In From This Moment On by Debbi Rawlins Sexy, cowboy Trace McAllister was born and bred in Blackfoot Falls, Montana. He had a happy childhood, growing up on the Sundance Ranch with his loving family. Ranching is in his blood and that is what he wants to do with the rest of his life. Trace wanted to go to college and study agriculture, but when it was his turn to go, the poor economy prevented him from enrolling. His sister Rachel runs the Dude Ranch business at Sundance, which is marketed towards women. With Trace’s striking good-looks, charm and patience, it is no wonder his false reputation as a playboy attracts tons of women looking for fun. However, the locals know the real Trace, the hard-working, patient, knowledgeable cowboy that will do anything to help a friend or fellow rancher.
Nikki Flores is the illegitimate daughter of wealthy ranch owner Wallace Gunderson. Wallace is slowly dieing and because Nikki is a blood relation, she is entitled to half of the ranch upon his death. Due to her half-brother Matthew’s request and insistence, Nikki is temporarily living at the Circle K Ranch, basically waiting for her father to pass on. She is not sure about her future and has no interest in anything having to do with her father. Wallace was a hateful man, to both his family and friends. Wallace abandoned both Nikki and her mother when she was a child and consequently, life was hard growing up very poor in Houston. Nikki grew up in a gang thriving neighborhood, while her mother worked two jobs to keep food on the table and a roof above their heads. Nikki got into trouble from time to time and made some mistakes along the way. She is a very private person and opening up to others has always been difficult.
Nikki works as a waitress and bartender at the local bar in town. Trace is a frequent patron and slowly develops a relationship with Nikki. He recognizes her fears and strengths, teaches her about horses and the life of a rancher. Nikki and Trace see each other quite often because Matthew and Rachel are engaged to be married. Trace supports Nikki through the funeral and becomes her rock. Both begin to share with each other and strong feelings slowly develop. When they finally get together, sparks ignite and they fall in love.
There are some football teams that always seem to come to life in the second half of the game. And they are marketed and promoted as such. Well, a perfect example of a second half book, or more specifically, a fourth quarter book, is From This Moment On, authored by Debbie Rawlins. I found the plot throughout most of the book to be slow-paced and tame. The chemistry between the main two characters, Nikki and Trace, was almost nonexistent prior to the last few chapters. Romance, emotions and heat were not palpable until the end, which was very well written and engaging.
The author has written over 50 books and this is the latest in the “Made in Montana” series.