"In A Battle of Will Can There be Two Winners?"
Reviewed by Joanne Bozik
Posted February 11, 2013
I have never, ever been dissatisfied with Charlene Sands
books and SUNSET SURRENDER is a great romantic cowboy read!
Sands' stories are sexy, romantic and turn pagers! If you have
a chance to obtain SUNSET SURRENDER, you won't be sorry!
Montrose was raised on Sunset Ranch by her mother, who has
passed away. Sophia, like her mom, is one beautiful and
sexy young woman, with her mom's Spanish looks that make any
man turn his head more then once. She never thought she'd
ever see the Ranch again, but she's come back home to claim
her share of this beautiful family spread located in
Sophia, thinks back on her growing years at the ranch and
remembers a time when Logan Slade had kissed her after
making bets with his friends that he could. It's a biter
sweet reunion meeting up with Logan again and he's as cold
as ever towards her. Logan tries every way to talk her out
of staying, even offering to give her a large sum of money to
give it up, but Sophia is made of strong resistance. However
Logan is not as immune to Sophia's beauty as he'd like to
be and finds himself wanting to be near her all the time,
even though they squabble a lot.
Sophie's mom had been the manager of the vacation lodge
located on the ranch, but when rumors started to make their
rounds that Sophie's mom had been having an affair with
Logan's married father, her mom had to move out and make a
new life for Sophie and herself. Logan feels very
resentful towards Sophia and puts her in her mom's category
as a cheating deceitful woman. He's so set in his
stubborn ways and built up anger, but when his brother Luke
arrives at the Ranch, he becomes jealous and possessive
over Sophia, then makes his move on her. Will she be open
to Logan's attention and love making, or will she tell him
to take a walk? Will she wind up staying with his brother
Luke? Read to find out, for both men are tough good
looking cowboys. One claims to be just her friend? And the
other one, Logan, what does he truly want from Sophia? Does
he want her off the ranch and out of his life, or with him?
The attraction between them is very strong, even when their
fingers graze, turning up the heat between them. She also
loves his brother Luke, so what must a girl do now?
When she's with Luke, she's laughing and happy, but when
she's with Logan, she's so uncertain, nervous and does not
The end of SUNSET SURRENDER is as wonderful and page turning
as the beginning. Do not miss SUNSET SURRENDER!
"You don't belong here, Sophia."
Sophia Montrose is no stranger to Sunset Ranch. Not after
the scorching kiss Logan Slade once shared with the
alluring Spanish beauty in high school. Now she's back—to
claim a share of his family's Nevada spread. Logan wants to
hate her. After all, she's a Montrose.
Sophia hasn't forgotten that stolen moment with Logan—even
if it was part of a cruel bet. Fifteen years later, she's
staring into the rugged cowboy's cold black eyes…and
determined to stand her ground. But will she lose her
footing in the quicksand of their unquenchable love-hate
Sunset Ranch, Nevada
Sophia Montrose stared into the cowboy's cold black
eyes. His mouth was hard and a twitch away from a sneer.
"Couldn't wait to show up here, now could you?"
It was not a sunny welcome back to Sunset Ranch. Not
that Sophia really expected one from Logan Slade. She'd
decided long ago that she would stand her ground and refuse
to let him intimidate her. But she hadn't crossed paths
with him since she'd left Sunset Ranch as a girl of
fifteen, and had forgotten how his rugged good looks could
make her heartbeat speed up. Yet even though maturity had
done him justice in a dangerously sinful way, she wouldn't
lose sight of how Logan Slade resented her being here, just
as much as he had when she'd lived on Slade land before.
"Is Luke home?" Standing on the doorstep of the ranch
house, Sophia hoped to see the friendly face of Logan's
younger brother soon.
"No. He'll be home tomorrow. You want to come back?"
She shook her head. She had nowhere else to go. She'd
given up her small Las Vegas apartment and had driven for
hours to reach the ranch this afternoon. She didn't want to
take a room in Carson City. She was ready to start her new
life, now. This minute. "I came for the keys to the
He leveled an unforgiving look at her. "You'll get them."
Logan had instructed his attorney not to give her the
keys in advance. He'd wanted her to come for them
personally. It was Logan's way. He wanted to see her
squirm, or at the very least, make her feel uncomfortable
the second she stepped foot on Slade property.
She put out her hand, palm up, and tried for
civility. "Please. I'd like to get settled."
He assessed her for one moment, then whipped around and
entered his house, tossing a command over his
shoulder. "Follow me."
She was left on the threshold with her hand out. Quickly
lowering it to her side, she tilted her chin up, and took a
few steps inside the house.
The minute she entered, her throat tightened and good
memories washed away Logan's attempt to ruin this
homecoming. The place was as beautiful as she remembered.
She'd loved the warmth of the Slade home, the pretty earth
colors, the cozily arranged furniture that faced a wide
stone fireplace that reached the ceiling. Antiques, bronze
statues and expensive artwork decorated the room. Hard wood
and contrasting soft hues made the Nevada ranch house
How many times had she played here with Luke? How many
birthday parties and private Sunset Lodge events had she
attended here with her mother? A stream of good feelings
settled into her bones.
She followed behind Logan, his shiny black boots
clicking against polished wood. His tall muscular frame ate
up space as he sauntered down the long hallway toward his
late father Randall Slade's office. Logan was neat as a
pin, looking crisp in a blue plaid shirt and
brand–new jeans. Broad–backed and
slim–hipped, he had a fine way of filling out his
clothes. He made no attempt to speak with her. She didn't
expect small talk from him anyway.
