Landon Callahan wishes he had someone in his life.

Being gay isn't acceptable at home or in hockey. When he returns home after the bitterest defeat a professional hockey player can suffer, he must lick his wounds alone.

Maddox West is done with men.

The burn scars that mar one shoulder and half his back sent his fiancé fleeing for good. What he thought were dates ended up being one-night stands. His brothers-in-arms are the only men he can truly depend on.

Landon hires Maddox to help with his remodeling project. Despite their age difference, they find common ground and develop a fast friendship.

The weight of betrayal and hurt has sat heavy on Maddox's heart since his fiancé walked away. Landon's simple and easy friendship is a balm to Maddox's spirit, and his pure appreciation of Maddox's body and simple, sweet desire spark an equally basic need in Maddox. Landon must return to Houston at summer’s end, so why not indulge in a summer fling?

As a result of Maddox's youthful exuberance and his sense of fun, Landon feels younger and freer than he has in years. So much so, he breaks his personal Golden Rule of no sex in his home state and not only confesses his homosexuality, but embarks on a sexual relationship with Maddox.

Landon and Maddox have almost daily, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes tender, sometimes non-vanilla sex, and life is good. Great even.

Until the day Landon's mother walks in on them.

Landon freaks out and sends both his mother and Maddox on their way.

After weeks of friendship and intimacy, Landon doesn't want to live without either any longer. He's so over his mother's complete condemnation of homosexuality, and his career is almost at an end. If he comes out or gets outed, what's the worst that could happen? He has to retire a year or two early? It's not as if he hadn't been considering the possibility anyway.

The real question is, can he convince Maddox to give him a second chance?

Ryan Macklin's wife walks out, leaving him and their three-year-old daughter in the lurch. Ryan's obligations to his hockey career careen head-first into his responsibilities as a father. Avery's Down Syndrome adds a layer of complexity to the challenge of finding immediate and also longterm, practically full-time care for her.

When Nicholas, a teacher from Avery's school, offers to take on the role of caregiver, Ryan scoffs. It's not that he doesn't think men are suitable caregivers--he's seen his teammates in action--but Avery needs a mother-figure, right?

Or does she?

Avery flourishes under Nicholas's care, and Ryan's house becomes a home for the first time in the four years he's lived there.

Nicholas Pruitt's education is his top priority. Ryan Macklin's plea for childcare comes to his attention and he determines that working twenty-four/seven caring for Avery Macklin will allow him more time to attend online classes and do his homework than his nine-to-five at the specialty school for children with Down Syndrome does.

Ryan's appreciation of any little consideration brings out the nurturer in Nicholas even more than Avery does, as precious and clever as she is, and he finds himself doing things specifically to bring that sparkle to Ryan's eyes--but he's straight, right?

Or is he?

Nicholas notices Ryan checking him out and he begins to wonder about Ryan's sexuality. Taking a chance and stealing a kiss, Nicholas and Ryan both discover that the answer is no.

When Nicholas's grades take a dip and Ryan refuses to follow in his dad's footsteps, all contract negotiations are off.

Or are they?

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