The Cactus Creek Challenge {Book Review}

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I love to read. I am passionate about literacy in general and I love to lose myself in a good book. However, I’m finding myself getting pickier and pickier. My standards are rising, and I’ve found myself frustrated lately with books that I’ve found disappointing…after investing hours and mental energy in reading them.

So, I have a few go-to authors that I know I can count on.

Erica Vetsch is one of those authors for me, which is why I was proud to join her influencer team for her new book, The Cactus Creek Challenge. (You may remember her from the author spotlight I did on her a while back.)

I have thoroughly enjoyed every story or book that I have read from her, and I knew this one would be no different.

The Cactus Creek Challenge

cactus creek challenge

When deciding on a book, I always read the back cover copy for a description of the main premise. When I read the description of The Cactus Creek Challenge, I was immediately intrigued:

Anything he can do, I can do better. At least that was what Cassie Bucknell thought before she pinned on Ben Wilder’s badge and took to patrolling the streets of Cactus Creek, Texas. Cassie has been in love with Ben since primer school, but Ben treats her like a little sister. When they are picked to swap jobs for a month as part of the annual Cactus Creek Challenge in their Texas hometown, the schoolhouse is thrown into an uproar, the jail becomes a temporary bank vault, and Cassie and Ben square off in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.

It sounds like a really fun story, and it is!

As you might imagine, there are many humorous mishaps throughout the story as Ben tries his hand at being a school teacher, and Cassie is determined to prove that she can be the sheriff without any help. Cassie and Ben both have a drive to prove themselves–Cassie because she’s in love with Ben and he sees her as a little sister instead of a grown woman, and Ben because he feels he could never live up to his dad, the legendary Obadiah Wilder. It’s fun to see how that drive to prove something plays out for each of them personally and in their relationship.

The children in the story are just darling–even the mischievous twins–and I enjoyed their part in the book.

My favorite part of the story, however, is a bit of a fun twist that is left out of the back cover copy–there are 2 love stories in 1.

Interwoven throughout Ben and Cassie’s story is the story of Jenny and Carl.  Jenny the baker and Carl the livery owner were also chosen to take part in the challenge, and I fell in love with this couple!

They weren’t the main billed romance (as I said, no mention in the back cover copy), but they receive nearly even attention throughout the book and I enjoyed their story even more than that of Ben and Cassie.

Jenny and little Amanda have some things in their past that haunt them and make them fearful of men and relationships, and I love that it’s the big, strong Carl who shows them that all men aren’t cruel or mean.

Except for a bit of suspense toward the end, this book is mostly light hearted and a sweet, easy read. Two great romances, some laughter, and maybe even some tears if you’re sappy like I am… it all makes for a great book.

The Legend of Obadiah Wilder

obadiah wilder

Just for fun, you can also download a free short story–“The Legend of Obadiah Wilder: The Glorious Defeat of the Dickenson Gang.” This dime novel is mentioned in The Cactus Creek Challenge, and you can read it for free. How fun!



  1. says

    I've never heard of this author, but this book looks like so much fun! I can't wait to read it. I wanted to invite you to participate in my all-things-books linky party every Thursday on! This is exactly the kind of post I love to see linked there!
    Tina Chen

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