About the Book:
Title: The Rigid Duke
Author: Darcy Burke
Series: Matchmaking Chronicles #1
Page Length: 156
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Publisher: Zealous Quill Press
Synopsis: As a refinement tutor, Mrs. Juno Langton helps young ladies develop the skills and confidence to secure an advantageous marriage. Her cheerful disposition never wavers no matter how challenging her assignment. When a house party provides an opportunity to match her difficult charge with a duke, Juno will go to any lengths to satisfy her employer and ensure the young lady’s future. Too bad the duke is an unsmiling, rigid grouch, albeit an irritatingly handsome one.
The Duke of Warrington dislikes social gatherings and despises the Marriage Mart which makes it nigh impossible to find a wife. He plans to secure his future duchess at a house party, but she’s being managed by a thoroughly meddlesome—and provocative—Mrs. Langton, who is determined to find his better nature. He’ll do anything to avoid her sunny charm and room-brightening smiles, but she’s breaking through his shell and the only way he can think to keep her quiet is to kiss her. He must marry the young lady, not desire the companion.
But now he’s rethinking his wife choices.
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The Rigid Duke follows Dare and Juno as they meet at a house party and develop feelings for each other. Unfortunately, Juno is trying to set Dare up with her charge and knows that she, a working woman and not of the same social class, could never have more than a fling with Dare.
As a refinement tutor and widow, Juno is very independent. A confident and intelligent woman, she refuses to be beholden to a man and knows how to take care of herself. She is such a fantastic protagonist, and I love her strong, confident, and effervescent personality. She is the type of person that brings out the best and sees the best in others, which is especially obvious in her growing relationship with Dare.
Dare is also a strong and independent character. However, he is not as outgoing as Juno. They are opposites in many ways. He is very serious and a bit of an introvert, whereas she is very outgoing and social. However, they complement each other well. I like that she helps him become less rigid. She shows him how to live, and he is forever changed by her influence.
The romance has definite grumpy-sunshine vibes going on, and I loved it. Juno and Dare have fantastic chemistry, and the forbidden aspect of their relationship (she is trying to match him with her employer’s daughter) adds to the chemistry and charged atmosphere whenever they’re together. I love how Dare goes out of his way to see and spend time with Juno. Even when he isn’t fully aware of his feelings, he is drawn to this remarkable woman, and their romance is wonderful!
I really liked the secondary characters as well, especially their hosts for the house party who help in Juno’s matchmaking endeavors. Dare’s mother is also lovely and really perceptive. Though she has a minor role, her words have a strong impact on the story and Dare’s inner conflicts. There are many unique and distinct personalities, which makes for an interesting house party and a great read.
I enjoyed The Rigid Duke, as I enjoy all of Darcy Burke’s love stories. This is a fun, character-driven historical romance, and it included several of the tropes I love. I would definitely recommend it to romance readers and look forward to reading more books in this new series.
- The romance.
- The characters.
I am more than my title.
I think it’s important to stand by your principles and alongside the people you’ve pledged to help or who mean something to you.