Spring - 1974. After inheriting his grandmother's beach house in the laid-back artists' colony of Sunset Cove, 28-year-old Alex Morgan has lived there alone. Intent on making his name as an artist, Alex finds he's spending more time working as a lifeguard to earn cash to buy art materials than he is painting. Despite his long hair, year-round tan, and rippling muscles, he can't ignore the fact he's fast approaching thirty. Losing faith in his talent, fearing his youth is slipping away and feeling lonesome, he wonders how much longer he can go on chasing his dream.
All that changes, however, when on his daily jog along the surf Alex spots a young guy climbing the cove's crumbling cliffs. Fearing he missed seeing the 'DANGER' sign or, worse, is venturing to the summit with a darker intent, Alex's lifeguard instinct kicks in. Barefoot, he goes up in pursuit of a stranger in peril. The handsome young man on the cliffs turns out to be Rick Stradman, a budding TV actor, who carries his own burden of insecurities and loneliness. Wanting to escape from family issues, Rick inveigles his way into renting a room in Alex's beach house. Despite their summer share getting off to a rocky start, a sudden, intense sexual attraction between the two men blossoms into erotic exploration and passionate romance.
But with their love deepening and both of their careers in the ascendant, will the moral climate of the early 70s prove a greater challenge to Alex and Rick's future together than they'd imagined?
That Summer of '74 is a sensual story of male intimacy set on the sun-drenched beaches of Southern California and atmospheric soundstages of Hollywood about two men who discover their true selves by risking everything for love.