Copping an Attitude

Copping an Attitude - Morticia Knight I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rent boy stories always pose a bit of a dilemma for me;
there is the 'wow, life is great - making a ton of money having great sex with hot guys' version which I personally am incapable of really bying into. A part of me simple refuses to believe that someone would actually choose to be a prostitute.
Then there is the 'kicked out by parents for being gay and ending up in really nasty situations' type of story. These often make me uncomfortable. Maybe because I find it way too easy to believe that they could very well be real. If taken too far into nasty-land such a story would make me sick (The Flesh Cartel comes to mind as something I would never be able to read).

Copping an Attitude falls into the second category. Slade had been kicked out by his parents and ended up on the Strip working for Julio, the number one pimp in Vegas. And not by choice. But Slade has nowhere to go and no way to get out from under Julio's control.
The story of how Slade ended up with Julio is told briefly and the picture we get of his 'initiation' is less than pretty. And still more than enough to make it clear that Slade is stuck in a dangerous dead end situation. I was very greatful to the author for not dragging this out in every disguting detail. The balance was perfect - I got a clear picture of the horrors of Slade's life but not so much it made me vomit.

Slade and Parker met after Parker and his partner on the force had been called to break up a fight. Slade had been hustling nearby and was trying to escape the police unnoticed. Their first contact was short but enough to spark something of a connection, however weak, and awake Parker's protective instincts.
The need to be around Slade and take care of him is further strenghtened when Slade ends up in hospital after a vicious attack. The romance really takes of from here and I loved it.
I loved Slade's vulnerability. His intense longing to simply be touched and held by someone who actually cares about him. Something he never got to experience after leaving home. And the way he practically shed his hustler persona and took back his real name to move towards a fresh start and a new life was amazing. Of course he cannot just complete throw away the after effects of three years on the streets but there was something about that name change that just fit so perfectly. It just felt right.

It's still too soon, though, for the total Pretty Woman ending with the town still crawling with bad guys and a turf war on the horizon.
Julio hasn't given up on making a lot of money off Slade and Slade once again finds himself in deep trouble. I loved the feels in this part of the story; Slade heartbroken and Parker going nearly insane with worry. I was practically cheering Parker on through this part willing him to go save the man he loved. Which he did. With some help. Ok, a lot of help, but those are just details ;-). And then it got all Pretty Woman. Which was a very good thing.
I loved this book.