About the Book

End of the Rope
End of the Rope picks up the thread of Triple Exposure and runs with it. Ten years have passed, and Meg Klein now owns the house and land that belonged to Nicky Hennessey in Triple Exposure. This is their story.

 

When one of my daughters sent me a card with Ann Singsaas’s wonderful painting “Rush Hour” on the front, I thought the watercolor would make a great cover for a book about a woman who starts a stable and ends up taking in abandoned horses, horses she can’t afford to keep. That woman is Meg, who has two passions–Nicky and horses. The book is End of the Rope.

 

We owned horses for at least twenty years. My daughters showed their ponies and later their quarter horses in 4-H as well as open and quarter horse shows. We lived in Hamilton County, Indiana, which ranked third in the nation for horse population. Far from my native Wisconsin, with a best friend who loved horses, we spent many weekends showing.

Excerpt

End of the Rope
Meg balanced on the rickety scaffolding, spraying the old barn a bright red. She never heard Nicky’s Subaru drive in. What she heard was the dog yapping and Nicky calling her name. Her heart took a leap when she turned, partly because the board bounced under her weight and partly because Nicky did that to her.

“That looks dangerous.” Nicky peered up at her, her eyes shaded with one hand.

“It’s terrifying.” The scaffolding could collapse any minute or she might misstep and fall. Either was a real possibility, but how else could she paint the barn without it? “Wait a minute.” She emptied the spray gun and ran paint thinner through it.

Nicky hushed the little dog and held the ladder while Meg climbed down. When she reached the bottom, she leaned forward and kissed Nicky’s cheek. “Thanks for coming.”

Nicky touched her cheek and looked Meg up and down, “Have I got the right day?” Her dark eyebrows lifted in question.

Meg nodded, taking off her gloves. “I’ll just change and get Tango. Want to come inside? Get a drink of water or something?”

The old farmhouse was hot, even though every window was thrown open. The dog rushed into the kitchen and paused to glance around as if remembering he once lived there. They laughed.

“He’s a smart one,” Nicky said, opening a cupboard.

Meg headed for the bedroom to change into her show clothes. As she was pulling off her paint spattered T-shirt, Nicky appeared in the doorway with two glasses of ice water.

“It must have been hot up on that board.”

“Hot enough. Thanks.” She drank half the water before setting the glass down. “I need to take a shower. I’m a sweat-ball.”

“Hey, you look good sweaty.”

“Yeah?” Meg smiled at Nicky, taking in her dark blue eyes, noticing the gray strands in the nearly black hair that curled around her ears. She wondered if Nicky was thinking about their first bedding in this room all those years ago, of Meg hiding in the closet when Beth showed up in the middle of it, how they’d laughed guiltily outside afterward when their eyes met. Had she fallen for Nicky then and only realized when it was too late?

Jacket Copy

End of the Rope
Meg Klein has two enduring loves-horses and Nicky Hennessey.

 

When Meg buys a house with a barn and a few acres, her plans to turn the barn into a profitable stable go downhill with the economy. She finds it impossible to turn away horses whose owners can no longer afford them. However, her bank account is no match for her huge heart.

 

Nicky Hennessey is having financial and personal problems of her own. Her photography business has fallen off the economic cliff. Her relationship with her partner, Beth Forrester, is in deeper trouble than she knows. Spending time with Meg at the stable is easier than going home. When Meg is thrown from her new horse, Nicky is there to get her help-but Dr. Tina Rodriguez proves to be a wild card.

 

Although faced with losing everything she’s worked for, Meg realizes she may not be the only one at the end of the rope.

 

Jackie Calhoun’s long-time fans may recognize Meg and Nicky from Triple Exposure and Wrong Turns. In this romantic tale, two women who ought to have sorted out their futures long ago may finally get it right.

Reviews

End of the Rope
Jackie Calhoun’s latest book is a special read. Her characters seem like they could be yourself or one of your friends. The setting of her book is a horse stable owned by Meg Klein. I am not a “horse” person, but the description of her small farm, the barn, the horses, the goat and dogs that live in the barn let me see the attraction one could have of owning a place like this. I know nothing about horses, but after reading this book I felt like I owned one. I think any horse lover would love this book.

 

Calhoun’s main characters, Meg Klein and Nicky Hennessey give the reader a rollercoaster ride dealing with their feelings toward one another. I loved the young girl named Allie. She had her faults, but her love of horses and her caring for Meg and Nicky brought me back to my childhood dreams.

 

This is one of Calhoun’s finest books, a must read!   — anonymous