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Visual Novel / Desire & Decorum

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Desire & Decorum is a Visual Novel series part of the Choices: Stories You Play app. You play as a country girl in Regency-era England who learns that she’s the long-lost daughter of the Earl of Edgewater. To secure your claim on the estate, you must navigate the social life of the era and find love along the way.

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Duke Richards for Clara.
    • Viscount Westonly for Annabelle Parsons.
    • Felicity Holloway for Ernest Sinclaire.
  • Bastard Angst: Clara spends much of the first book trying to prove herself worthy of Edgewater despite being an illegitimate child. A Hope Spot appears when she realizes her parents were married, but their marriage was annulled before she was born.
  • The Beard: Bartholomew Chambers, who is gay, offers Clara a marriage of convenience, knowing that she needs a suitable husband as soon as possible, and advises her that she will still be able to be with the person she truly loves. This offer enables Clara to romance either Annabelle Parsons or Luke Harper (who would otherwise not be an option due to his servant role and low status). Luke eventually earns a title, but Mr. Chambers is still available in Annabelle's case.
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  • Birds of a Feather: Viscount Westonly and Lady Lavinia are both significantly hearing-impaired. At one point, Lavinia tells Clara that she liked him because he was the first person who didn't react badly to her own difficulties.
  • Breather Episode: Chapters 4 and 5 of Book 2 are this, when Clara visited her home village of Grovershire with Briar and all four love interests and celebrated the harvest festival. It ends with the Dowager Countess telling Clara to return to Edgewater, where Duke Richards was waiting for her.
  • Cartwright Curse: Viscount Westonly was married four times, and all of his wives are dead.
  • Closet Key: If you romance her, Clara is this for Miss Parsons who didn’t even realize she was capable of feeling attraction to anyone before.
  • Content Warning: A warning appears at the start of Book 1, Chapter 11 due to scenes involving sexual assault.
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  • Cool Horse: A premium option in Book 1 Chapter 5 allows you to adopt a horse with the default name being "Clover".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Clara has her moments, especially when dealing with Henrietta and Duke Richards.
  • Death by Childbirth: Ernest’s late wife Roselyn died giving birth to Duke Richards’s child.
  • Dirty Old Man: Played for drama with Duke Tristan Richards, who made numerous unwanted advances towards Clara, culminating in him attacking her as she was on the way to Edgewater.
    • Subverted with Viscount Westonly, who pursued Annabelle because he didn’t want to become a lonely old man and stops pursuing her once he realizes that she doesn’t love him back.
  • Enemy Mine: In Book 2 Chapter 2, Clara has to team up with Henrietta to break her engagement with Duke Richards by finding dirt on him.
  • Entitled to Have You: Duke Richards believes that Clara should consider herself lucky that she, a (possibly mix-raced) bastard, has gained the attention of a prestigious duke.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Book 2 Chapter 13 reveals that Countess Henrietta is plotting to have Clara locked in the Tower of London along with Duke Richards for treason.
  • Extreme Doormat: Edmund Marlcaster started as this, always obeying his mother's orders. He gets better later, especially if Clara has enough relationship points with him.
  • For Happiness: Prince Hamid’s goal in life is to be happy and provide others with happiness.
  • Gay Option: Annabelle Parsons
  • Good Parents: Vincent immediately shows his love for Clara upon meeting him. Likewise, Mary raised Clara with love and care.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Henrietta shows no sliver of redeeming qualities at all throughout her appearance. Aside from being a Wicked Stepmother, she acts domineering towards her son Edmund Marlcaster, attempts to break his engagement with Theresa Sutton because the latter has no social standing, never shows any love for Earl Vincent, keeps Annabelle Parsons in her sewing circle just for being Harry’s fiancée, and treats servants like dirt.
    • Duke Richards earned the fandom's ire as soon as he was introduced thanks to his arrogance and ego. He gets worse and worse when he continues making unwanted advances toward Clara and refusing to take no for an answer.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The protagonist’s first and last names are customizable, with the default being Clara Mills.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Ernest secretly delivers food and supplies to “fallen women” at night.
  • Hide Your Gays: Zig-zagged. While homosexuality is extremely taboo in Regency-era England, Clara isn’t scandalized upon learning that Bartholomew Chambers and Yusuf Konevi are lovers. Likewise, Earl Vincent still gives his blessing to Clara if she declares her love for Annabelle. Nevertheless, Chambers and Konevi seem to keep their relationship out of the public eye as much as possible.
  • Historical Domain Character: Queen Charlotte, also known as Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, appears in Books 2 and 3. Her son Prince Regent George, who becomes King George IV, appears in Book 3.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Annabelle was engaged to Clara’s half-brother Harry, but she wasn’t attracted to him.
  • Istanbul (Not Constantinople): Averted in an ironic way. The Ottoman Prince Hamid refers to Istanbul as Constantinople, as Europeans still refer to the city as such until 1930.
  • It's Personal: Henrietta's begrudging decision to work with Clara to take Duke Richards down stems from his seizure of her first husband's lands after the latter's death.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Duke Richards. Unlike most examples, the darker tone he establishes in the series is a gradual buildup since he is first introduced as an arrogant prick who has eyes on Clara, followed by unwelcome gestures towards her and culminated with an attack on her.
