"The only problem with South America - aside from giant bugs, a lack of air conditioning, and general chauvinism - was that you could walk right past an ancient ruin and never know it."
That's the opening line of the book and it almost made me DNF this read right there and then. But I am stubborn as a mule (aka persistent) and kept reading, waiting for Ms. McDonald to redeem herself. Well, I was hit with another racist remark a few pages later, but I let it go - again. See how *persistent* I am? LOL
Dr. Meg Westfield is a Sociology Professor who loves spending her vacations exploring the South American jungles for ruins. She's never been lucky enough to find any long-lost treasure - until now... Santiago Valdez is a jaguar shapeshifter. A true and gorgeous treasure in the form of a cat-god, in Meg's opinion. Santiago has learned the hard way to be wary of human women, but he's badly wounded and needs Meg's help to get him to his family's camp safely. As they make their way through the jungle, the sexual attraction between them grows and Santiago realizes that Meg isn't like any other women he's met, but what kind of future a cat-god and a Professor can have?
As I mentioned above, I found the beginning of this book off-putting, but once I decided to let it pass as a bad joke, the rest of it wasn't bad. Meg was funny in her attempts to control her lust - she enjoyed sex and wasn't ashamed of it - and Santiago's tendency to sulk when things didn't go his way was kind of charming. (I only thought so because I wasn't the one that had to deal with it, though.) I liked their interactions - in and outside the bedroom, or better, off and on the tree (yup, they had sex on a tree, LOL) - but I didn't buy how quickly they fell in love. Meg couldn't stop ogling Santiago's godlike body and almost all her thoughts about him were X-rated. When did that turned into love? I must have missed The Epiphany.
Anyway, this read had some good moments and ended up being better than the first paragraph led me to believe. Nice save!