This is one of those novellas that probably shouldn't work and yet somehow the author made it a wonderful read. Lisa Marie Rice has a talent for writing very alpha heroes and big dramatic stories without making it all seem cartoonish. That's certainly the case in Fatal Heat and for the most part, I loved reading this.Max Wright, the hero, sustained serious injuries in Afghanistan and as a result, has had to leave the Navy SEALs. Between his injuries and the loss of his Navy career, he's somewhat adrift. His former XO allows Max to use his beach home as a place to stay, and things heat up when Max meets his neighbor, Paige Waring. From that point on, Max is deeply attracted to Paige and the feeling is quickly mutual.And really, if this had been the entire story, the whole novella might have been a 5-star read for me. Max's recovery from his war wounds, Max and Paige's love story, and even the cute moments with Paige's dog(also named Max) make good reading. Max is a strong hero without being a bully, and Paige is a likable heroine. We don't have to be told Paige is intelligent or independent because we see her working as a plant geneticist and we see her living and making choices in her life.So, what knocked the grade down? Well, that would be the suspense plot. Without spoiling things too much, let's just say that there is a suspense subplot that feels unnecessary. The suspense portion of the story feels rushed and underdeveloped, and it just didn't seem to enhance the overall romance.