  • Last-Name Basis: Most characters are referred to by their titles and last names if applicable. The exceptions are Clara Mills, Briar Daly, and, later on, Annabelle Parsons.
    • If Briar marries at the end of Book 2, Book 3 will refer to her by her married last name in the dialogue tags, although Clara still calls her Briar no matter what.
  • The Lost Lenore: Subverted with Ernest’s late wife Roselyn. She married him for his wealth and cheated on him for Duke Richards.
  • Marriage of Convenience: At the duke's ball, Mr. Chambers offers to marry Clara to fulfill the conditions of her will in the event that she's in love with someone who wouldn't be considered suitable. If Clara chooses to "marry" Annabelle Parsons or Luke Harper, she automatically accepts the offer. By the end of book 2, this no longer applies for Luke, who becomes a Suddenly Suitable Suitor after his status was elevated for saving the queen from Duke Richards, but the option remains for Annabelle.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Clara’s mother Mary’s origins depend on her ethnicity. If white, she was found singing in a meadow on the continent (Mainland Europe) when employees of Opera St. James noticed her singing and hired her. If Chinese, she had been performing in her native China since three and was taken to England by a captain. If Indian, a captain discovered her singing for coins and took her to England. If black, she was shipped to England from the Caribbean when a first mate heard her singing.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Choosing to fight the highwaymen as a premium option in Book 2 Chapter 3 results in Clara saying this to them.
    Clara: My name is Lady Clara of Edgewater. You've threatened the lives of my people... prepare to die.
  • Obfuscating Disability: There are hints implying that Viscount Westonly really isn’t as hard of hearing as he acts, the final chapter of book 3 allows you to call him out on it.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Starting in Book 3 Chapter 12, Gideon Payne drops his fake French accent when threatening Viscount Harry into overthrowing the monarchy.
  • Open Secret: If you marry her, by the end of book 3 nearly everyone you know is aware Clara and Miss Parsons are a couple.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: It's highly implied that Duke Richards is racist towards anyone who isn't white, as evidenced by his disparaging remarks towards Prince Hamid and a non-white!Clara.
    Duke Richards (to a non-white!Clara): A woman of your status and... complexion ought to be thanking whatever god she prays to that a man like me wishes to wed her.
  • Precious Puppy: Book 1 Chapter 8 allows you to adopt a pug with the default name being "Sunny".
  • Pyrrhic Victory: At the end of Book 1, Clara finally becomes Countess of Edgewater, but she's engaged to Duke Tristan Richards of Karlington instead of the love interest she has chosen to be with.
  • Scars Are Forever: Harry's scar from the hunting accident he "died from" has not faded in the slightest bit since the incident.
  • Secret Keeper: Prior to The Reveal that Harry is still alive, Edmund Marlcaster and Bishop Monroe were the only people who knew he faked his death during a hunting accident.
  • Sequel Hook: Book 2 Chapter 16 ends with a shadowy figure Henrietta believed to be dead appearing at the ball.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Book 3, Clara has the option to pair Luke with Annabelle's sister Cordelia if he isn't Clara's fiancé.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrine to Self: Book 2 Chapter 10 reveals that Duke Richards kept a part of his room (formerly Earl Vincent's) dedicated to accolades he received and letters he wrote to himself that exalt himself, including one written when he was 12.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Felicity Holloway is infatuated with Duke Richards, but only because he has a title and therefore a better match than Ernest. By Book 2, she has turned her sights on Ernest.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Clara’s parents Earl Vincent and Mary. The latter was a lower-class opera singer, which led to the annulment of their brief marriage by the former's father.
  • Suddenly Suitable Suitor: Luke Harper is a servant and thus ineligible to marry Clara, so she would have to marry Mr. Chambers for convenience instead. After Luke saves the queen, his status is elevated and he becomes a viable marriage option.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A premium choice in Book 2 Chapter 3 allows Clara to dress as a man to sneak out of Edgewater Estate with ease. The disguise fools Arthur Woods, Theresa Sutton, and Duke Richards, but not Henrietta.
  • Taking the Bullet: In the ending of Book 3 Chapter 16, Viscount Harry shielded Prince Regent George from a bullet fired by Gideon Payne.
  • Trickster Twins: Annabelle's sisters Cordelia and Constance enjoy playing tricks on Viscount Westonly by exploiting his tendency to mishear things and say one thing so he'll mishear it as another.
  • Unwitting Pawn: A premium option in Book 2 Chapter 12 reveals that the co-conspirators are using Duke Richards as a figurehead so they could control him from behind the throne should he become king.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Book 3 Chapter 1 reveals that Clara's half-brother Harry is alive all along.
    • Book 3 Chapter 5 reveals that Gideon Payne is back and is pretending to be Harry's "friend" from France.
    • Book 3 Chapters 7 and 8 reveal that Duke Richards and Roselyn Sinclaire's son Percival is raised by Gideon Payne and is being used by him to seize power from Queen Charlotte.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: After the wedding with Duke Richards is stopped, the bishop is disappointed that he does not get to unite anyone. This leads to the diamond option of getting Briar to marry one of her suitors.
  • Wicked Stepmother: Countess Henrietta constantly makes insulting remarks towards Clara and tries to have Vincent’s will changed so Clara won’t inherit Edgewater.

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