From a humble beginning in Newark, New Jersey, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, NJ at the age of fourteen, retiring from a fantastic career for a play broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, to the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park, Sandra traded in the Board Rooms for the Ballrooms of the Regency period and never looked back.
Sandra wrote her first book at the age of fifteen. Romance is at best a gift and her passion is the Regency period. Admittedly, she would prefer to be the sister of a duke or an earl…perhaps even a princess? Or the other endless possibilities of a widow. Hmmm.
As a lonely only child, she used to read fairy tales and now she writes them. She admits freely she’s an unapologetic story-teller.
Her debut novel was Once Upon a Duke, which received wide acceptance. She followed with Book Two, My Divinely Decadent Duke, a marriage-of-convenience story turned inconvenient when love and sensuality entered the equation.
Her third book, THORN, SON OF A DUKE, the prequel to her fourth book, THE DUKE’S MAGNIFICENT BASTARD is a 15,000-word teaser. She delineates Thorn’s younger days as a half-breed subject to the malice of rock throwing native boys. At the age of seventeen, his mother extracts a death-bed promise for him to sail the ocean to visit his father, the Duke of Althorn, who never knew of his existence. On the island of Barbados, it wasn’t the best of lives, but it was the only one he knew. Now, he was to face British aristocracy as the bastard son of a powerful, wealthy duke.
Book Four she lovingly calls “My Bastard” is a multi-cultural romance story of a young couple defeating all odds to have their love accepted. The gossamer thread of sensuality is woven through the tapestried story of their spicy, steamy romance. At times, the obstacles are daunting.
With Book Five in this series, ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE, she accomplished her life-long dream of publishing this story into a reality. What did it take? Cutting the too-long epic by 57,000 words was a prodigious task. She worked like a dervish, so her Raven and Samantha could see the light of a publishing day. She gave them cameo appearances in each of her books so she wouldn’t forget that they begged to earn a place in the series. Seven years later, they made their long awaited debut.
Now, she’s delighted to say that ONE NIGHT WITH A DUKE, has an official release date of June 21, 2017.
For a new author, it’s been a whirlwind two years and it was nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed.
Book Six is a work-in-process and her writing takes a different path into a dark, brooding fantasy where supernatural powers assist in prolonging the adventures of The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke. What man could resist redemption from the beautiful ward of his, Miss Jaclyn? Possible release end of 2017.
Two months ago, Sandra broke her right dominant arm, so she is tested every day to manipulate fingers that used to fly across typewriter keys. Some days are good and others are not, but her grit and determination keep her going.
P.S. Sandra love bears of all sizes and shapes. However, she prefers to view the real life ones from afar.
What makes you proud to be a writer from California? California where I retired, but I’ve been a business world traveler, and do like the small town coziness where most of the people where I live know I’m a spicy romance writer. I’m just a little fish in a big comfy pond. I make it evident about the heat level (spicy/sensual/hot) so a reader will not be offended.
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I started writing at thirteen and when I entered high school, I knew what I wanted to be. My high school English teacher encouraged me and of course, I fell in love with Frank Yarby’s Foxes of Harrow and that was representative of my preferred genre.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I did enter a convent in New Jersey, a result of my Catholic elementary school. I lasted three weeks. I was an only child and most likely a drama queen. From a child who had only two books and the Encyclopedia Britannia at my disposal, I now have over 863 books of all genres, but mostly Romance. I enjoy creating realistic characters, showing introspection, goals, motivation, and the hunger for something more than they have. Romance gives me the opportunity to write HAPPILY EVER AFTER endings.
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I decided that before I left the planet, I wanted at least one book (of the many I’d written) published. Five years ago, I joined Romance Writers of America and the local chapter Yosemite Romance Writers. Attended webinars, seminars, presentations, conferences, networked with other authors and aspiring writers, and in 2015 I published my first book ONCE UPON A DUKE with The Wild Rose Press.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Letters from fans, e mails from other author friends, and the fact that I’ve showed my grandchildren that if you want to do something, try and try again and work hard and it will happen. For me it took decades, but worth the wait. Nothing I expected but everything I dreamed. Also, my husband who used to read mysteries wanted to help, so I convinced him to read romance. Now he’s my plotster and I do work at this 8 hours a day 6 days a week. I stop at 5:00 p.m. and we enjoy a cocktail and discuss my characters. It has enriched our marriage!!!!!
