(Rockin’ Fairy Tales, #2)
Publication date: July 30th 2022
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Gilded Butterfly is the second book in the Rockin’ Fairy Tales adult romantasy series by Leslie O’Sullivan. King Midas and the Golden Touch meets King Lear in a slow-burn, friends to lovers, romance set against the backdrop of a fictional Hollywood music scene.
Chorda Lear is a mega-hot pop artist, Internet influencer, and Irish witch who’s poised to inherit a magical family legacy, the Golden Guitar. She’s the fan favorite on a wildly popular reality television show, “Kickin’ It With Midas,” a trendy chronicle of three Hollywood influencer sisters and their aging rock star father, Midas Lear.
Adair Holliday, a Hollywood producer wunderkind, is slated to step up as showrunner of the Lear’s lucrative TV franchise. He must constantly temper his skepticism over best friend, Chorda’s, practice of magic, but his biggest challenge is denying romantic feelings for her.
When Chorda goes disastrously off-script during the live broadcast of the season finale, Lear banishes her from the show and his life. Adair follows his friend into exile with a plan to reconcile father and daughter. Away from the pressures of Hollywood, a steamy encounter under a waxing moon, deepens friendship into romance. Now, the two must reverse Midas’ edict to save both their professional futures and new-found love.
This book is in the world of Rockin’ Fairy Tales with some character carryover from Pink Guitars and Falling Stars, Book 1, but it does work as a standalone.
Windshields are a dark destiny for butterflies. As I wind up the drive to Midas Lear’s Waterfall Palace in the Hollywood Hills, my windshield becomes one such destiny for a vibrant blue butterfly. The poor critter traveled to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune with plans to name its cover band Wing Spread.
The driver’s side glass of my deep blue, Tesla model 3 had other plans. In a single fatal moment, the band, Wing Spread became Smush, which sounds more like a pop-up night club than a cover band. In Hollywood, it’s all about the name.
I pull as far off the road in front of the mansion as the narrow drive allows. There are those who would mock me for bemoaning the death of a bug. In my humble opinion, sadness should be mandated when something lovely is destroyed. I, Adair Holliday, am to blame for a drop of beauty gone from the world.
I retrieve an index card from the leather messenger bag my half-brother, Desmond, gave me last month on my thirtieth birthday with the directive: “Time to upgrade from your folksy backpack look, Adair.”
Across the road, I pick my way down a steep bank landscaped as a butterfly garden to the shore of a narrow stream fed by cascading water features of the mansion. It’s ironic the intentional flora attracts winged beauties only to threaten death via windshields and waterfalls.
Before me, the final brushstrokes of a California sunset reflect off Midas Lear’s Waterfall Palace, three stories of glass framed with stacked stone walls. The president of Golden Pipes Records runs his music empire from this Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water House meets Irish castle.
Spray from the waterfall spilling from the cantilevered stone shelf at the mansion’s base dots the butterfly’s wings. I crouch at the water’s edge to release the creature and its paper ship into the current, a Viking funeral in miniature. The card flips, sending broken blue wings beneath the surface.
A bend in the stream disappears into shadows underneath the peppy blossoms of overhanging purple and pink crepe myrtles. Were I slightly metaphoric, I’d define the waterway as a parallel to the new turn my life is about to take. Maybe the fact I’m figuratively pondering means I possess a drizzle of the poet in my soul. A good showrunner needs such drizzle in the ole creative toolbox.
I’ll leave poetic musings to Midas Lear and his three red-headed daughters. Rubata, Glissanda, and Chorda Lear will be my trio of responsibilities when I step into the executive producer spot on their reality TV show, Kickin’ It With Midas, after we shoot tonight’s season finale. I’m primed to step up my creative splash on the Golden Pipes Network.
I emerge from clusters of crimson columbine and lilac to the roar of an approaching engine. Desmond’s vintage red Ferrari 360 Modena zips around the corner, screeching to a stop inches from my toes.
“Shit, Adair. You nearly ended up on my windshield.”
The timeliness of his comment is not lost on me. I decline to share deets of my Viking butterfly funeral. “Cooling my jets for a sec by the water.”
Des shakes his head. “Cooling your jets? My little brother, crowned prince of outdated idioms and clichés.”
I celebrate and perpetuate the resurrection of sayings I’ve absorbed from the classic and not so classic movies and television programs I adore. More than one person has accused me of time traveling to the present from a black and white 1960s sitcom.
I tap a finger to my chin. “Are colorful phrases ever outdated?”
Rubata, the middle Lear sister, springs through the open pop top of the car. Her dyed cherry-red hair clashes with the Ferrari’s paint. She raises her phone to grab a selfie with a green, white, and red striped bag. “Gelato. I gotta gelata,” she sings and waves a handle bag stamped with the Gelato Buono logo.
I dive to catch the phone she tosses to me.
“Adair, get a shot of me with the gotta gelata and the car.” Rubata holds the bag next to her cheek and puckers her lips. As I snap pictures, she flips her hair and kisses the bag. “Did you get the shot? Wait, switch to video of me singing gotta gelata, gotta gelata.” Through the window, I catch her gold painted toenails dancing across Desmond’s shoulder. “Oooo, Desi, feed me gelata. That’ll look sexxxxy.”
Leslie O’Sullivan is the author of Rockin’ Fairy Tales, an adult romance series of Shakespeare/fairy tale mash ups set against the backdrop of Hollywood’s music scene. Coming soon is her Behind the Scenes contemporary romance series that peeks into the off-camera secrets of a wildly popular television drama. She’s a UCLA Bruin with a BA and MFA from their Department of Theater where she also taught for years on the design faculty. Her tenure in the world of television was as the assistant art director on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” Leslie loves to indulge her fangirl side each year at San Diego Comic Con.
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