The romance has been building between Aehako and Kira since their first meeting, but biology hasn't had a chance to catch up. We've learned quite a bit about how the khui operates within its host, and one is a signal to reproduce. Kira carries a secret that plagues her and scares her equally. What is her worth if she doesn't resonate?
All of the pairings so far have been amicable and welcome, but we meet a sa-khui bonded couple who are not happy, at least the female Asha isn't, and she's in hot pursuit of Aehako. That's a problem for all parties involved and just keeps ratcheting the tension.
Aehako is that person who brings the party with him. He's fun and open and everyone likes him. It vexes him that Kira isn't responsive towards him and rebuffs him constantly. But he gets just a glimmer occasionally that his interest is returned, and he's not quitter. His pursuit is delightfully relentless.
Not-Hoth sounds like a Michigan winter on steroids to me, and that is downright scary. Imagine living without electricity, technology or even basic knowledge of flora and fauna? That background element of danger comes through loud and clear throughout the entire series.
The majority of the book was build up to a physical relationship since Kira was so defensive and untrusting. It didn't help her implant made it impossible to be "alone" and she unwillingly heard everything everyone said. The author wonderfully conveyed the fear, desire and yearning that Kira felt while she struggled with her own demons. Not to mention the burden of being alerted to the impending return of the grey aliens who stole her and her compatriots. The author also conveyed that while cold hard facts make the majority of pairings on Not-Hoth, the heart wants what the heart wants, too. And sometimes that can override all.
I've thoroughly enjoyed this series and each book is a joy. You think being abducted by aliens and dumped on an inhospitable planet is bad? For every one of these women it has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them; they just don't know it yet.
As one of the few humans stranded on the ice planet, I should be happy that I have a new home. Human women are treasured here, and one alien in particular has made it clear that he wants me. It's hard to push away the sexy, flirtatious Aehako, when all I want to do is grab him by his horns and insist he take me to his furs.
But I've got a terrible secret - the aliens who abducted me are back, and thanks to the translator in my ear, they can find me. My presence here endangers everyone...but can I give up my new life and the man I want more than anything?