How many published books do you have? Five Books, The Duke Series with The Wild Rose Press.
Please list the titles of all your books:
Once Upon A Duke
My Divinely Decadent Duke
Thorn, Son of a Duke
The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard
One Night With A Duke
The Blue-Eyed Black-Hearted Duke (Release Date End 2017)
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write spicy, sensual, hot Regency era novels. This encompasses 1800-1820 give or take a year. This was the Georgian era in England, and it was a time of elegant madness and maybe even self-illuminating. It was the time of the romp where pleasures were pursued, sometimes granted and sometimes denied, but there was passion and sensuality in the air. It gave way to the Victorian Era in stark difference to the Regency. I’ve written mostly about the aristocracy because I like to, but also because I think in another life I was the sister of a Duke, or a wealthy widow with privileges. This is not to say that this era did not have important issues in the nation to be dealt with, such as, woman’s rights, poverty, the industrial revolution which galvanized the masses. Farm workers rushed to the city to make money and encountered disease and pestilence. Every human being has a story, I just prefer the happier, privileged ones that have problems, conflict, and eventually a happily ever after.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Two rules:
Rule Number 1: Never give up
Rule Number 2: Don’t forget Rule Number One.
Who is your favorite author and why? Judith McNaught, Mary Balogh, come to mind. Judith broke all the rules and touched your heart. Mary writes with her heart and is consistent. I know I’ve left a lot of amazing authors out, but it’s only because my arm is hurting now. I broke it four weeks ago and I’m learning to type again.
The Duke Series by Sandra Masters
A True Regency Romance That Will Leave You Wanting More
One Night With A Duke: The Duke Series Book Five by Sandra Masters
Reclusive, cold as ice, the politically powerful Raven, Duke of Ravensmere, denies love after the tragic deaths of his duchess and baby. He is bound by his vow never to allow love to enter his heart again. Samantha Winston permits him to seek refuge in her carriage in a time of need, and what started as a kiss in the name of safety, becomes something more pleasurable and not so safe after all. In spite of every caution, his interest escalates into unexpected desire.
Samantha, a young widow with a secret, irreverent and high-spirited, has constructed impenetrable walls against all men. When she and Raven meet again, strong wills clash. Political intrigues and a dreaded nemesis place his life at risk, and Samantha finds herself in a dire predicament. All the while, passion soars.
Book Review: One Night With A Duke is the fifth book The Duke series. Author Sandra Masters sums up book five her series which takes place in London 1816 by this statement: “Can Samantha’s barriers fall with more kisses? Can Raven be released from his deathbed vow?”
Chapter one opens with action “The decision to walk to the gala had been a colossal mistake. The Tenth Duke of Ravensmere ducked into the shadows. Seven against one not good odds.”
Those who follow this series already know the well-developed characters and great story telling. Whether you start with book one or book five you will travel back into a period of time where romance was divine and acts played out in the bedroom were expressions of one’s heart and soul. Let me draw you into the story with a delicious romance from chapter thirty three:
“Raven growled as she screamed his name over and over again and considered it a benediction. Then and there, he knew there would never be any other woman for him. Her every reaction became an aphrodisiac. He prepared to ascend into sublime bliss, plunged his manhood into her again and again, and before he could exercise any control, released his seed.
“Each thrust seemed to reward them with multiple orgasms. His voice roared in strong satisfaction, desperate to breathe in gulps of air. She was velvet. He was iron. The look of passion on her sweet face pleasured him. This experience didn’t disappoint. Not what he expected, and perhaps too much more. Raven felt her muscle tighten around him and contract, tighten, and then bind him yet again. She coiled around his shaft. Paradise attained. He didn’t want the moment to end. What man would?
“After a few long moments, he rolled off her and brought her close to him, their bodies naked and moist from their lovemaking. “I hope I wasn’t too heavy. Admittedly, I dealt with a few unexpected issues.” He kissed her forehead and fondled her silken hair. Raven gazed at her face when she leaned back in repose, skin kissed by the moonlight, her lips rose-colored and lust-swollen. Her hair now pooled into strands of red curls wound in laziness and reminded him of a burning forest fire as it crested. The flames of the fireplace’s glowing embers cast a color spell of reds, orange and yellow on her tresses, radiating and beckoning his fingers to romp through. He knew the touch of it would feel like silken threads. Fascinated, he stared as her finger teased away ward tendril away.”
