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Posted September 19, 2010
End of the Rope returns to two characters that were included in Calhoun's earlier books, Triple Exposure and Wrong Turns. Reading the two previous books might add to this story some, but it isn't necessary.
Meg Klein is trying to turn her property into a profitable stable, but the economy is hard and people keep leaving their horses for her to take care of instead of paying the boarding fees she was hoping for. Her friend Nicky Hennessey tries to help when she is forced to move in with Meg. Nicky's long time partner is running for a judgeship and has decided that being identified as a lesbian will not win her votes. Nicky tries to forget her problems by focusing on her photography business and engaging in the kind of relationship that Meg has secretly imagined for many years. With financial ruin and an uncertain relationship facing them, Meg and Nicky may both be at the end of their ropes.
This book seems to drift. Scenes occur and don't add to the story. Secondary characters appear for no apparent reason and then disappear. The main characters sometimes come off as irritating. Meg seems fairly focused, but Nicky at times appears to be a lost soul. Her supposed lover of many years puts her out, so she turns immediately to Meg and then stalks her former lover and harbors the hope they might get back together. It's difficult to determine who is more aggravating, Nicky or Meg for putting up with her behavior. The part of the book that is interesting deals with the training and showing of horses. Calhoun obviously knows something about this environment.
End of the Rope is flat as a romance, but the story is fair. The reader might want to invest the money into a story that has more punch to it.
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