My Divinely Decadent Duke

The Duke Series

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
374 Pages
Reviewed on 07/05/2016
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Author Biography

Fall in love with Romance all over again
with author Sandra Masters
From a humble beginning in Newark, New Jersey, a short stay at a convent in Morristown, N.J. at the age of fourteen, Sandra Masters retired from a fantastic career for a play broadcasting company in Carlsbad, California, and settled in the rural foothills of the Sierras of Yosemite National Park with her husband, Ron, and two dogs, Silky and Sophie. She traded in the Board Rooms for the Ballrooms of the Regency Era and never looked back.
She wrote her first book at the age of thirteen and since then she’s always traveled with pen and notebook for her writing experiences. It’s been the journey of ten thousand miles with a few steps left to go. She deemed it a pleasure to leave the corporate world behind decades later.

Nothing she expected, but everything she dreamed. Her business card lists her occupation as Living The Dream.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite

My Divinely Decadent Duke is a historical romance from The Duke Series by Sandra Masters. Lady Cassandra Montgomery’s plan to secure a better future for herself and her ward, Alicia, goes awry when she is jilted. She also knows her sister-in-law, Felicity, is vindictive and detests her. Cassandra proposes marriage to Gordon, Duke of Althorn, a womanizer who came to her rescue, in exchange for looking after his sick mother. Althorn has misgivings about the marriage, but his attraction to Cassandra is strong so he agrees, setting a few requirements of his own which she reluctantly accepts. When the Dowager’s health begins to improve, Cassandra decides to change their living arrangements, much to Althorn’s disapproval. However, unforeseen circumstances alter her plans when Althorn becomes ill and other lives are endangered.

My Divinely Decadent Duke is a nice romance novel about an amiable young woman who yearns for a happier lifestyle, free of scandalous gossip that affects her, and a duke known for his rakish charms and curious past. This is also one of the novels from Sandra Masters’ Duke Series that follows the curious life of one of its main characters, Duke Gordon Althorn who struggles with his own personal problems. I found this very interesting. Sandra Masters has included an enlightening Author’s Notes section giving brief historical information on places, noteworthy events and persons relevant to the era the story is set in. Her writing is clear, descriptive, and comprehensible so readers will gain knowledge of events from the previous novel.

Marta Tandori

My Divinely Decadent Duke is the second decadently delicious helping in The Duke romance series by author Sandra Masters. It has plenty of titled and jaded aristocracy, opulent settings, and enough scandal to make today’s reality show producers green with envy.

Lady Cassandra Montgomery has just been callously jilted by her fiancé, Viscount Harold Fox. He is backing out of their engagement because his father has announced him heir apparent and has found him a more suitable wife. Cassandra is shocked, angry and embarrassed at his obvious betrayal. She had been counting on their marriage and the Viscount’s promise to look after her ward, Alicia, daughter of Cassandra’s best friend who had died in childbirth. The situation at her brother’s house, where she and Alicia live, is becoming downright uncomfortable as her brother’s new wife, Felicity, a former actress, has begun making veiled threats against the little girl. Cassandra’s rejection is overheard by Gordon, the Duke of Althorn. Known as a rake and scoundrel in their social circles, he seems anything but as he kindly offers Cassandra a shoulder to lean on as she pours out her troubles. Their paths cross again later in Brighton and Cassandra soon sees a different side to Gordon; a more sensitive and caring side to a man who clearly likes children and dogs, and also cares for his mother. Despite all of this – or perhaps because of it – the chemistry between the luscious Lady Cassandra and the virile Duke sizzles.

There is much to like about My Divinely Decadent Duke. Set in 1822 England, it has all the pomp and ceremony befitting the wealthy aristocracy of that era. There are an endless array of parties and balls where innuendo and gossip run amok and taking on a mistress is almost de rigueur. It’s difficult to write a romance in this era without succumbing to the clichéd prose of heaving bosoms and throbbing manhood but the author manages to keep her prose true to the era without an overuse of flowery language that bogs down the momentum of the story. Clearly, both Cassandra and Gordon are remarkable specimens of human beauty yet Masters has remembered to give them attributes which make them not only more human but also likeable. While Gordon may be a rake with plenty of women under his belt, so to speak, he’s also a man who gets along well with children and animals. The recurring malaria, which he contacted in the Barbados while quelling a slave rebellion on his family’s plantations, makes him all the more vulnerable. Cassandra, while clearly beautiful, also has a huge heart for taking on the child of her dead best friend, an admirable trait, to be sure.

And while My Divinely Decadent Duke is a period romance, it is also important to remember that one has to stay true to the time period in which one is writing. This is where the book takes some licence. It is unlikely that in 1822 England, an unmarried young woman would be granted custody of a young child, no matter what prior arrangement or deathbed promise had been made. It is also somewhat questionable whether a young, unmarried woman would take responsibility for another woman’s child knowing the devastating effect it would have on her reputation – especially during a time when a woman’s virtue had to remain intact if one was to make a “good marriage.” These two issues, and some excessive inner dialogue, were the only negative aspects to an otherwise good story. My Divinely Decadent Duke is one divinely decadent feast for the senses!