Angel of 13th Street' by Eden Winters is a story about a subject that shouldn't even exist—throwaway kids, many of whom have to resort to prostitution just to survive. This story is about Jeremy, an eighteen-year-old who, against all odds, is trying to avoid the dangers of living on the streets, particularly selling his body. He's viciously pursued by a group who want to drag him into the downward spiral of hooking. Fortunately, this neighborhood has a man they call the angel; Noah Everett helps kids get off the street and either back home or at least a new start elsewhere. When Noah saves Jeremy from his pursuers, they join together to fight for the lost kids. It then becomes a question of who is saving whom.
Noah never thought of himself as an angel, in fact, just the opposite; but every time he helps a young man escape the throes of prostitution, he feels like he's repaying a debt. If he can keep one person from feeling the pain he felt before he left that life, then it's all worth it. When Noah helps Jeremy, he doesn't know how much it is going to aid him as well. Having Jeremy with him, enables Noah to feel alive again. The angel has a lot of demons to battle; and, holding on to the past, is not helping. Noah is stubborn though and has a terrible time asking for help. Doc, the man who helped Noah escape, is the only person Noah loves and trusts. Together, they set up the network to rescue lost boys and give them a new start. He's a complicated, secretive man, with a hard shell which seems uncrackable. How deep his feelings run for Jeremy shows when he swallows his pride and walks into the lion's den at Willie Carnell's office, the pimp who is determined to get his claws into Jeremy. The deal he strikes with Willie has the potential of taking the angel through a personal hell; Willie Carnell is actually Billy Cordell, Noah's ex-lover and the root of all the guilt about his former life. Letting go of Billy is the hurdle Noah must leap before he can move on.
Jeremy is intelligent, determined, and resilient. He's wise beyond his years and is unbelievably perceptive. He's lived on his own since his last foster parents asked him to leave when he turned eighteen. Despite living on the streets, Jeremy still attends school every day; he's driven to finish and, hopefully, earn a college scholarship. When Noah rebuffs his advances, he doesn't give up; he sits back and waits until he can break him down. When he takes over the laundromat next door to Noah's bar, as a school project, he once again, proves not just how smart he is, but what a good businessman he can be as well. Jeremy does everything he can to prove to Noah that he's not a kid and deserves his respect. Although it hurt him, even when Noah finally opens up about Billy, Noah handled it with grace and compassion, Jeremy worries not so much for himself, as about the pain it causes Noah. Everyone around them can see that Jeremy is good for Noah and brings a positive change into his life. Jeremy motivates him in a way no one has been able to do for years. Even Doc explains to Jeremy how he knows Noah loves him, by the fact that he's never asked him to keep someone safe before in all the years they've been working together. This is enough to convince Jeremy to stick with his angel.
'The Angel of 13th Street' is a complex story about an unpleasant, but seriously important issue, one most of us aren't aware of. There are young people out on the streets right now who need our help and we can't ignore them. Knowledge is, indeed, power and leads to change. I'd recommend this story to anyone who wants an honest look at life on the streets and how much these kids need help. Thanks, Eden, for presenting this problem in a knowledgeable, direct way.