I invite you to enjoy this book along with the entire Duke Series by romance author Sandra Masters. I am enjoying the entire series. I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘One Night With A Duke’ as a refreshing Regency Romance set in the 1800s. At the end of this book, Author Sandra Masters will whet your appetite for book six titled The Blue-Eyed, Black-Hearted Duke. I purchased this book from Kindle on June 21, 2017 and this review was completed on June 23, 2017
Genre: Romance, Historical, Regency Romance
The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard (The Duke Series Book 4) by Sandra Masters
After three years in England, Thorn Wick, the duke’s bastard son, perfectly flawed, still fights for acceptance in his father’s world as a renowned Argamak Turk horse trainer. Just when he starts to believe in fairy tales, another obstacle looms to thwart his plans: on a dangerous mission to Barbados, Thorn is stunned when secrets are revealed about his mother. Will he exact revenge for the foul deed?
Alicia Montgomery, ward of the duke, is in love with Thorn. Strong willed and adventurous, she determines she can convince him to admit his feelings. But the reality of loving Thorn too much almost destroys her.
Can Alicia quell Thorn’s demons and prove love can pave the way to their happiness?
Book Review: The fourth book the Duke Series is set in Porticio of Beckamhouse, London, England, 1820. The book opens with a romantic interlude between Thorn Wick and Alicia Montgomery.
Travel back into a period of time when men and women behaved elegantly and letters were more than mere words, they were the expression of one’s heart and soul. Let me draw you into the story with this quote:
“Chester announced that the visitor the Marquess of Montgate, had arrived, and he’d shown the gentleman into the room. She smiled a warm greeting to him.
“Dear, dear Alicia, I’ll be the envy of every man at the ball tonight. You look ravishing in that goddess-like gown. How will I keep all the men away from you?” He bent low and kissed her extended hand.
“I will assist by exhibiting the manner of a shrew if necessary. Now, Percival, give me a proper hug. I promise not to bore you about horses, but I will keep you engaged in conversation about my schoolmistress duties. I confess I’m worn out. I wonder how our tenants are able to cope with so many children without servants.”
Percival smiled. “We aristocrats do have some advantages.”
“That may be, but I look forward to our time tonight. Thorn gave you a letter for me?”
“Yes, he did when last we met.” He grinned. “He also gave me instructions that I was to protect you from any man who would try to woo you to a balcony or some such thing. Especially I’m to keep Claven, that scoundrel, a good distance from you. Please don’t encourage the rascal. I’m too young to die in a duel.” He walked toward her. “Thorn’s much in love with you, my dear.”
“And I am with him.”
“Alas, it’s my sad fate to relinquish you. Here is his letter.” He withdrew it from his breast pocket. “Now if you will direct me to the duke and duchess, I’ll extend my greetings while you read the contents.”
“Percival, you’re a good friend of his. I thank you. I’ll be with you shortly. Just follow the conversations, and they’ll lead you to the grand drawing room. Gordon is with them. I’ll join you in a few minutes.”
He turned to leave.
“Percival,” she called out. “Thank you for this wondrous gift. I shan’t forget you.”
“It’s my pleasure, Alicia. Thorn is my dearest friend. I know how much he loves you, and I’m happy to help him attain his goals.” He winked, and left.
She ran into the library where she could read his letter in private. She carefully opened it and her heart lifted at its prose.
You must read the book to find out what this letter said and how Alicia responds.
Theodocia McLean endorses The Duke’s Magnificent Bastard by Sandra Masters. One Night with a Duke, is promised for release in 2017. I purchased this book and reviewed it form a Kindle format. This review was completed on November 6, 2016.
Thorn, Son Of A Duke (Duke Series Book Three) by Sandra Masters
Mini novella prequel to Book Four
At the age of seventeen, Thorn Wick made a promise to his dying mother that sends him sailing from Barbados to England to meet the man who sired him, the aristocratic Duke of Althorn, who never knew of his son’s existence.
