Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review & Giveaway: The Look of Love by Mary Jane Clark

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 17th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published December 27th 2011)

ISBN: 0061995568 (ISBN13: 9780061995569)
From the publisher:

The ultra-luxurious spa caters to the rich and famous in need of a little "refreshing"--a nip here, a tuck there, a little Botox, a little detox. Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, Elysium seems picture-perfect: the grounds, the staff, even the guests. But no sooner does Piper arrive than a guest is brutally murdered in one of the private bungalows. Someone, it seems, wants to make sure Elysium's beautiful director, Jillian Abernathy, never gets to walk down the aisle. Piper soon discovers that beneath the glamorous surface of this idyllic oasis lies an ugly truth--and a cold-blooded plan for murder.

My Thoughts: Wooooooo, plenty of action right from the get-go; just the way I like it!
A luxury spa and plastic surgery center should be a place where beauty and pampering reigns, not two brutal  murders, grudges, jealousy, unhappiness, a little hanky-panky and resentment but those are some of the things Piper finds at Elysium. Besides, a dead body practically the minute she arrives.

The beautiful Jill Abernathy must have some real enemies out there. First, her maid in a case of mistaken identity is bumped off and only after a few days another body appears. Who could have it in for Jill to commit such heinous crimes?

This was a real fun cozy to read; the pages just seemed to turn themselves.  That's how caught up in the story I was. No dry spots here at all!  I couldn't wait to see "whodunnit."

There are several things I look for in a cozy and this one hit all the high notes:
  •  the characters were introduced in a methodical manner. As a reader, I got a good feel for who they really were and what made them tick. You either liked them or hated them; no wishy washy characters here. They were all well developed.
  • a cohesive, well laid out plot with enough clues and motives to keep me guessing. There were quite a few jealous, insecure, fearful and/or resentful characters who fit the bill and their motives were very credible. 
  • growth in the main character if this is a series. This is the second one in the Wedding Cake Mystery series. I think it is even better than the first.
  • interesting location: The bride wants a pumpkin bread as her wedding cake and since her sister is a nun at a local convent, Piper visits to get help with baking the cake.
 NB: this convent is based on Monastery of the Angels in Los Angeles and if you would like the recipe or to read more please visit here.  

The Look of Love  could easily be read as a stand-alone. There's enough back story to feel caught up and to get a real feel for who Piper is as a character. I'm looking forward to the next one! 4****

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Harper Collins  in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thanks for Harper Collins's generosity, one copy of the book is available for giveaway.   Open to US only with the deadline to enter being February 16th at 5 PM (est).

To enter please leave your e mail address in a comment. If no e mail address, I will assume you do not want to be part of the giveaway.

 Bonus entries are as follows:
.
+1 for being a follower, old or new on GFC . .OR

+3 for following on Networked blogs. Just remind me how you follow and under what name.

+3 for blogging (sidebar is fine) or tweeting about the giveaway. Leave me a link, please.

If you cannot comment you can still enter by sending me an e mail with Win the Look of Love in the subject line. Include your name and e mail and send to florida982002[at]yahoo.com

 Good luck!

27 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this one, too. Liked your detail review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for your review on this book, looking forward to reading it.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am an old GFC follower, wfnren.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am a networked follower, Wendy Newcomb

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sounds like a fun book! meah56 At Gmail dot com

    I'm an old GFC follower

    I follow on Networked blogs (Bookfan Mb)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I blogged your contest here:
    http://wrensthoughts.blogspot.com/p/contests-and-giveaways-good-luck.html

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I tweeted your contest here:
    https://twitter.com/#!/wfnren/status/166912853163520000

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This looks great! Please enter me!

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a Google Friend Connect follower.

    bethsbookreviewblog2 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This does sound really interesting, and I love the setting and plot elements. I would love the chance to win this one as well, so please do include me in your giveaway, and thanks for hosting it!

    zibilee(at)figearo(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks good! Please count me in.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I follow on GFC

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great review! I like mysteries that move along quickly.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am an old GFC follower.
    JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

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  15. Oh, mention of that nun got my attention

    Caitemaire@hotmail.com

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  16. Old..very old follower ...on GFC

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  17. I'd love to be entered since it can stand alone. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I subscribe in Google Reader.

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  18. No need to enter me but I'm happy it hit so many high notes! That is always a pleasure to find a book that hits all the right spots.

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  19. I am cursing you, woman!! Each time you review a cozy I want to read it immediately. This one sounds fantastic..loved the bullet points! I want to win it!! :D

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  20. Lots of action - sounds great!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  21. GFC follower as Karen B.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Networked blog follower as Karen Purbaugh Barnett.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. great giveaway
    follow via gfc
    drakebdog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. great giveaway
    follow via gfc +1
    drakebdog@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for the chance to win.

    I am an old gfc follower - griperang

    a networked blog follower - Angela Holland

    blogged your giveaway - http://griperangsbookmarks.blogspot.com/p/giveaways.html

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Looks like another fun cozy!
    +1 for being a follower
    +3 for following on Networked blogs - Sarita
    ericandsarita(at)gmail(Dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Looks like another exciting book by Clark. Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com
    -old GFC follower
    -Networked Blogs follower

    ReplyDelete

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