Getting Her Man

Off Limits

One Way Out by Michele Albert
(Pocket Books, $6.99, PG-13)  ISBN 0-7434-8502-5
Cassie Ashton runs the family business in Montana, but her passion is hunting for dinosaur bones.  She was in school to be a paleontologist when she got pregnant and dropped out.  Lacking the magic 3 letters “Ph.D” after her name, Cassie doesn’t have the respect of the other paleontologists.  In fact, she’s gotten a reputation as a thief and treasure hunter after selling some fossils to the highest bidder.  But, hey, a woman’s got to make money to feed her kid and to pay the business’s employees.

Dr. Alex Martinelli is Cassie’s arch nemesis.  He’s gorgeous, sexy, brilliant and an academic snob.  Alex has tried to discredit Cassie in the past just because she lacks a degree.  He even tried to get her arrested once.  Yet the two are attracted to each other.  Whenever they’re together, the sparks fly.  The sexual tension is obvious even to them.  Too bad they don’t like each other - or so they think.

Cassie’s team has made an incredible first of a kind find – an entire infant T-rex skeleton.  To ensure no one discredits this discovery, Cassie brings in Alex (and his Ph.D) to help extract and authenticate the skeleton.  Alex is both jealous of Cassie’s find and practically salivating to work on it.  The two agree to tolerate each other to get the work done.

To minimize the media, Cassie has everyone swear to keep the infant T-rex, Trixie, a secret.  When the buyers and the reporters start calling, it’s obvious someone let the cat of the bag.  A couple attacks against Cassie are made to scare her and to slow down her progress on Trixie.  Cassie’s too determined to allow that to stop her.  Then Trixie is stolen.  It has to be an inside job, but who?

One Way Out is a fun romance read with a little mystery thrown in.  The fossil dig setting is unusual and interesting choice.  Turns out dinosaur fossils have really been found in Montana.  For those of you who think that it might be too scientific and dry, don’t worry, just enough information is given to aid the story without overwhelming it.  Being a science geek, I would have liked reading more on the fossils and their extraction from rock.

The verbal sparring between Cassie and Alex is what made One Way Out very entertaining.  They enjoy their battles, and I enjoyed it right along with them.  Unfortunately, Cassie and Alex’s battles stop after they team up to find Trixie.  The chase to find Trixie is a good story, but Cassie and Alex’s romance lacked the energy and the sharp-witted dialogue it had before.

If you enjoy romance novels with lots of romantic sparks and witty dialogue, then give One Way Out a try.

--Terry Lawrence

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