Alicia Montgomery, ward of the Duke, develops a deep affection for the Anglo Indian who protects her from advances by other men. She wants him to acknowledge his feelings for her, but he insists on ignoring the chemistry between them.
Despite the intrigue, revelations, and revenge, will their passion and love for each other conquer all?
Book Review: The third book (mini novella prequel to book four) in the Duke Series is here and Author Sandra Masters delivers another true regency romance with Thorn, Son Of A Duke.
The book opens with Thorn Wick aboard his Majesty’s Ship en route to England, 1817. “Thorn Wick leaned over the railing of the ship. A queasy sensation roiled in his stomach as he watched the swelling of the seas. He closed his eyes and hoped he’d wake up and find himself in his sunlit room in Barbados on firm ground listening to island chants.”
Enjoy regal characters and superb story telling that will keep you invested in the plot. Let me share with you a passage from the book as tension builds at ‘London Wharfside’.
“Thorn stood by the railing and scanned an old road that gave access to wharves and docks on the north bank of the River Thames. The panorama before him amazed. Busy docks men and porters hustled large cases and bales from the ships to the waiting warehousemen. Men shouted while clerks with inventory lists directed longshoremen to the appropriate buildings.
“Sir Tomas, what is that large building to the right of us? Never have I seen such a large structure.”
“That’s the East India House owned and operated by the company. I would venture to say the wealth that passes within its portals is unsurpassed in the world. They are a powerful force with which to reckon. Fortunately, your forefathers had the good sense not to invest in India and chose Barbados.”
Thorn’s eyes widened at the activity; excitement overtook him. He didn’t know where to look first.
“Do you see that black coach with the Lion crest waiting?”
“Yes. Is that my father’s?” he asked with a bit of trepidation.
As they spoke, a tall aristocratic gentleman departed the coach, his beaver top hat and greatcoat an admission of his wealth. The coach driver was armed and one footman was on the back board. The other footman walked behind the man. A gold dome-topped cane glistened in the sunlight.
“Is that my father, Sir Tomas?”
“Yes, it is. He’s come to greet you personally.” Tomas grasped Thorn’s shoulder in convivial support. “Just be yourself, Thorn. Everything will be fine.”
The gangplank was lowered, and the passengers prepared to depart. Thorn and Tomas waited for the others to precede them.
“Courage, little lion,” Tomas joked.
“I will need more than that,” Thorn replied, unable to keep his eyes off the aristocratic gentleman who waited patiently on the dock.
I now understand what my mother saw in him.
Thorn took a deep breath. “I’m ready, Sir Tomas. Let us greet the great lion.” He smiled with an inquisitive stare at the man who gave him life and wondered what future awaited him.
I invite you to follow this father and son reunion and see what lays in store for this son of a duke. Read the entire Duke Series by Sandra Masters at Amazon. Each book stands alone for your regency romance enjoyment.
Theodocia McLean endorses Thorn, Son Of A Duke (The Duke Series Book 3) by Sandra Masters. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on March 10, 2016.
My Divinely Decadent Duke (The Duke Series Book Two) by Sandra Masters
Orphaned and abandoned by family, Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love. Beautiful and innocent, she attracts the attention of a renowned rake, the Duke of Althorn. When her security is threatened, she offers him a proposal for an arranged marriage in exchange for his guarantee of safety for her and her ward. After her first taste of desire in his arms, she finds the sexual attraction irresistible. Finding herself in a family way, she leaves his home, unsure of his love.
The Duke is at first enraged by the brazen behavior, yet he sees Cassandra as a captivating caregiver for his mother and impossible to resist. He agrees. The arrangement becomes inconvenient because love and sex enter the equation.
Will she believe her husband truly loves her and return to his waiting arms?
Will the Duke admit his love and use his rakish skills to woo Cassandra back to his bed?
Book Review: Follow-up regency romance Once Upon A Duke with My Divinely Decadent Duke (Duke Series Book Two).
Back in London in 1822 arranged marriages of even royalty doesn’t mean the woman (seen as a possession) is secure in life or love, in fact the beautiful Lady Cassandra Montgomery yearns for love.
At the ballroom “Cassandra turned to her brother. “Brent Montgomery, Earl of Stratton. May I introduce you to his Grace, Duke of Althorn.”
