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"For the Record" by Regina Jennings

Betsy Huckabee might have been raised in the Ozark Mountains, but she has dreams to be more than your usual mountain lass. She knows that her imagination is the ticket to getting a cabin of her own so she's not bound to living with relatives forever. So far her stories haven't been picked up by any of the big city newspapers she's submitted them to, but she believes her day is coming. And that day might be here when she meets the new deputy and realizes she has the perfect hero to base her fiction tales around.

Running from a false accusation, Deputy Joel Puckett has taken the job in Pine Gap, Missouri, in hopes of a fresh start. He's heard about the corruption in the mountains and the gang called the Bald Knobbers who are trying to enforce their own brand of justice. With the hope that he can bring law and order to the area and breathe new life into his own career, Joel isn't prepared at the level of apathy and resistance he meets - except for Betsy, who as a female is one person he'd like to avoid more than anyone else!

When her first story about "Deputy Eduardo Pickett" is published and the newspaper asks for more stories, Betsy is thrilled but also knows she must keep it a secret. She'd be embarrassed to death if Joel found out, especially as they develop a friendship. He's realized that she can be a help as they try to figure out who is terrorizing the mountain folks. Is it a bandit or have the Bald Knobbers blurred the lines to become criminals themselves?

There was so much that I loved about this story!! Living in the Ozark mountains myself, I'm familiar with the historical Bald Knobbers and thought Regina Jennings did a great job bringing them to life. I also thoroughly enjoyed the humor in the writing. I was laughing out loud as early as Chapter 2, with gems like this catching me by surprise: "'What made you think he was the deputy?' the cowboy asked, obviously unconcerned with the very important internal discussion going on in Betsy's head." The style of narration made this delightful and captivating.

This is the third book in Jennings' Ozark Mountain Romance Series, although this one is set several years past the other two and works well as a stand alone. I do recommend the previous books on their own merit, however! Here are my reviews for Book One and Book Two.

Thank you to the author my copy of the book. All opinions in this review are my own.

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