Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Rigid Duke by Darcy Burke - ARC Review

 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.

I absolutely loved the idea of the Duke, who is attending a house party with the intention of finding a match with the only single female there, falling in love with the paid companion and society tutor of the young woman instead of the young lady in question.

Juno and Dare shouldn't work as a couple. While she is of noble lineage, her family disapproved of her marriage and Juno has not lived a life of nobility, especially after the death of her husband. The Duke, however, would rather avoid society entirely, so he is not all that concerned with the conventions. In fact, the Duke likes pretty much nothing at all, so liking Juno is somewhat of a surprise to him.

The grumpy/happy mix in this title really worked for me. Sometimes I find that the authors who write titles like this overdo the grumpy, but in this case, I enjoyed Dare and I thought he made some pretty valid points regarding some of the expectations placed on a Duke by proper society.

I enjoyed and recommend this title.

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