Let It Bree/Can't Buy Me Louie
By Missy Andrews
Jul 17, 2003 - 4:49:00 AM


LET IT BREE is a madcap misadventure starring Valentine Bovine, a Grand Champion Brahman bull. Bree Brown wants out of the sleepy little town of Chugwater Wyoming. Her dream is to travel to Europe and ride the Oriental Express. She knows that if Val can win the championship that she has entered him in, she can sell him to a breeding company that is known for it’s humane treatment of animals and she can escape Chugwater free of guilt. Her plan is going along very smoothly until someone tries to steal Val. She and Val catch a ride with Kirk Dunmore who luckily is driving a van on the way to Denver for his wedding rehearsal, which will be in less than forty-eight hours. When Kirk stops to help the girl and her "friend" on the side of the road, he has no idea that he is getting into a whole passle of trouble. Not only do Bree and Kirk have to deal with their growing attraction for each other, they have to outsmart the bad guys who tried to steal Val in the first place.

The "bad guys" in this story reminded me of Horace and Jasper in Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. One is smart and one is not and I actually felt a little sorry for them by the end. Ms. Collins offers a very enchanting romance story about two people who want totally different things out of life – at this point in time – but they also want each other. Bree, who always had stability, is ready for adventure and Kirk, who never had stability while growing up, is ready to settle down and grow roots. They must decide if they can be together when they want such different things.


I mentioned in the above part of this review that I almost felt sorry for the bad guys and evidently Ms. Collins did too because in CAN’T BUY ME LOUIE we find out that the "smart" one is not really such a bad guy after all. For his whole life Louie Ragazzi watched his father let the demands and stress of a job that he hated ruin his life. Louie has sworn that will never happen to him, nothing and nobody will ever "own" Louie Ragazzi. He’s not proud of some of the things he has done but after this one last job with the bull, he’s hanging it up and heading for Key West Florida where he is going to finally pursue his dream of owning his own fishing business. He has no intention of taking anyone else along, especially not Alicia Hansen, socialite princess and former fiancee of Kirk Dunmore. However, Alicia is no shrinking violet and from the minute she looked into his dark sexy eyes, she decided that she was going to be the one to help this bad boy go straight. Despite his claims of not wanting her, she is certain that once she gets him in the Keys she can change his mind. However, soon after they arrive Louie’s not so respectable past catches up with him putting him, and anyone near him, in mortal danger.

Ms. Collins’ writing talent is showcased in these two very different stories. The first story contains more humor and gentle romance while the second story is much more emotionally intense and sensual. I must admit to liking the second story better. I was drawn into the emotions of the characters as Louie fought his feelings for Alicia. This story was almost as much about Louie coming to terms with his past as it was about the actual romance between the two. As usual, Colleen Collins has done an excellent job and I look forward to more from her in the future.


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