The Look of Love (Piper Donovan Series #2)

( 51 )

Overview

Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the ultra-luxurious Elysium spa and plastic surgery center caters to the rich and famous who are in need of "refreshing"—a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. When Jillian Abernathy, Elysium's owner, offers actress and professional cake artist Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to create a dazzling and unique wedding cake, Piper eagerly accepts. The job, after all, will give her the time and distance she ...

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The Look of Love (Piper Donovan Series #2)

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Overview

Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the ultra-luxurious Elysium spa and plastic surgery center caters to the rich and famous who are in need of "refreshing"—a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. When Jillian Abernathy, Elysium's owner, offers actress and professional cake artist Piper Donovan an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to create a dazzling and unique wedding cake, Piper eagerly accepts. The job, after all, will give her the time and distance she needs to sort out her feelings for handsome FBI agent Jack Lombardi.

At Elysium, everything seems picture-perfect—until a guest is brutally murdered in one of the private bungalows. Someone, it seems, wants to make sure the spa's beautiful director never gets to walk down the aisle. And now Piper must dig beneath the glamorous surface of this idyllic oasis to uncover a very ugly truth—and a cold-blooded plan for murder.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
“She understands how to hang on to her audience. Her characters are the sorts with whom many readers identify.”
Booklist
Clark fans will enjoy the short chapters, interconnected plotlines, and multiple points of view, all of which keep the pages turning.
Romantic Times BOOKclub
Piper Donovan, professional cake decorator, actress and amateur sleuth, is back. A multilayered plot filled with murder, a taste of jealousy and a healthy dose of madness and mistaken identity is frosted liberally with a rich confection of humor and romantic suspense.
Publishers Weekly
At the start of Clark’s diverting second Piper Donovan cozy (after 2011’s To Have and to Kill), Piper, a New York City cake decorator and aspiring actress, receives an invitation to stay, all-expenses-paid, at Elysium, one of L.A.’s most exclusive spas, in exchange for making the wedding cake for the owner’s daughter, the beautiful Jillian Abernathy. Alas, Jillian’s pending nuptials have not gone well. First, someone disfigures Jillian’s maid, mistaking her for her employer. And before the ailing maid can identify her assailant, she’s murdered. These unfortunate events, once leaked to the press, tarnish the spa’s reputation and reveal the grit behind the glitter. As Jillian’s wedding grows near, the attacks continue, drawing closer to the bride. While Piper may make an unlikely detective, she has personality, which is more than can be said of the supporting cast of familiar types (vengeful stepmother, doting oblivious father, etc.). (Jan.)
USA Today
“She understands how to hang on to her audience. Her characters are the sorts with whom many readers identify.”
Booklist
Clark fans will enjoy the short chapters, interconnected plotlines, and multiple points of view, all of which keep the pages turning.
Romantic Times BOOKclub
Piper Donovan, professional cake decorator, actress and amateur sleuth, is back. A multilayered plot filled with murder, a taste of jealousy and a healthy dose of madness and mistaken identity is frosted liberally with a rich confection of humor and romantic suspense.
Romantic TimesBOOKclub
Piper Donovan, professional cake decorator, actress and amateur sleuth, is back. A multilayered plot filled with murder, a taste of jealousy and a healthy dose of madness and mistaken identity is frosted liberally with a rich confection of humor and romantic suspense.
Library Journal
In this second installment of Clark's series (after To Have and To Kill), aspiring actress, professional cake decorator, and amateur sleuth Piper flies to Los Angeles to decorate a cake for Jillian Abernathy, the rich, beautiful daughter of the founder of Elysium Spa. Piper's agent has also managed to arrange an audition for her. The spa's exquisite surroundings seem to harbor ugly secrets, however, and Piper is soon embroiled in murder, deceit, and a host of unsavory events. Short chapters with shifting points of view help the story's pace while fragmenting the plot enough so that the reader can't be certain who has the best motive for murder until close to the end. Touches of humor keep the mystery light, the baking subplot keeps it cozy, and there is enough going on with family and Piper's newly developing relationship to keep it real. VERDICT Clark's fans and readers who enjoy mysteries in the vein of Mary Higgins Clark may want to check this out. [See Prepub Alert, 7/25/11.]—Pamela O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY
Kirkus Reviews
Whoever's trying to kill Jillian Abernathy certainly is making a hash of the job. New Year's Day should herald a wonderful new year for the director of Los Angeles' fabulous Elysium Spa. But how can Jillian savor her upcoming nuptials with handsome psychiatrist Benjamin Dixon knowing that her housecleaner, Esperanza Flores, has been disfigured by acid meant to be thrown in Jillian's own face? Only by engaging actress/baker Piper Donovan (To Have and to Kill, 2010, etc.) to construct the perfect wedding cake. Abandoning her patient swain, FBI agent Jack Lombardi, to fly to L.A. for her all-expenses-paid week at Elysium, Piper is quickly drawn to Jillian. "I feel sorry for her. Talk about bad karma," she says after a second attack leaves unmourned Esperanza dead. Many people, Piper soon realizes, have it in for her client. There's Hudson Sherwood, the former Elysium director who's now toiling as a lowly hotel clerk. And George Ellis, whose daughter Wendy lost most of her nose to a botched surgery by Jillian's father, plastic surgeon Vernon Abernathy. And Kyle Quigley, the paramedical esthetician whose "sleep therapy" includes services his clients know nothing about. Undercover reporter Anastasia Fernands quickly enlists Piper to help get the goods on Kyle. But another Elysium guest will die before Piper finally realizes who the killer is--just in time to get attacked herself. In a manner strikingly reminiscent of the author's famous ex-mother-in-law, everything turns out in time for the diminished wedding party to enjoy a cake made from "the best pumpkin bread they have ever tasted."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061995576
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Series: Piper Donovan Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 115,399
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Jane Clark worked at CBS News for nearly three decades. Her twelve KEY News media thrillers were inspired by that experience. Envisioning the Piper Donovan/Wedding Cake mystery series, Mary Jane enrolled in cake-decorating classes and researched unique wedding locations. The daughter of an FBI agent and a mother who customized cakes for the neighborhood kids when she was growing up, Mary Jane has two grown children and splits her time between New Jersey and Florida. She is currently concocting her next novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(28)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    Outstanding. I would recommend.

