Raised by his unorthodox but deeply loving grandmother in her secluded beach house, twenty-eight year old Alex Morgan has lived there alone since her death. Intent on making his name as an artist, he finds he's spending more time working as a lifeguard and taking odd jobs to earn enough cash to buy paints and canvases than he is painting. Losing faith in his talent, seeing his youth slip away and feeling lonesome, he wonders how much longer he can carry on chasing a dream.
All that changes, however, when on his morning jog along the surf line he spots a young man climbing Sunset Cove's crumbling cliffs. Fearing the guy didn't see the 'DANGER' sign or, worse, is venturing to the precarious summit with a darker intent, Alex's lifeguard instinct kicks in. Barefoot, he goes up in pursuit of a stranger in peril.
The mysterious man Alex finds on the cliff's edge is Rick Stradman, son of a Hollywood movie producer and budding TV actor, who despite his privileged background carries his own burden of insecurities and loneliness.
Having had his heart broken by a guy once before, Alex swore never to fall in love with a man again. But after Rick provides a solution to his financial problems by renting a room in the beach house for the summer, Alex's resolve to protect his heart weakens as Rick's alluring presence renews his self-belief and re-awakens his repressed sexuality. But as summer ends, will Alex's heart get broken once again?
That Summer of '74 is a sensual, romantic story set on the beaches of Southern California and soundstages of Hollywood about two men who discover their true selves by taking a chance on love."Don't waste time on the future. We have one perfect summer evening right here and now. Isn't that enough?"