American travel journalist Sophie Matthews is searching for that elusive place called home. Working for Constar Communications has allowed her to see the world and experience different cultures, but the nomadic lifestyle has not enabled her to have much of a personal life. As she approaches her fortieth birthday, Sophie’s priorities shift and she decides to quit her job to pursue a different dream–meeting a man, settling down, and starting a family. Her boss, Greg Sullivan, has one request–that Sophie complete her last assignment featuring the life of artist/writer Marina Suarez. During World War II, Marina’s entire village was captured by Japanese soldiers leaving Marina as the sole survivor. How she was able to survive the slaughter of her village and family remains a mystery. Sophie is intrigued by the assignment, but hesitant to return to the Philippines, which left her with a broken heart ten years ago at the hands of Eric Santiago, the only man she has ever loved. As fate would have it, Sophie soon finds herself in the busy streets of Manila and crosses paths with Eric Santiago once again. As Sophie tries to unravel the mystery of Marina’s life, she learns that Eric is the only one who can help her put the pieces together. But when she discovers Marina’s deep, dark secret, little does Sophie know that it will change her life forever.
Review: This is the third novel I’ve read by Solon and after the very first one I read which I had added to my TBR (to be read) pile. Once again, I was not disappointed as each book involves romance but each premise is totally unique.
The Assignment is a feel good story that has lots of darkness to it as well. It is a historical romance set mostly in the Philippines. Sophie’s job sends her back there, after leaving 10 years before, for one last assignment as a journalist before she retires. Little did she know how her life would be changed in so many ways by her return from friends she left behind and new family and friends she is about to meet up with. All of the characters had many layers to them that were peeled back little by little to show us their true selves. They were so well developed I felt I knew them by the time I turned the last page, although I didn’t want the book to end. There was nice closure to the story but I still wanted more.
There were several romances depicted along with the happily ever afters that I was rooting for and unexpected ones as well. There was also a few laugh out loud moments as well as sorrow, tears, disbelief, angst and hardships in their lives before, during and after the war with the Japanese invasion. The book moved effortlessly between the past and the present which was a better way to tell the story than just chronologically. The descriptions of the lands, the living conditions, the hardness of their lives, the war and the homes made the story come to life. It was very easy to visualize myself being there.
Once again, Solon has blown me away with her storytelling. I can’t to see what story she’ll be telling us next. If you haven’t given her books a try, you should. You won’t be sorry and will probably be adding her to your TBR pile just as I have.
Favorite Quote: “You see, I once was a shy, timid girl, but with all that I’ve been through, I am now a strong, brave woman willing to succeed. I never stopped believing in my dreams. The message I want to deliver is that although life may be difficult, there’s always going to be something or someone out there who will help bring you closer to your dream. Don’t hold back, reach for the stars. You never know what you’re capable of.