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Growing Pains
Cover of Growing Pains
Growing Pains
Toronto Connections Series, Book 3
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Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn't the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister's wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn't quite on board.

Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he'd never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn't an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There's just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.

It's magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn't all you need.

Gigi Rosenberg is living his best life: performances in the big city, side gigs at a dance company, a successful drag act, and the boy of his childhood dreams who now adores him. Even if the boyfriend part isn't the sparkly ride of passion he expected it to be, life is sweet. So when his sister's wedding calls him back to his hometown, he sees an opportunity to show the hicks from his past how wrong they were about him. Only, his boyfriend isn't quite on board.

Brock Stubbs left their hometown and his parents behind for a reason, and the prospect of facing them again is terrifying. He swore he'd never go back, but Gigi has made it clear refusal isn't an option, and Brock will do nearly anything for him. There's just one deal-breaker of a problem: Brock promised Gigi he was out to everyone, including his parents. He lied.

It's magical to run into the sunset together, but staying the course takes work. For Gigi and Brock, going home feels like the finale of a long, disappointing year. Sometimes love isn't all you need.

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    Chapter One

    Gigi Rosenberg sat in the driver's seat of his rented car and glared through the windshield at his boyfriend. Brock stood in the driveway, hands in pockets, his face set to that miserable expression Gigi was starting to despise, not least because it always tugged at his heart, and definitely not least because Brock had been using it a lot lately.

    And why the fuck was that again? Oh, let's think.

    Ire fully loaded, he lowered the driver's-side window and leaned out. "Last chance, boyfriend!"

    Brock seemed to curl in on himself. It would have been pathetic if he were any less built, those big shoulders rounding by his ears and his chiselled face dipping into his chest.

    No, actually, even with the muscles it was still pathetic.

    "I can't," Brock said.

    Typical. Fucking typical.

    A red haze clouded Gigi's peripheral vision, and he slammed the car horn multiple times as he bellowed, "Fuck you!" Then he pulled his head back in, released the car from park, and began reversing down the driveway.

    Unbelievable. Unbelievable. This had to be a sign right? Yeah. This is totally a sign that I'm meant to be wild and free and not attached to some overbuilt—he turned into the road — oversensitive — shifted into drive — overworked — stomped on the accelerator — asshole of a dude who would rather stay home than support his beloved boyfriend.

    Gigi looked in the rearview mirror as Brock's house fell farther behind him. In the backseat, he could see his duffel bag, suit bag, coat, Toronto gift hamper, wedding present, and snacks for the journey. Too many snacks, of course, because his supposed boyfriend wasn't coming anymore.

    He paused at the corner, then made a right. Brock's street was behind him now, out of sight in the rearview mirror. At the next red light, he punched at the GPS and glared as it began chirruping directions to Highway 400.

    Highway 400, which then turned into the Trans-Canada Highway. North on that for almost four hours of forest, then a turn off after Sudbury for another hour of more fucking forest. God, Gigi thought he'd never have to deal with nature again after leaving home, or if he did, it would be a nice distance away. Like Niagara Falls, all safe behind a viewing platform and some cliffs. Being in a car would help, sure, but he'd have to drive through kilometres and kilometres of goddamn trees and leaves and moose and shit, and all he'd get for his trouble was his hick hometown in the middle of Nowhere, Ontario. Alone.

    After all, it wasn't, like, important they go or anything. So what if his big sister, Sophie, was getting hitched to love-of-her-life and all-around-decent-heterosexual Alan, and Gigi was so excited and happy for her he could barely express it? Sure, no big. No big at all.

    Seriously, didn't Brock get what a big deal that was to him? To his family? Sophie deserved all the happiness he could imagine.

    Even though happiness apparently meant holding the wedding in their hometown because Maney in the autumn was lovely and beautiful and she wanted her poor fiancé to see where she came from.

    Please. She wanted to rub her yummy fiancé and big, fancy wedding in the faces of all those hometown hosers, the ones who'd told her she'd be lucky to get a boyfriend, let alone a husband, especially with a brother like hers. Part of him was ecstatic at the idea of helping her, and another part was scared shitless.

    Brock might have been grumpy as shit most of the way there, but his grumpy company was always better than no company at all. And no company was what the journey now promised.

    Ugh.

    No, wait....

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 13, 2017
    Lennox continues her Toronto Connections contemporary romance series (after Finding Your Feet) with a deeper look at the dynamic of the secondary couple from the previous installment: dramatic drag diva Toby “Gigi” Rosenberg and teen crush turned real boyfriend Brock Stubbs. This light, easy story nevertheless digs into deep issues, such as homophobia and childhood abuse, that affect how people enter into new relationships. Gigi wants Brock to be his date to a wedding in the hometown they both hate; when Brock resists, Gigi flounces off, assuming that Brock isn’t committed to him and doesn’t want introduce such a dramatically and overtly queer person to his own family. But Gigi doesn’t realize that Brock has not spoken to his family in years, and that he fears physical violence if he comes out. Lennox’s stories target a young audience, with characters still very tied to their high school selves. Her embrace of a broad range of queer identities and her themes of forgiveness and coming through for loved ones will feel sweet and healing to those who worry that their history makes them unlovable.

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Growing Pains
Growing Pains
Toronto Connections Series, Book 3
Cass Lennox
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