Thanksgiving arrives in one week and one day. Feeling hemmed in by parental expectations? Are they disappointed by your sapphic proclivities? I can help! The only pay I want is the holiday meal!
I didn’t know what I was looking for until I saw her Craigslist ad.
I love my family. I’m lucky to have them—well, most of them. But my aunt? I’m so tired of her giving my mom crap because I happen to be a lesbian. So one pink-haired tattoo artist pretending to be my girlfriend will annoy my Christian fundamentalist aunt right back and make my Thanksgiving perfect.
Only . . . Brooke turns out to be cuter and more complicated than I expected. And before you can say “yorkiepoo,” we kiss . . . and abduct a dog together. I want to keep them both—but Brooke isn’t the kind to be kept. Lucky for me, I’m the kind to chase what I want.
(Belladonna Ink stories can be read in any order—jump in wherever you’d like!)
Brown revisits the ladies of Belladonna Ink (last seen in Far from Home), the best tattoo parlor in San Sebastian, Calif., in this present-day Thanksgiving novella. It doesn't deliver on the zany adventures its setup promises, but fans of dorky young lesbians, cute puppies, and queer chosen family will find the story relatable. Pink-haired tattooist Brooke places a Craigslist ad offering to pose as a fellow lesbian's girlfriend in exchange for a free holiday dinner and the fun of shocking homophobic relatives; accountant Keighley, eager to annoy her born-again Christian aunt, takes her up on it. At Keighley's mostly queer-friendly parents' Thanksgiving, she and Brooke tweak her aunt by reciting a Unitarian Universalist grace and ask her mom to pack up some pie before absconding to Keighley's apartment with her cousin's abused puppy, planning to seek out veterinary care and enjoy a hot hookup. Brown perfectly portrays the flow of playful sex banter, making it clear that her protagonists are regular people who are really enjoying each other's company. But plot is minimal after the initial connection, and the rest of the story is really just basic 20-something relationship negotiation Keighley's overattached, Brooke's commitment-phobic and once they open up to each other, they get over it.