Collin Pratt does not hook up over Christmas. From the day after Thanksgiving to December twenty-sixth. After all, there has to be something redeeming about him.
Growing up in small-town America, Collin had been defined by one thing. Collin is gay. Bullied and beaten until those bullies put him in the hospital, he never thought he’d live to see his high school graduation. The one bright spot, a secret romance with his best friend’s brother. They were happy until it all came crashing down on them, in the worst possible way.
Three years have passed since the senseless death of his first love.
Collin is in his junior year of college, a college located a full state away from the ugliness of his hometown. He’s garnering a reputation as a talented writer, but it’s his other reputation which nabs him the most notoriety on the GHU campus.
He hooks up, because well, a man has needs. And he hooks up a lot. Though what he’s vowed to himself, Collin will never open his heart up to another man again. It’s too dangerous. In his experience, it’s deadly.
Kip Daniels needed a change from his state school in Illinois.
Since the breakup with his long-term boyfriend at the end of freshman year, the school seemed too small. Stifling. Transferring to a different university two states away at the start of his junior year had been a risky move. But Grand Harbor University has the best RPW program in the country.
The change, the challenge has been the right move professionally for Kip. He just never counted on the loneliness. In fact, he considers packing up and heading back home until a job at the writing center on campus comes available and he’s ordered to job shadow Collin Pratt before school lets out for winter break.
More than attraction builds between the two men, a real friendship. And before long, Collin finds himself where he never wanted to be again, in a relationship. Opening up his heart, because it’s too easy to with a man like Kip. Things go well for the men until an incident outside a museum triggers Collin, pulling him back into the fear and guilt of surviving one of the worst times of his life as he pushes Kip away.
The last straw is the final straw for Kip.
Once he reconciles with his past, Collin realizes what a mistake he’s made letting Kip go. Now as they struggle to find a missing friend, Collin decides to make his move to win Kip back. The problem being, with the offer of an internship in NYC, Kip’s not so sure he wants to be won.