    I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait to read more of her books. Good author!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2013

    A must read

    Mary Jane Clark has done it again. A great story, I could not put it down. If you are looking for Love, Mystery and Suspense this story has it all. A must read.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Even though the storyline is similar to other murder mystery nov

    Even though the storyline is similar to other murder mystery novels, it is still a good read. The descriptions allow the reader to feel as if he/she is right there in the middle of the suspense. Also, there are several suspects to select from and you may not guess the identity until he/she is revealed. This was a nice weekend distraction from the reality of life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 29, 2012

    highly recommended

    I have always enjoyed her books. This one was very good. I would
    recommend everyone to read this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    KEPT ME GUESSING!!

    This series keeps getting better...fast paced...great characters and lots of plot twists. This was one of the best mysteries I've read in a long time. Anxiously awaiting the next in this series...nice going Mary Jane!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Captivating

    Kept me wanting to read more. Couldn't put the book down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Loved it

    Another fun book. Looking forward to more from this series

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 22, 2012

    A great read

    I enjoyed the humor and the mystery in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    Fun, but non-intellectual read

    Chick Lit at its nonthreatening best, with murder, mystery, recipes and (perhaps) romance!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Excellent Author

    I like all of Mary Jane Clark Books

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Flowerkit's bio

    A red she with white spots and i forget eye color.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Light Hearted

    Excellent light hearted murder mystery series. No gore or sensual sex scenes. When you want a break from the intense who dunits, this is a nice relaxing one day read. I recommend all the Piper Donovan series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Great

    Great book! I really enjoyed reading this book, I couldn't put in down! I loved the suspense and I couldn't figure out who the killer was, so that made it all the more exciting! Loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    Okay. By the Book

    Kind of predictable read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2014

    I enjoyed it and I would recommend.

    Good novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Mary Jane Clark is a great mystery/suspense writer and this book is another great example. Piper Donovan is a wonderful, refreshing female character!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2014

    Highly recommended

    The Look of Love is a great mystery, difficult to put down! I love the way sections were split, made it easier to read when you only have a short time. I am looking forward to reading more books by Mary Jane Clark!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    LOVE

    Love is something that is weird. Because I know that my brother loves me . Even though he hits me when i'm alitle anoying . He loves me.

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    Great suspense

    I love the suspense of Mary Jane Clark books but the love story part ran so flat. It left me disappointed. But the mystery kept me guessing until the end. I just felt like Clark spent more time telling us how to bake a cake than trying to build Piper and Jack's relationship.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A quick fun mystery

    Thought I had the mystery figured out a few times but things change. A good read anytime. Reading the first book helps with getting to know the characters but not really necessay to enjoy the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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