Jackie Calhoun’s End of the Rope focuses on Meg, whose dream of owning her own horse stable is coming true. Meg takes in abandoned horses, a dog, and a kid who wants to learn to show horses. Meg is exhausted all the time because she works all day at a medical clinic and then goes home and takes care of the horses in her care.
Meg’s photographer friend of many years, Nicky, is asked to move out of her own home when her partner of many years decides to campaign for a judgeship, but can’t get elected as a lesbian. Devastated by the betrayal, Nicky leaves her home and moves in with Meg.
The two women consummate a long standing attraction. Their life settles into a routine, but many things go wrong at the stables putting a strain on Meg and Nicky’s relationship. Added to the strain is Nicky’s ex who expects Nicky to help with her campaign and Meg’s thinking that Nicky is not exactly over her ex.
The stable setting is unique and Calhoun imparts knowledge about the care and showing of horses without lecturing her readers. If you are a horse person, you’ll love this book. If you’ve never met a horse up close and personal, you’ll learn a lot about them, and perhaps even gain a new respect for them and their riders.
There are several editorial missteps that take the reader out of the story. The story, though, is interesting enough to keep readers return to the story and turning pages to the end.