Eighteen months ago, drummer Jude Colburn made the biggest mistake of his life when he walked away from his band just as they were on the brink of success. Now, he’s got a second chance. The band’s bassist just quit, and Jude plays bass almost as well as he plays drums. The other band members aren’t thrilled, but they are desperate.
Running with Scissors needs him, but there’s one condition: no hooking up with bandmates. That’s what ruined things eighteen months ago, after all. Jude’s on board, but no one warned him about the drummer who replaced him. A.J. Palmer is shy and unassuming . . . until he hits the stage. He gets Jude’s attention from the first beat, and suddenly that “no hookups” rule isn’t so easy to follow.
Keeping secrets on a tour bus isn’t easy either, and it’s only a matter of time before the band catches on. When everything hits the fan, Jude has to choose: a second chance at the career he’s always regretted leaving, or a shot at the man of his dreams?
This is one of those books that had me on edge from beginning to almost the very end. The tension was thick enough to almost be its own character. I felt so sorry for Jude, even though I understood where his band mates were coming from. Sometimes I felt like there were being a lot harder on him than they needed to be. Yeah, he screwed up, but he was young and in my experience, young guys are notorious for doing stupid things. They act first and deal with the consequences later. None of the members of “Running with Scissors” could see past Jude’s betrayal. Getting Jude’s POV helped to sympathize with him of course, but as an outsider it was easy to see things aren’t always what appears on the surface.
The book description really doesn’t really give readers a full understanding of how logical it was for Jude and A.J. to gravitate toward each other. Jude was the outcast because he was the ‘bad guy’ but A.J. was also an outcast because he was the ‘new guy.’ To be fair, the band didn’t even realize they were leaving A.J. out of their close knit group. On the other hand, Jude’s shunning was intentional. Regardless, more often than not, Jude and A.J. found themselves being thrown together for that very reason. Soon it became obvious that they had a lot more in common than just their instrument of choice.
I was pulling for these two from the start. They were good together, but the band made them feel like their love was beyond forbidden. The romantic tension and the forbidden romance almost tore them apart. Once the band found out, the odds of them making it weren’t good at all. Even with all the tension, there was a lot to love about this book. I respected A.J.’s vulnerability and totally understood it. Having Jude’s POV made me realize that it wasn’t an issue, but A.J.’s concern was real. Like I said earlier, the tension lasted till almost the very end of the book. I can almost forgive the author because I loved how things wrapped up. On a side note, even though I spent most of the book angry at Conner, by the end of Running with Scissors, I wanted him to find his HEA. I wanted him to have what A.J. and Jude ended up with. Hopefully L.A. Witt feels the same way and we haven’t seen the last of this group. 😉