Later “The Duke stared at the sun-dappled ocean from his balcony residence as the evening hour approached. The ever-present restlessness was his companion. He took deep breaths, prepared to harness his energy and put it to work for him. His beloved dog Clayo lay at his side. He knelt to pet her head. She was one of his prized possessions; there could never be a doubt of the indisputable fact. The animal gave him a lick on his hand. His gentle creature with the name of a temptress Egyptian Queen was dedicated in her affection for him.”
“The Duke decided to walk the beach again. This time he took Clayo, and his attire was indeed informal. He’d left his jacket at the villa, but was still dressed in his waistcoat appropriate to his rank. Crop in his right hand, he strode quickly. Although he would be loathed to admit it, he wanted to see if his Enchantress of the Sea would be out and about. He invited her the night before to walk along the beach, but she didn’t present herself. In his heart, he didn’t think she would tonight, but nonetheless, it didn’t hurt to ask. Clayo plodded alongside him and wagged her tail. He kept at their “stick into the ocean” game, and she promptly retrieved. They played most of the time until either he became bored or Clayo tired.
His heart leaped when he saw Cassandra. This time the outfit was a dark azure skirt with the same white balloon sleeve blouse, a light blue jacket, and a fetching azure hat with her blonde hair tucked under it. The children were with her. Alicia, wearing a white ruffled dress with many petticoats, ran barefoot and giggled. A huge white bow accented her blonde braid so the wind wouldn’t whip hair in her face. Blue eyes that matched the sky, soft creamy white skin, and a delicate frame gave the girl an impish look. It then occurred to him how much Alicia resembled Cassandra. Could it be a coincidence? Or was there more to it? Was there a secret somewhere?
More than a romance story, it is an adventure told with remarkable storytelling, easy going to face paced reading, true to time period dialog and settings along with extensive research by Author Sandra Masters engages the reader in the search for true love between Lady Cassandra Montgomery and Duke Gordon Althorn.
Relax into a deep, hot bubble bath with a glass of red wine (or drink of your choice) and relax with romance as it should be. Author Sandra Masters states it best: “Every woman should have a divinely decadent Duke in her life.”
Theodocia McLean endorses My Divinely Decadent Duke by Sandra Masters as book two in this Regency Romance. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on February 6, 2016.
Once Upon A Duke: The Duke Series Book One by Sandra Masters
Serena, an artist and widow, has no desire for another husband. When she meets Geoffrey Austen, attraction sizzles to a scorch. Stolen days and nights ignite forbidden passion. Geoffrey asks Serena to be his mistress, but she wants commitment, love, and marriage, not an affair with a notorious rake.
Geoffrey realizes Serena might be the one woman who can care for his tortured soul, and maybe release his demons. The magic they shared is shattered when he learns she has been forced into an engagement with another. He vows to save her even at the cost of his own life.
Will Geoffrey’s gallantry prove he truly loves Serena?
If he survives, will Serena surrender all to him?
Book Review: Bring regency romance into your life with Once Upon A Duke. Each book in the Duke Series stands alone for your reading pleasure.
Warm, realistic characters in book one bring the reader back to London 1817. Lady Serena Worthington Durand is a strong independent woman ahead of her time, but she faces demons from the past. I quote: “If Lady Serena could be granted one wish, she would ride off into the morning mist and vanish. That, of course wasn’t possible, but here in her favorite lakeside retreat, she could relax in safety.”
Legendary Duke of Sutton, Geoffrey Austen has a chance encounter with Lady Serena and I quote: “Allow me to introduce myself, Lord Geoffrey Austen, at your service.” He swept off his hat and bowed. “I am Henry Worthington’s hunting guest for the week.”
More than a romance story, it is an adventure that will make your heart pound, your emotions run wild and your spirit soar.
The combination of remarkable storytelling, easy going to face paced reading, true to time period dialog and settings along with extensive research by Author Sandra Masters engages the reader in the life and times of Lady Serena Worthington Durand.
I invite you to light a fire, pour a glass of red wine (Sandra Masters would join you in the wine, but hers would be a white fruity glass) and relax with romance as it should be. Author Sandra Masters states it best: “Every woman should have a divinely decadent Duke in her life.”
Theodocia McLean endorses Once Upon a Duke by Sandra Masters as a true Regency Romance that will leave you wanting more. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 7, 2015.