Continuing on with this maddening but addictive series. I think, so far, I like this one the most in terms of romance. It wasn't so bad! I think. Either that, or my whole perception of romance is changing with these books. Wait, you mean the hero almost killing the heroine 36925 times, willing to sacrifice her for the mission, and even sometimes thinking demeaning thoughts about her is not romantic? How so?Like Peter, and unlike Bastien, there was a human element to Taka that almost made me like him instantly. Almost. But in the same pattern, he's just as cold, calculated, heartless and manipulative as the others. He's also slightly different because there's this angsty side to him - he's half Japanese, half American, and he resents that. Also, I'm wondering, in Cold as Ice he says his father is actually Irish. I guess he lied, which is too bad. Not surprising, though. Anyways, it's always there, in the back of his mind and he mentions it quite a few times.What I liked about him is that he's always calm and collected and you can almost feel it seeping out of the pages. At times I thought he would snap, but he never really does.And, to be fair, he almost immediately admits he doesn't want to kill her, and while it was the same with Peter who just didn't like killing innocent bystanders, Taka actually had no qualms about doing what needs to be done if the mission asks for it. So it mattered more. I thought of him as some sort of angel of death. I don't know why.Summer is my favorite heroine of this series yet. Extremely smart, in control and so strong. I was almost wondering if finally a hero in these books meets his match. Sadly, no, and I wonder if it will ever happen. But at least I actually approved of everything she did. She's essentially another damsel in distress, but she's feisty and resourceful and she never lets anything get to her.The pair of them were great together! I keep thinking for once Anne Stuart will be wrong in matching a heroine to a hero, but so far... no. They were made for each other, great chemistry. And even if she can't match his "special" skills, she can definitely match him in everything else. It was almost funny seeing him annoyed that she was so comfortable in Japanese surroundings.Yes, people, you get to go to Japan, even if it was brief. The book is set in the US, but also Japan, where it ends with a grand finale. There's a bit of mystery to the story as well, you're wondering about the location of the shrine - did Hana tell her the stories, is it in the books, did she even leave any clue to where it is? There's a mad villain, and you get brief glances into his head, and they are so incoherent you can actually tell the man is absolutely crazy. That being said, I still didn't like the extra POV characters.Of course, there are a couple of graphic sex scenes, three I think.I'm still taken aback by the fact that I actually love these heroes. I hate them, but I love them. I was sorely disappointed that we don't get a glimpse of Bastien here (as hard as it is to admit that), but HAI PETER! Yep, I was happy to see him.Overall, it's a great book. It would be my favorite of the three if there wasn't some weird affection for Bastien and the first book. I'm not sure I'll like the fourth book as far as the blurb goes, but we'll see.