anthony is pissed but decides to make her come to him and then he goes to punch other men at a boxing house to relieve his frustration, and we are treated to more of James’s yuckiness, and a long gradual setup for his book, in which he becomes a pirate again.
GEORGE AMHERST, FAMILY FRIEND: You’re drunk.
ANTHONY: Roslynn, this man is the reason you hate all rakes.
ROSLYNN: Sleep it off, you asshole.
ANTHONY: (after sleeping it off) Oh, my head.
ROSLYNN: (tired herself after a sleepless night) I am going to eat a sausage.
MELJEAN: And now we have the entry for Best Unintentionally Sexual Phrase Ever:
“It was a good thing the sausage hadn’t entered her mouth yet…”
MELJEAN: Thank you. I now return you to Tender Rebel.
ROSLYNN: I’ve been buying lots of furniture to piss him off.
FRANCES, ROSLYNN’S RAKE-HATING FRIEND: Oh my god, your husband’s brought home George, the rake I loved who broke my heart!
ROSLYNN: Oh, poor Frances! How dare you, Anthony!
ANTHONY: What, are you kidding? They still love each other.
GEORGE and FRANCES: *swoon into each other’s arms (one another’s arms?)*
ANTHONY: See, rakes aren’t all that bad.
A LONG INTERLUDE in which not much happens.
ANTHONY thrashes GEORDIE.
ANTHONY: He won’t be bothering you again, Roslynn.
ROSLYNN: Okay. Oh! And I want a baby. But I’m only going to sleep with you until I get pregnant.
ANTHONY: What? You’re kidding me.
ROSLYNN: You said I could have a baby. So let’s make a baby.
ANTHONY: You want me to be a stud? Fine. Ride me on this chair.
MISSY: Oh my god. Oh. My. God.
MELJEAN: Yeah. You know why this works for me? Because they are trying so hard not to let it be more than sex, but they really want it to be.
MISSY: And–oh my god. On a chair? And she hurt his feelings so much!
MELJEAN: I love it when characters are absolutely vulnerable.
ANTHONY: Don’t cry now! You got what you came in for.
ROSLYNN: (aside) What if I’ve been wrong about him? He’s acting almost as if he loves me!
ANTHONY: Now get in that bed!
ROSLYNN: Anthony, wait!
ANTHONY: Shut up! You’ll stay there until I knock you up! *slams out the door*
ROSLYNN: Oh, I’m awake!
JAMES: *leers at her in her negligee*
ROSLYNN: I’ve been kidnapped!
GEORDIE: Oh, crap! You kidnapping idiots! Her husband’s going to kill me!
KIDNAPPERS: You never said we should stop, and we want to be paid!
ROSLYNN: Oh, for god’s sake. Here’s your money.
GEORDIE: I’m just a wee pathetic wanker!
ROSLYNN: That’s true. But I kind of feel sorry for you, so I won’t tell Anthony that you’re still in London, because he’ll kill you.
ANTHONY: That’s right. Let’s go, Roslynn.
ROSLYNN: Oh no! The carriage ride is so bumpy, the bills for the furniture I bought fell out!
ANTHONY: It doesn’t matter, I’m rich.
ROSLYNN: Oh. You didn’t marry me for my money then!
ANTHONY: Nope. Let’s have sex.
ROSLYNN: Oh shit, I’m pregnant!
ANTHONY: You’re pregnant? Oh, shit.
ROSLYNN: Maybe we can still…you know.
ANTHONY: You made your rules, now stick to them! *slams fist into wall*
GEORGE AMHERST, FAMILY FRIEND: I’m drunk!
ANTHONY: You can stay in my room. I’ll bed down with Roslynn.
ROSLYNN: But we aren’t having sex.
ANTHONY: That’s right.
ROSLYNN and ANTHONY lay in bed until they roll into each other’s arms (one another’s arms?) and make wild monkey love.
MISSY: (screaming) Why don’t you just say you’re in love? Why? Why? You’re killing meeeeeeeeeeee!
MELJEAN: Me too.
JAMES: I’m leaving to start my own book. But first, I’m writing a note to let Roslynn know I was the one who diddled the wench, not Anthony.
DEREK, THE BASTARD SON leaves the note on Roslynn’s vanity.
ROSLYNN: I want to talk to you Anthony, and make everything right between us again.
ANTHONY: (finds the note on her vanity) Because of this! You couldn’t believe me yourself?
ROSLYNN: What the hell are you talking about?
ANTHONY: Oh, crap. You haven’t read this? (aside) Oh, crap, I’ve just pricked her Scottish temper!
ROSLYNN: No. Give it to me!
ANTHONY: No. Tell me what you wanted to say first.
ROSLYNN: I love you!
ANTHONY: Oh my god, I love you too! Read the note.
JAMES’S NOTE: The wench was mine. I think Tony loves you.
ROSLYNN: Oh, I love you forever and ever!
ANTHONY: I’ve settled down forever and ever!
MELJEAN: *gag* I hate James.
MISSY: *gag* Me too, but I’m still going to read his book.