LynneC’s review of Fatal Heat by Lisa Marie Rice
Contemporary Erotic Romance novella published by Avon Impulse 8 Nov 11
Max is a retired SEAL, recovering from terrible injury that has left one leg very afflicted. He did his best to restore his health after being blown up in Afghanistan, but he is now coming to terms with the fact that he isn’t going back.
Paige is used to hunky ex-navy men moving into the apartment next door, because her godfather lends his place to them from time to time when he’s not in residence. But this one blows her away, especially after an encounter on the beach, when they find out that her dog and the man next door have the same name. Paige is working in bio-genetics and she’s academically clever, but that doesn’t seem to translate into her ordinary life.
The first part of this short novella is Max and Paige meeting and connecting, which they do very quickly. They fall for each other too fast, but this story gives them a believable ending and a sweet epilogue, set a year after the main events. Then, in the second half of the book, something else happens, and suddenly we’re in combat mode with Paige in danger.
This part of the story is the least successful. I didn’t find the story believable, or the motives of the villain. The whole plot is paper-thin and contains a few holes you have to try to ignore in order to enjoy the rest of the story. Paige does some silly things, even though she has a godfather in the SEALs and is involved in a sensitive project.
Max does a bit too much moaning in the first part of the story, lots of reflection about his lot and not much action. But it’s understandable, considering. He doesn’t know what to do with his future, but he knows he has to do something. I’m not sure why he comes to the decision he does, but it’s a tiny bit pat for me. However, there isn’t much room in a novella to develop all the themes. He does a bit of SEAL-ing later on in the story, and there he comes to life. I’m also interested in his colleague, and I’d love a story about him.
Paige is an interesting character, until she turns into a McGuffin. I do feel more in sympathy with Max, and I feel that Paige is a little less well developed. But the best part of the story for me is when they come together and begin to learn each other. That is fun, and the sex is nicely hot. Very hot, in fact. I’m quite surprised when the C word turns up a lot in the book, but it is the way Max would think and I, for one, didn’t object to its use.
I am surprised when the story ends, because there’s still nearly 40% of space left of the story on my reader. The rest of the book is filled in with extracts and teasers. I don’t mind, but in this case it isn’t well telegraphed and I’m left wondering how the person who plunked down their hard-earned would feel (I got my copy from NetGalley).
Paige’s friend discovers that the super-crop they’re working on is also super-carcinogenic. The villain decides to take advantage of this by buying and selling shares. The subject of insider trading is brought up, and rightly so. Surely the villain must have known that he’d be caught, prosecuted and sent to jail? It’s just not that easy to do it these days. And the super-crop is in a final stage of development. One of the first things they’re checked and monitored for is the carcinogenic effect. If it is massively carcinogenic, the project wouldn’t have survived for long. There are also some decisions the heroine makes that I find hard to understand, if she’s so bright. When she’s sent the offending file, surely she should have sent it into the cloud? Besides, there would be residual copies and there wouldn’t be just one report. But to do the plot justice, it is never assumed that the crop will hit the market. Just that the project will last long enough for the villain to get his money.
But it’s a sweet novella, and I will definitely be looking for more books by Ms. Rice.
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.
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