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Visual Novel / Desire And 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.


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  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Duke Richards for Clara.
    • Viscount Westonly for Annabelle Parsons.
  • 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.
  • Bi the Way: Like most Choices stories, Clara has both male and female love interests.
  • 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.
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  • Cartwright Curse: Viscount Westonly was married four times, and all of his wives are dead.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: If Clara pursues Annabelle Parsons or Luke Harper, Mr. Chambers offers to marry her to fulfill the conditions of her will.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Clara’s mother Mary’s origins depend on her ethnicity. If white, she was found singing in a meadow 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.
  • 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: Book 1 end in this, in a way. 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.
  • Sequel Hook: Book 2 Chapter 16 ends with a shadowy figure Henrietta believed to be dead appearing at the ball.
  • Shout-Out:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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