Jude and his childhood friends were just about to hit the big time with their band, Running with Scissors, when Jude quit and walked away. Jude’s relationship with his best friend, boyfriend, and band mate, Connor, went up in smoke and Jude just left. Now, eighteen months later he regrets that decision more each day as his job in a cubicle is slowly suffocating him. When the band’s bassist quits, the call comes in for Jude to help them out. Sure, he had been the drummer, but musical prodigy Jude plays the bass almost as well as the drums.
He strikes a deal with the band’s manager on the condition of no hooking up with band mates and Jude returns to an icy reception from the entire band. Well, everyone except A.J., the drummer that replaced him. A.J. is shy, quiet, and doesn’t hold eye contact until he is on stage and there he captures all of Jude’s attention. The men make a valiant effort to stay away from each other and when that proves too difficult, they come together in an explosive night of passion that continues until the band catches on. Jude now has to choose between his chance at the music career he’s always wanted or the one man who sets his blood on fire.
Running with Scissors focuses on the interpersonal relationships between all of its band members. It is less about the lifestyle of a rock star and more about trying to make life as a rock star work. Witt offers a comprehensive back story on the band members and how Jude leaving affected them and even though they need him for the band, no one wants to talk to him. Jude knows he messed up big time and there is so much tension from all sides and especially from Connor. The band members just kind of stomp around and throw off one liners at Jude and Connor is constantly blowing up or leaving the room. Sure they have reasons to be pissed off at him, but they won’t address any of their issues and put all of the blame solely on Jude’s shoulders and this carries on through the entire book.
And then there is A.J. In the eighteen months he has been the band’s drummer, he has yet to feel like a true part of the band. When he meets Jude he is immediately attracted to him, but he saw what happened to the band when personal relationships didn’t work out. That doesn’t stop the sexual tension from radiating from these guys.
He had no idea what it was about him, why Jude lit up nerves in him that no one else did, but it didn’t matter why. He did. And A.J. wanted more. Needed more.
And couldn’t have any.
Get a fucking grip. It’s show time.
Jude promises himself and everyone that the band is his priority and he tries to stay away from A.J. But one kiss and, “There was no going back after that kiss. What had been tasted could not be untasted….” The guys circle around each other for half of the book and then are only together for a short time before they are pulled apart again. I liked seeing them together as a couple for many reasons, but being the main couple of the book, they don’t spend much time together as a couple.
Witt offers her skill as a seasoned writer and the inner dialogue of the characters reads as natural and realistic. I just felt like the entire book I was waiting: waiting for Jude and Connor to talk to each other and sort out their mess, waiting for Jude and A.J to get together, and then waiting for them to get back together. There was a lot of waiting and there was some frustration with feeling like the story was going around in the same loop for a while. This was not my favorite offering from this author but the book offers solid writing and a slow burn within a larger story line with characters that still have a lot of growing up to do.