Skip to content

New Release Review! THE RIGID DUKE by Darcy Burke (Matchmaking Chronicles #1)

The Rigid Duke cover

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.

add to Goodreads button


This was such a lovely read! Sunshine/grumpy one stories are quickly becoming a favorite, and stories like this one are a big part of the reason why.

It was so hard to put Juno and Dare’s story down once I started it–I absolutely loved the grumpy and “rigid” duke who hates house parties so much but goes to one to try and make his mother happy (by finding himself a duchess at least, of course). Conveniently there’s only one unmarried, eligible woman there (or is there??? ;)) and he’s the only eligible gentleman…so obviously they’ll end up together, right?

If you’ve read the blurb, though, you know that doesn’t happen…because of course there IS another single woman there–Juno, the paid companion to Marina–who naturally the duke did not go to a loathsome house party to meet. But Juno takes her job very seriously, and since Marina is a bit awkward isn’t a fan of social niceties and the duke is more than a little prickly, Juno is soon placing herself in his path in an attempt to smooth things over for her charge. Little does she know, though, that all she’s doing is bringing herself more and more to the duke’s attention…

I loved that once Dare knew that her name was Juno, he started referring to her as “goddess” in his head (and later, out loud; LOL). And how she slowly got him to start–gasp!–smiling and even laughing before long? Absolutely adorable. I did feel bad for poor Marina, but she obviously wasn’t meant for him, and I’m glad that Dare didn’t drag that on any longer than was necessary. (Maybe Ms Burke can give her her own book eventually…?) I also liked that Juno stood up for herself and want she wanted/needed (helped along at *certain times* by Dare, which made those scenes even more delicious) yet when she overreacted to a situation was also willing to admit when she’d been wrong. Honestly, these two were just fabulous together.

I’ve already read the next book in the series ( The Bachelor Earl: Includes Bonus Scenes from The Untouchables )–at a different house party, but at the same estate–but I wouldn’t be surprised if I give it another read while I’m waiting for the next ()The Runaway Viscount) because this series is just…lovely. This is technically the first book in the series, though, and absolutely works as as standalone for those who are new to the author or series.

Favorite line, because it’s a perfect description of the story as a whole:

She’d finally acknowledged that Dare had quite destroyed that contentment when he’d glowered his way into her life. It seemed that love came when one least expected it.

Happy sigh 🙂

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Published in4.5 starsABook reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight