Short Stories 366:319 — “Triple Dog Dare,” by Georgia Beers

Before I begin, I feel like I need to underscore how this trio of novellas was one of the most singularly best timed reading experiences of my life. Ottawa had been dumped on with snow and ice and I was not ready for that (even though it’s November and I should be). Also, the news was… well. We all know. It’s 2020. I eyed my kobo, saw All I Want for Christmas, a trio of women-loving-women holiday romances and thought, yes.

The first of the trio is “Triple Dog Dare” and the title is 100% a reference to A Christmas Story so you already know it’s both magical and funny and a favourite-to-be, but if the title alone doesn’t snare you, allow me to follow up with the following: it’s a fauxmance! I mean, basically this is peppermint-scented novella catnip for me. The set-up is perfect: successful middle sister Sasha has an older sister and a younger sister and a mother and all three of them can be a bit… much. Especially about her being single. Sasha knows it comes from a good place, but it can be relentless, so she makes up a girlfriend to get them to leave her alone, which works for a little bit, until her eldest sister tries to call her bluff and dares her to bring her home for the holidays.

That’s where the neighbour comes in. She’s beautiful, she’s available, and—bonus—she’s also an actress and in need of a gig, and it couldn’t be more perfect. Except, of course, that quickly becomes a bit of a problem, too. Kennedy is wonderful, and beautiful, and a perfect fake girlfriend and Sasha is soon wishing things weren’t so fake. With well-meaning family, a wee doggo, and some roller-rink revisiting, “Triple Dog Dare” quickly hopped right into my heart, and I can’t express how much I loved the low-angst simmer of the story. The two women connecting even while they’re pretending, and the genuine emotions forming among the act was this gentle, happy sigh of a progression. And honestly, the scene where they eventually come clean about the deception? I howled.

I reached out to Georgia Beers to ask if she’d mind dropping a few words my way about where this novella came from, and she was kind enough to let us in on the magic:

My idea came from the fact that I have always, always wanted to write a fauxmance and have just never been able to come up with the right storyline. But fake relationship is one of my very favorite holiday tropes, so when I was asked to write a holiday novella, I realized it was my chance. Plus, the lead in my novella is a secondary character in my novel “16 Steps to Forever” (also out in December). She’s a character I really liked, so I was thrilled to give her a story all her own. I had a ton of fun writing it!

— Georgia Beers

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