The crowd erupts as Isaac introduces the first number, and again when he starts to sing. Intense harmonies fill the tent and saturate the crowd. Strobe lights by the stage echo the music.
Jess stands in the audience and watches him. Isaac Coleman, with the smoke grey eyes she knows so well, and a reputation for walking away if anyone gets too close.
“Go, have fun,’ her mother had said.
Her brother had agreed. “Isaac will be busy.”
So she’d come. What could go wrong?
Then she sees the slight start, hears the slip, the falter, the pause. Isaac has seen her.
She watches him watching her as he finishes the set. The music fades, the lights dim, and Elwood goes to the break.
Isaac settles in the wings. He leans against a crate, relaxing until he has to go on again. Miles offers him a joint. He takes it, has a puff and hands it to Toby, perching on a packing case too, boots crossed.
Toby holds the joint like a piece of fine china. “What happened out there, Zac?” He gives a slight nod at the stage. “You forget the lyrics?” Smoke trickles out between his lips.
Isaac folds his arms and crosses his boots. “A pause for effect.” He doesn’t expect to be believed, he’s been with Elwood for three years and never stopped in the middle of a number before.
“Unlikely, something happened.”
Miles moves enough to see out into the audience. He points to the side of the crowd about two thirds down the marquee. “Over there. Tall, blonde, long hair, high heels, short lace dress.”
Toby leans forward and watches for a moment. He settles back onto his crate. “Not bad.” He looks across at Isaac. “So, why are you still up here?” He takes another puff.
Isaac grins. Good question, Jess had caught the flash of awareness. He figured, now she knew she’d been seen, she’d leave. Couldn’t believe she’d come in the first place.
Isaac, a successful musician, based in London has come back to the Coromandel to play the summer season at the beaches. Five years ago, he walked out on Jess to go to Australia and hasn’t been back since. Part of the reason he is back is to quiet some echoes from his past and also to make peace with Jess.
At first, she rejects his overtures, but eventually, drawn in by the memories of the shared past he weaves around her she agrees to be friends and to spend a month with him.
They have both changed a lot. Jess is more assertive and critical of some of the things Isaac does. And Isaac is wary of relationships and avoids any commitment. He makes it really clear their time together is temporary and after summer is he is going back to his life in London.
Isaac’s bandmates, Miles and Toby, point out that if Jess is going to spend the summer with them, she is going to hear the lyrics of the new songs he’s written. The songs are about their lifestyle, an endless catalogue of drinking, partying, sex and drugs. Isaac plays the songs to her, she accepts that is the way he has been living and eventually, they achieve something like peace and start to enjoy their time together.
But Isaac’s resentment of Jess’s relationship with her boss and Jess’s anger at the way he left, create a minefield.
Butterfly Kisses is a standalone book in the Train Wreck series. If you like second chances, alpha males and strong females, then you’ll love this contemporary romance.