Jeff Irwin is short, timid, and studious. A bit of a social outcast, he lives quietly in the shadows of the popular kids at his school, his life ruled by his ever-present fear of rejection or failure.
Enter high school football hero Brett Willson and the chance for Jeff to embark upon the challenge of educating the world’s dumbest jock.
But what develops between Brett and Jeff proves far more challenging than any tutoring session. In 1983, rural Michigan isn’t ready to embrace love between two men, never mind two teenage boys. If they’re going to make a go of it, Jeff will have to come out of his shell—and Brett will have to prove he’s more than just a dumb jock.
They become inseparable and fall deeply in love; however, love doesn’t make life easy. Plans are in motion that will surely devastate the young couple. Painful experiences of the past overshadow happy memories, and heartbreaking obstacles loom over the possibility of a future. If Shawn and Bobby want to stay together, they will have to fight with everything they have.
Enter Josh Billings, a veterinary student who’s serving an internship in town. Josh’s deepest passion is helping animals. Romance is the furthest thing from his mind... until the night he meets taciturn, handsome Rex Payton. Chance and an after-hours dance conspire to forge an intimate connection neither man looked for—one neither man can ignore after the dance leads to a kiss.
Suddenly romance isn’t so insignificant, but it’s also not without complications. For this relationship to work, Josh has to decide if he can cope with dating a single dad, Rex has to open his heart, and Ty has to learn to share his dad’s affection.
At age sixteen, Todd Hoffman is a social outcast. He lives with his mother in a rundown mobile home and doesn’t wear the nice clothes or drive fancy cars like the other students. He has one outlet: he secretly writes fan fiction about a boy falling in love with another boy he’s crushing on, and posts it online.
When Galen Caulfield, Todd’s real life object of affection, notices him and asks him out, Todd feels like he’s living his fantasy. Soon enough he realizes that fantasy and reality are two very different propositions.
Galen is the high school soccer team captain, clearly out of Todd’s league. On top of that, he’s popular, good-looking, and confident, so everyone thinks he’s straight. Now it’s up to Todd to decide whether Galen is the boy of his dreams or just another dumb jock.
Evan Drake needs to be a role model to his younger brother Brandon, and although he’s a star on his high school basketball team, there’s more to him than meets the eye. He’s interested in many things, including drama and singing, and when he joins drama club, he meets Noah Sheridan, and he’s pretty interested in him, too.
Noah is a super smart, cute but nerdy kid who has written a high school play about two gay students who attended Boyne City High twenty years ago, and who, in real life, fell in love with each other. When the drama department elects to use the play for their high school musical, Noah urges Evan to audition for the lead role. Evan ultimately decides he wants to be in the play, but when he shows up to audition, it sends shockwaves throughout the school. His teammates are furious, and so is his best friend Bryan. As Evan and Noah grow closer, Bryan gets more traitorous, and it seems he wants nothing more than to see his former friend broken down.