Once Upon A Romance

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Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay


Cover art: Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Buttercream Bump Off - 2nd in the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23924-7
Release Date: January 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Romantic/Cozy Mystery
Year/Setting: Present day, Scottsdale AZ
Overall Rating: 4.25
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal/Moderate
Jenn's Website: www.jennmckinlay.com

Her mother burst in on the baking class Melanie was teaching just to tell her she has a date. The first one her mother’s been on in years, decades. Well, Mel isn’t sure how she feels about it but gives her mother all the support she needs. Including dress-for-the-date shopping; this is just about a killer in more ways that one.

Turns out that Mel is going to have to tap into her reserves for strength and fortification if she’s going to put her mother’s mind and heart at ease. Yes, you guessed it. Mel’s mother, Joyce, has had her first and possibly last date…I suppose finding your date murdered before the night is over, well, it’s bound to put a damper on the desire to date. Being thought of as a "person of interest" even more so.

Mel recruits her Fairy Tale Cupcakes business partners, Angie and Tate to help her investigate. She even pulls new shop regular (due to a contest she’s hosting), crotchety old Marty, into her schemes when Angie practically goes AWOL and begins to date rock star, Roach, who also happens to be the son of Joyce’s dead date. Things only get more complicated from there…

Running the cupcake shop, tracking down a killer to ease her mother’s mind, and staying one step ahead and besting their cupcake rival, Olivia, should be plenty on the cupcake platter of life, but sadly, Mel’s personal life, of the romantic variety, is stalled and it appears everyone is aware of it. Could life get any more complicated? Silly question! Yes! There’s a murderer on the loose and Mel just may very well find herself in a dangerous, yet sticky situation.

Friendship. The type of friendship Mel, Angie, and Tate have is rare. Their individual lives seem to be changing and growing at a rapid pace. Even though they will always have each other’s backs, it will never be the same as when it’s just the three of them against the world. It’s the fear of what it will do to the dynamics of their friendship that has held Mel back in encouraging her friends in their relationships and perhaps even her own budding relationship with Angie’s brother, Joe. It may take her some time to reaffirm that their bond in unbreakable even though change is in the air.

I really enjoyed seeing the investigation unfold. Joyce is…well, she’s hard to describe…hilarious would be one word, interfering would be another, exasperating, yes, that works, and loving, without a doubt. Marty is a hoot and I sincerely hope he will be back to help with more undercover work. Angie is a spitfire with a heart of gold. Tate is a clueless male but he is eager (most of the time) to do his share of the investigating. Joe is not only an ADA with a huge case on the docket; he has his hands full trying to keep Mel out of trouble.

Ms. McKinlay has whipped up quite a satisfying treat for the reader; light and sweet yet blended with the right amount of spicy elements.

Spend a few hours with this crazy, off-the-wall bunch and enjoy the ride!

Happy reading!

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