©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Cactus Creek Challenge

Erica Vetsch has done the unthinkable--she's written a romance including two romances but not by using the romance novel formula (boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back--or something similar). This breath of fresh air has humor, mystery, hi-jinks, and the touch of romance.

First: What is the Cactus Creek Challenge?

Cactus Creek, Texas, has a money raising challenge every year with the funds going to the winner's cause. The Challenge is that the contestants change jobs for a month every year--usually it's two men who change their jobs, but in this particular year, women have been allowed to enter the challenge as well. When Cassie--the town's teacher, and Jenny--the town's baker are chosen for the women; and Ben--the town's sheriff, and Carl--the town's livery stable owner are chosen for the men; the fun is only beginning. Instead of Ben and Carl exchanging jobs and Cassie and Jenny changing jobs, the town council throws a wrench into the works--Cassie trades jobs with Ben, and Jenny trades with Carl. At the beginning, no one wants to be told how to do the job they've been given--and it is to their detriment that they don't listen.

Ben encounters Quincy and Ulysses, twin terrors in the classroom--hiding birds in the desk, and blowing up the outhouse are just a couple of the tricks up their sleeves.

Cassie has to deal with Melvin and Alvin Sloop, the town's drunks and ne'er-do-wells. On their first drunken skirmish after Cassie takes office, she grabs the barber's shaving water and throws it on them to break up their fight.

Carl knows nothing about baking except for making sour dough biscuits and Jenny knows nothing about keeping a livery stable, so the challenge is more than demanding on all of its participants. Yet no one participant is willing to give up on the challenge.

When a shipment of gold comes into town, everyone on the council and the participants get up in arms, because of the lack of security for the gold. Here is where the excitement really begins.

Erica has done a masterful job of creating characters whom every reader will love, a plot that is hard to put down, and ultimately a book that provides the reader with a rollicking good time. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a sour dough biscuit.

My thanks to Shiloh Run Press for allowing me to read and review this book!

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