I admit I was wrong and very happily so.

Fences and Freedom - Bailey Bradford

Fences & Freedom is about Barney we met him in the first book of of this series. He was in the hardware store when Troy saved Fred Jr. from the beating he'd received from his father and he sort of took care of Will.


I liked Barney he was sweet and had a cute sense of humour, he's had a hard life but it hasn't made him mean or nasty and I wanted to know more about him. I wanted to see something good happen for him. Then along comes Ramsey and him I did not care for. He was angry, bitter and could be just plan mean to people. He was also hiding a secret one that was probably going to hurt a lot of people. So to say the least I was not impressed with him and did not want him to be with Barney, he deserved better. So for pretty much the first half of this book I was not a happy camper. I believe my comment was that not even Mr. Shakespeare himself would be able to redeem Ramsey enough for me to like him. Well this is where I was wrong and luckily we didn't need the bard to fix things. Bailey Bradford did fine all on her own.


During the last half of this book we saw more of what made Ramsey the angry person he was and we saw Barney get past Ramsey's defences using just his sweet determination and faith in the fact that he knew there was a better person inside than the one that Ramsey showed the world. I'm not saying that Ramsey suddenly turned into Mr. Fantabulous, he didn't and that's probably a big part of the reason why I ended liking  him and cheering for him.


What Ramsey became was a man who realized he didn't like the person he was and he wanted to change...for Barney but also for himself. So he began to work towards that end to try and be someone who was deserving of the love that he'd found with Barney. Ramsey was a victim of his environment so to speak, his father was a mean, bitter nasty man, who was so angry with the world and ultimately himself that he was frequently verbally and emotionally abusive towards his only son. Without realizing it Ramsey was following in daddy's footsteps. Maybe it was a subconscious effort to get the approval his father seemed determined to never give him or maybe just a protective fence to keep the world and his father's abuse away from his heart.  In spite of how mean his father was to him, one of the driving forces behind everything he did in his career was his desire to be able to provide his father with the care he needed after having suffered 2 strokes. A father who many children would have walked away from without a second thought.

(show spoiler)


The heart of this book for me was about someone who realized that in order to have Freedom he needed to take down the Fences that he had built around his heart  and let people in. Fences & Freedom really was just a metaphor for Second Chances & Love.


This ended up in a close race with Saddles & Memories but in the end book #3 is still my personal fav for this series so far. So on to Riding & Regrets to see where that takes me. I'm just really glad that things are definitely looking up at the Mossy Glenn Ranch.