Fatal Heat, by Lisa Marie Rice

>> Friday, February 24, 2012

TITLE: Fatal Heat
AUTHOR: Lisa Marie Rice

PAGES: 208

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romance

Former Navy SEAL Max Wright is out of the SEAL Teams forever after being almost killed by an Afghani RPG. He retreats to his former XO’s beach house to lick his wounds. He wants to snarl at the world but finds it hard to snarl at his new neighbor, his XO’s beautiful goddaughter, Paige Waring, who also comes with a ridiculously likable, totally undisciplined dog.

As a plant geneticist, Paige has always been focused on her work, but when she and her dog run into Max, she recognizes the lonely, shattered man behind the rugged exterior. To her mind, sexiness always comes with a white lab coat, not with acres of tanned muscle and a tough mind-set.

When Paige’s work becomes the target of criminals and she’s abducted, Max springs into action. Though still terribly wounded, this tough as nails SEAL goes on his last mission—stopping at nothing to save the woman he loves.
Max Wright is recovering from horrific injuries sustained in Afghanistan. He's out of the woods now, but he's still in a pretty bad way, and recovery is hard work. A friend from the Navy SEALs has offered him his beach house as a refuge, and he's gone there to work on his recovery in peace, with nobody to bother him.

He didn't count on his neighbour, his friend's goddaughter, nor on the fact that if it's by her, he doesn't mind in the least being bothered. He and Paige hit it off amazingly well, and the "courtship" goes, well, about as well as it always does in a LMR book, which basically means they are sexually enthralled by each other immediately.

After months in hell, Max is suddenly looking forward to getting back home after he goes to a doctor's appointment. But Paige's got into some trouble with some very bad men through her work as a plant geneticist (which sounded pretty cool), and Max will have to do the impossible to get to her before she runs out of time.

This was nice and sweet. It's either a short novel or a long novella, but whatever it was, it was the right length for the story. I enjoyed it quite a bit. The romance is not amazing, but it's pretty good, nonetheless. I liked that Max is less over-the-top than LMR's usual heroes. He did do some superhuman physical stuff rescuing Paige, but the relationship felt more normal, less hyperintense. Now, I actually like her OTT heroes and super-intense relationships just fine, but the change worked well with this story. The tone was more laid back, quite funny, actually, in a gentle way.

As for the plot, I always say this, but LMR's suspense subplots are much better than your average romance author's. I never see this acknowledged in reviews, but I know I will get something relatively original in her books. Part of it is that her plots are more aware of the world outside the US, and not just as a source of bad guys. Again, this wasn't her best, but it was good.

Oh, and I musn't forget to mention Max -the other Max, that is, a really outstanding dog. I'm sure it should have been annoying to have both hero and dog called Max, but I got a kick out of it.



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