4 out of 4 stars
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CJ McCarter is a well-respected economist who has recently become the president of Ryson-Scott University. With her strong work ethic and ability to provide innovative programs to the school, she is truly a powerhouse. While her professional life is brimming with success, the same cannot be said for her marriage. Her husband, Trey, is immersed in his work as a biochemist, and they have been living separate lives for several years. Feeling pressured to salvage what is left of her marriage, CJ devises a plan to seduce her husband. When her feelings are not reciprocated, she suspects something more is going on. She has a feeling it has something to do with the attractive graduate student Trey is working alongside.
Instead of confronting her husband, CJ throws herself into her work. She is on the cusp of developing a program that could mean big things for the university. Still, new projects bring on challenges and temptations. When her personal life begins overflowing into her professional life, CJ is faced with a huge ethical dilemma that could ruin her reputation. What will she do?
The Assignment by Don Chance is a character-driven book about choices, secrets, and professional integrity. The book is written from the third-person perspective. It follows CJ McCarter as she is forced to deal with infidelity and personal demons while trying to uphold her professional reputation. I was immersed in The Assignment from the get-go as the author had a distinct way of holding my attention and putting me into CJ’s shoes.
My favorite part of The Assignment was CJ’s character. She was challenged personally and professionally throughout the book. She was at the top of her game in her career but lacked the necessary skills to revive her dying marriage. I thought it was fascinating how such an intelligent woman could be so clueless in regards to relationships. The inner turmoil that she experienced drove her to make some pretty destructive choices, such as acting promiscuous and driving under the influence.
While I loved experiencing the evolution of the main character, several supporting characters are worth mentioning. Madelyn Collins was the provost that worked alongside CJ, and she played an integral role in her life by offering support and counsel when CJ began unraveling. Her sense of humor and quirky stories had a way of pulling CJ out of her proverbial rut. Ricardo was the charming graduate student, who proved to be a little too charming. I thought the author did a great job of conveying the sexual tension between Ricardo and CJ. Finally, the book wouldn’t be complete without the presence of CJ’s estranged husband, Trey. He proved to be a worthy antagonist with his arrogance and disparaging comments towards her. While his character annoyed me to no end, I did enjoy the banter between him and CJ; it was a guilty pleasure, I guess!
The book was professionally edited, and I only noticed one small error, which I thought was quite impressive. I happily chose to give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars; the writing was impeccable and contained a colorful cast of characters!
I would recommend this book to readers who love dramatic character-driven stories. The Assignment also uncovers the administrative side of university life. I would not recommend this book to young readers as it contains violence, explicit sex, and profane language.
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