Fences & Freedom by Bailey Bradford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finally!!! I finally know how old Barney is. Yes, that elusive tidbit of info has been annoying me because when he “distracted” Will after Troy’s attack in Chaps & Hope he seemed as though he was close to their age. Yet when Salt talked about him in Saddles & Memories I got the impression he was younger than I first surmised. As it turns out, Barney is only twenty but as we learn more about him in Fences & Freedom, I understood my confusion because Barney’s past meant he had to grow up fast and assume adult responsibilities sooner than he should have when his father died. No, Barney wasn’t abused or anything like that. Well not in the sense we tend to think of because he was ridiculed by his peers for being poor and it was his mother’s financial woes that resulted in him growing up fast as he began doing what he could (legally) to bring in money to help his mom pay the bills. Yep, Barney is a keeper and it just so turns out that Ramsey, the Mossy Glenn’s least-liked hand, may just be the one to keep him.
As we find out in Fences & Freedom, Salt had every reason to be wary of Ramsey because he was not who he purported to be. But as the book unfolds and we learn who Ramsey really is, why he’s at the Mossy Glenn Ranch, and the reason behind it, I found myself sympathetic to his plight – especially after seeing how his father treated him. But of course, this is after I was annoyed with him for trying to stake his claim on the “new guy” when Barney started on at the Mossy Glenn. However, my annoyance was short-lived when I realized that Barney had taken a shine to Ramsey and the “hunter” soon became the “hunted” with practically no one being aware of it because nearly everyone underestimates Barney. While Barney is most definitely sweet and comes off as naïve due to his age and inexperience, he’s accustomed to working hard for what he wants and being patient as he works to obtain it. Because of this, he does a fine job of indulging his curiosities about sex, breaking down Ramsey’s defenses, and making Ramsey his without being used by Ramsey or going all the way before he was ready. Barney’s inexperience is easily outweighed by his enthusiasm and this makes for some really steamy scenes that left me chuckling at times.
I really enjoyed watching Barney break down Ramsey’s walls simply by being himself. Barney is a good kid with a good heart and while Ramsey set out to scratch his itch with the dumb young thing, he soon found that he not only underestimated Barney’s intelligence, but also what being around Barney’s inherent goodness would do to him. Barney made Ramsey want to be a better man – a man deserving of someone as good as Barney. This is what made his conscience rear its ugly head and led him to try to make things right. While most underestimated Barney’s intelligence, few underestimated his goodness and it was his willingness to stand with Ramsey that made Carlos, Troy, and Will give Ramsey the second chance he needed. Fences & Freedom is yet another enjoyable addition to the Mossy Glenn Ranch series and I’m glad I still have more of them to read.
I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Check out the Fences and Freedom (Mossy Glenn Ranch #4) by Bailey Bradford blog post on Crystal’s Many Reviewers.
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