The Look of Love

The Look of Love - Mary Jane Clark Piper Donovan isn't the average wedding cake baker. In fact she's only made one wedding cake before, but what a cake it was. On the basis of that one cake, she has been asked to come to Los Angeles and make a cake for Jillian Abernathy, director of Elysium. A trip to LA, a wedding cake, some acid in the face and a few murders are all ingredients in The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark.

Piper may not be a traditional wedding cake baker/decorator but she does have excellent skills. These skills are definitely going to be put to the test as she only has a few weeks to design and decorate the cake. Piper isn't worried, although her father and friend Jack are wary. Jillian's maid recent was the victim of an acid attack and needless to say Jack and Mr. Donovan don't feel that Piper's trip will be uneventful.

Piper isn't a foolhardy young woman. She knows that she wants to be an actor and that there are more opportunities in LA than in New York. She also knows that doing a cake for Jillian Abernathy, not to mention an all-expense paid trip to California and a stay at a topnotch spa resort is an excellent opportunity. Or is it? Unfortunately there is a murder at the spa on the day of Piper's arrival. Is this a sign of things to come?

I'm not quite sure why this is classified as a Piper Donovan mystery as Piper seems to be more of a bystander and not actively involved in the murders. She does get dragged into a minor investigation into the antics of one of the spa's employees by an undercover journalist. However, she's not really involved in the murders or murder investigations other than being in the same facility at approximately the same time.

There's some intrigue involved in this story but it didn't really keep my interest. The characters are relatively realistic but I had difficulty accepting that Jillian could deal with having such a high-pressure job, director of an elite spa, but quickly fall apart over everything else. There were parts of the story that worked and worked quite well: Piper and her friendship with Jack, Piper's overprotective father and his worrying, and the investigation by the undercover journalist. In the end, I didn't really find The Look of Love all that mysterious or captivating a read. It's a decent read but it didn't work for me.