One Way Out
One Way Out is an enjoyable and suspenseful read centered around a unique subject and featuring interesting characters. That unusual subject matter may be a bit on the dry side for some, but those who like scientific forays with their romance will likely appreciate the author’s efforts.
Cassie Ashton never intended to quit college and end up working at the family business of excavating and preparing dinosaur fossils. While she loves what she does, without a college education she has absolutely no respect from fellow paleontologists. In fact, the local professors think of her as nothing more than a thief. Cassie tries not to let their disrespect bother her, and she does a fine job of hiding the hurt, but for the comments and actions of one particular professor. Cassie admits that Dr. Alex Martinelli is gorgeous, but his superior attitude, combined with the reality that he once tried to have her jailed, put a damper on any kind feelings she may have toward the man. And yet, when Cassie finds a rare dinosaur specimen, Alex is the first professor she calls.
Alex has always had a love-hate relationship with Cassie. She does great work and always seems to have the best luck at finding magnificent specimens, but she then sells those fossils to the public instead of museums, making Alex see her as nothing but a fortune hunter. When Cassie shows up gloating that she found the most important discovery of the century – a baby T-rex – Alex is eaten up with jealousy. When Cassie explains that she wants him to prep the dinosaur with her, Alex can’t resist the offer to work on the fossil. But working together also means spending lots of quality time with Cassie, and, strangely enough, Alex suddenly doesn’t mind.
The T-rex find is supposed to be a secret, but when reporters start calling, Cassie realizes that someone in her life can’t be trusted, and there are multiple suspects. Cassie’s Mom resents the problems the specimen brings to the family, Cassie’s brother resents the fact that Cassie has all the power, and Alex and his team just downright despise Cassie. But unkept secrets aren’t the only problem Cassie is facing. It seems that someone is intent on doing her harm and, while Cassie is trying to protect her own life, the T-rex comes up missing. Someone betrays her, and Cassie has little time to find the specimen before it is shipped out of the country and gone for good.
I thoroughly enjoyed One Way Out. The characters were entertaining, the plot suspenseful, and the dinosaur talk interesting. Then again, I’m interested in paleontology and have actually prepped dinosaur bones before. I have to wonder, though, will very many people care? The premise of the book revolves around this incredibly important find, but if the reader isn’t interested, will they care about the book? But that isn’t the only problem. When the suspense kicks in and takes over, it is undeniably gripping, but the book isn’t nearly as much fun since Cassie and Alex working together eliminates the snappy dialogue and sexual tension I enjoyed at the beginning. And the fact that Alex once tried to have Cassie arrested bothered me and turned me off to the man. Sure, it was in the past, but it was still a bit harsh.
And yet, as I stated before, I did like One Way Out. Its premise is unusual and Albert handles the paleontology world well, with the negative feelings between the scholars and commercial diggers ringing rather true to life. I found it easy to relate to the deeply drawn characters, especially Cassie’s yearning to be respected and appreciated. Overall, the writing is smooth, the plot well developed and suspenseful, and the characters, for the most part, work wonderfully together, all in all adding up to an enjoyable read.