Sophia could only imagine his tirade when the terms of
his father's last will and testament had been read by the
Slades' private attorney. It must have been a
last–minute decision on Mr. Slade's part to include
her in the will, because when Luke had called—a voice
from her past—she'd noted his surprised tone. But he
was encouraging. He couldn't wait to see her again after
all these years, he'd said, despite the circumstances.
But no one could have been more surprised than Sophia
when she'd learned she'd inherited half ownership of Sunset
Lodge from Randall Slade. The only stipulation was that she
had to manage the lodge for one year before she could sell
It had been twelve years since she'd lived here. Her
mother, as the manager of Sunset Lodge, had left abruptly,
breaking all ties to the Slade family and asking Sophia to
do the same. It meant losing Luke's friendship and many
other things, when they'd left Sunset Ranch.
"It's for the best," her mother had said. But Sophia
hadn't understood that, the way children couldn't
understand sacrifice and hardship and doing the right
thing. Sophia had been yanked out of high school in her
first year without any warning. She'd left girlfriends
behind—and all of her dreams—and had cried
herself to sleep every night during those first few months.
Now, with her mother gone after fighting a
two–year battle with cancer, Sophia was here to claim
her unexpected inheritance. Randall Slade had always been
kind to her, showing her compassion, and Sophia thought him
a good man. He had treated Sophia like family, had been a
father figure to her when her own father had abandoned her
at the age of three.
"In here," Logan rasped, ducking into the office.
She followed him inside.
"Have a seat." He pointed to a crimson leather sofa that
looked stiff and new. As she gazed around the room, she
noted that the entire room had been updated.
Instead of the paneled walls and golden curtains she'd
remembered, the walls were clean, textured and stately.
Wide electronically controlled windows opened to the
grounds outside. Above, rustic chandelier lamps had been
replaced with track lights that pointed down at the desk
like a row of dutiful soldiers. It was as if all evidence
of Randall Slade and his reign at Sunset Ranch had been
"No, thank you." Her decision to stand garnered a quick
glance and then a grunt from Logan. Sophia smiled to
herself. She'd cling to her small victories.
She wished Luke had been the one to greet her today. She
would've liked him to be the first person she'd face upon
her return to Sunset Ranch. But she'd moved up her arrival
by a few days out of necessity, and maybe it was a good
thing to get this confrontation with Logan over with first,
rather than hold on to her dread. When she saw Luke again,
there wouldn't be worries about his older brother
overshadowing their reunion.
"I'm sorry about your father," Sophia said out of
reverence to Randall Slade's memory. "He was a decent man.
I'm sure you miss him very much."
From behind his long plank desk, Logan's stony
expression didn't budge. "We're not here to discuss my
relationship with my father."
"You won't even allow me to offer my condolences?"
Sophia spoke softly, injured that Logan wouldn't grant her
that much. "He was always kind to me."
Leather creaked as he lowered down in a swivel chair
behind his desk. "He was kind to Montrose women at the
expense of my family."
She stood five feet seven inches tall in bare feet and
yet Logan, sitting behind his desk with penetrating eyes
locked on her, appeared the more imposing. She swallowed
past a lump in her throat. Her mother's death was still
painfully raw to her. She knew Logan resented her mother.
Maybe he hated her, but she wouldn't allow him to speak ill
of her. "My mother died several months ago, Logan. I miss
her, just as I'm sure you miss your father. I will ask you
to keep your thoughts to yourself about what you think you
"I know the truth, Sophia. And there's no way to
sugar–coat it." His voice held conviction. "Your
mother had an affair with my father, right under my
mother's nose. Louisa wanted his money and he was too
blinded by her beauty to see what she was doing. Our family
was never the same after that. It nearly destroyed us."
Sophia glanced out the window at the beautiful grounds
and the stables where exquisite horses were raised to be
sold to the highest bidder. The lodge beyond was a private
resort designed to house elite guests who wanted a
ranchtype experience with all the trimmings.
The Slade brothers—Justin, Luke and
Logan—had endured their mother and father's deaths
but they had each other, and they'd always have Sunset
Ranch, whereas Sophia was completely alone. For whatever
pain the Slades went through, she was truly sorry, but what
had happened between her mother, Louisa and Randall Slade
was complicated and not so easily explained.
"My mother saved your parents' marriage."
Logan shot back, "You've worn too many headdresses in
your day, Sophia. All that strutting around
half–naked on Las Vegas stages has gotten to you."
His triumphant gaze penetrated straight through her. She
shouldn't have been surprised that he knew about her
profession as a showgirl. She'd managed to keep under the
radar for most of her adult life, but when her mother had
taken ill Sophia had tough choices to make to provide for
both of them and she wasn't ashamed of it. Nearly everyone
within earshot in Nevada had learned about her scandalous
marriage to an aging millionaire. What was to be a private
union had ended up becoming fodder for the tabloids once
the news of her marriage got out. Even in Las Vegas, a
twenty–six–year–old showgirl marrying a
seventy–one year old oil magnate on the sly was big
"So you know?"
"I read, Sophia."
"My marriage and my last profession aren't any of your
business," she said softly. Her heart was full of grief and
she had no room left for more. Not from Logan and not on
her first day back here. There would be more battles to
come, she was sure, but she didn't want to argue with him
He swept his eyes over her again, this time more
precisely, as if he were ranking her on some kind of male
scale. He scanned over the long wisps of black hair that
had escaped from the severe knot at the back of her head
and then his gaze traveled from her amber eyes to her full
lips. He lingered there, and she wondered if he remembered
the kiss they'd shared in high school. The one that had
left Sophia breathless and wanting more. The one that Logan
had used to humiliate her. She'd never gotten over her
first real kiss or the pain that it had...
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