5 stars! This is a sleeper hit! Not at all what I expected!
Megan wants to prove to her newspaper boss that she's ready to be a real reporter. She gets the idea to go down to Santa Monica Blvd and interview some street kids to bring awareness. She is shocked at what these kids have to do to get by down there. "Observe, don't get involved..."
That is until she meets Mouth, a 17 year old hustler who has made a lot of tough choices in order to survive. There is something about him that draws her in immediately.
He might be six years younger than her but has lived a life that has aged him well past her comprehension. He's reluctant to help her at first but after a bit of convincing he gives in, for a price.
She tells herself..."You're here to report, not judge." But she wants to slap the bastard's face."
Over the course of several weeks she finds herself making frequent and sometimes unnecessary trips to the Boulevard hoping to run in to him. Then one night she finds Mouth beaten and robbed. She pleads with him to come home with her for a night so he can heal. He does. Then she manages to convince him to stay until he can come up with a plan for his life that doesn't require him to going back to the streets. "He might only be seventeen, but Mouth had shouldered adult responsibilities much earlier than Megan ever had and it showed. He was also probably far more used to being treated like trash."
Now that he is under her roof Megan struggles even harder with her feelings for him because they seem inappropriate. Things get even worse when he starts to make his growing feelings towards her more obvious.Imagine suddenly passing this guy in the morning on your way to the kitchen.“Sean, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have let this happen. I’m the adult here.
He turned his face toward her, still looking blank. “It’s okay. I understand. You don’t need to make up excuses.”
Megan frowned. “What do you mean? I’m telling you the truth. You’re too young, you’re supposed to be in my care, and it’s just—wrong.”
“And I’m a cheap street punk. A hustler. You don’t want to fuck a whore. I get it.”
He's in a tough transitional phase. Megan feels the right thing to do is keep him at arms length and be a supportive adult
but it's hard. Especially when he doesn't see their situation, especially their age difference, the same way. “I told you, I’m not a fucking kid!” he spat out, staring at the television screen in front of him. “I've lived through shit you can barely imagine. If you were out on the street, I’d be the one looking after you. Give me a break, Megan.”
Megan's heart and conscious battle it out something fierce! "I leave people behind.” He paused and took a deep breath before plowing on. “I don’t want to leave you behind. I want us to be...I don’t want to lose you, too, Megan.”
I loved this story! It was forbidden in the sense that Sean was 17 yrs old in age but he was clearly much older in mentality. It felt wrong but also right for them to be together. Sean needed someone to care about him, not just what he could do for them. Megan helped him get into a healthier mind frame so he could slowly deal with his issues. I felt less dirty about myself by the end of the story! LOL! I also thought Megan had the most judgmental friends and I hated them.
Other than that it was a fantastic read! Highly recommended!