The Cactus Creek Challenge by author Erica Vetsch
5 Stars *****
(Barbour Publishing, 2015)
The Cactus Creek Challenge, set in 1888 Cactus Creek, Texas - is a rollicking, laugh-out-loud funny novel by author Erica Vetsch. Chock-full of romance, restoration, hope, lovable characters, non-stop action and adventure with some of the wildest escapades, ever - it will satisfy the palate of many readers.
Each contestant of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge switches jobs with another contestant for one month, the townspeople voting for the person that excels, by contributing money to the glass candy jar labeled with the name of that person's favorite cause. To make this year's contest more challenging, each contestant switches jobs with a contestant of the opposite sex. What could possibly go wrong when schoolteacher Cassie Bucknell swaps jobs with childhood friend Sheriff Ben Wilder, and baker Jenny Hart with livery stable owner Carl Gustafson?
Needless to say, each contestant learns much about his/herself, and finds that "walking in another's shoes" is never as easy as it appears. The schoolchildren and their antics will steal the reader's heart, as will: twenty-four-year-old Sheriff Ben, trying to live up to his father's reputation. Nineteen-year-old Cassie, who's had a crush on Ben since childhood, and wants to prove her maturity, even though he's always thought of her more as a sister-figure. Burly, giant of a man, tidy, widower Carl - who's afraid to risk more pain by loving again. Widow Jenny left a wealthy life-style and fled Chattanooga, Tennessee, with her young daughter, Amanda, after the death of Jenny's abusive, power-hungry husband. She's seeking security from her father-in-law's threats to assume guardianship of Amanda; mother and daughter both seeking self-worth, and afraid to trust the friendship of another man.
There are so many reasons to love The Cactus Creek Challenge. I would enjoy reading a sequel to this delightful, heart-warming, inspiring story!
GIVEAWAY: Erica is graciously providing a paperback copy of "The Cactus Creek Challenge" to one blessed commenter. The eBook is available for $3.99 through today, 7/28, only. The prequel to The Cactus Creek Challenge, The Legend of Obadiah Wilder: The Glorious Defeat of the Dickenson Gang, is available as a FREE eBook download. Look for Erica's other new releases: "A Bride For Bear" from The Convenient Bride Collection, and "The Trail Boss's Bride" from Journeys of the Heart novella collection.