Josh and Gemma Make a Baby, an all new laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers romantic comedy from bestselling author Sarah Ready is available now!
Published: 25th of January, 2022
New Year’s Resolution:
Have a baby
Preferably with Josh Lewenthal
Meet Gemma Jacobs. She’s driven, energetic, and a positive thinker. She has a great career working for famed self-help guru Ian Fortune, she lives in a cute studio apartment in Manhattan, and her family is supportive and loving (albeit a little kooky). Her life is perfect. Absolutely wonderful.
Except for one tiny little thing.
After a decade of disastrous relationships and an infertility diagnosis, Gemma doesn’t want a Mr. Right (or even a Mr. Right Now), she just wants a baby.
And all she needs is an egg, some sperm, and IVF.
So Gemma makes a New Year’s resolution: have a baby.
Josh Lewenthal is a laid back, relaxed, find-the-humor-in-life kind of guy. The polar opposite of Gemma. He’s also her brother’s best friend. For the past twenty years Josh has attended every Jacobs’ family birthday, holiday, and event – he’s always around.
Gemma knows him. He’s nice (enough), he’s funny (-ish), he’s healthy (she thinks) and he didn’t burn any ants with a magnifying glass as a kid. Which, in Gemma’s mind, makes him the perfect option for a sperm donor.
So Gemma wants to make a deal. An unemotional, business-like arrangement. No commitments, just a baby.
To Gemma’s surprise, Josh agrees.
They have nothing in common, except their agreement to make a baby and their desire to keep things businesslike.
But the thing about baby-making…it’s hard to keep it businesslike, it’s nearly impossible to keep it unemotional, and it’s definitely impossible to keep your heart out of the mix. Because when you’re making a baby together, things have a way of starting to feel like you’re making other things too – like a life, and a family, and love. And when the baby-making ends, you wish that everything else didn’t have to end too.
Josh is on my bed.
What the heck?
It’s like he has some sort of super-psychic power that lets him know when a woman needs him. I think about him stealing my undies all those years ago and I realize that yes, he probably does have a secret power. Some sort of man radar—mandar.
We haven’t really spoken in years, except for the casual greeting at the New Year’s party or a “hi, how are you” at a random friends and family get together. Yet here he is, right when I need him.
I step into my bedroom and shut the door. Josh is spread out on my pink lace coverlet, his arms behind his head, and his legs crossed—the picture of relaxation. He’s in his standard outfit, faded jeans and a tight T-shirt depicting some obscure graphic novel character. His black hair needs a trim and he has at least two days’ worth of dark stubble on his face.
Even though I’m indifferent to him as a person and I know for a fact he’s not my type, my lady parts still clench. He’s that good looking.
He smirks at me, like he knows the effect he’s having. Here’s the thing about Josh, he’s completely unable to take life seriously. It’s like the whole universe is a funny joke to him, and he’s just living his life so he can be amused.
When he graduated from high school he was voted the most likely to succeed. He was captain of the football team, the basketball team, homecoming king and the valedictorian. Everyone thought he was going places. Especially me.
After he graduated from college he took a job at a tech start-up, worked his way up the ranks to VP, and then according to my brother, he just woke up one day and decided to quit. He walked into the office, took a box out of the supply closet, packed up his desk, and walked out. Ever since then he’s been doing his web comic thing. But I guess if he’s living with his dad again, it’s not going all that well.
I look him over. The thing is, I’m not sussing him out as a prospective husband, I don’t care about his career goals, how big his paycheck is, or whether he lives in his dad’s basement. I don’t care about his potential or non-potential as a life mate. I’m thinking about his genetics. And his genetics are just fine.
I close the door with a sharp snick.
“What are you doing on my bed?” I ask.
His eyes, always full of sharp intelligence, take in my sauce-covered dress and the blush still lingering on my cheeks.
“What are you doing covered in barbecue?” A small smile flits over his lips and his forehead wrinkles as he takes in my appearance.
My outfit from earlier is folded in a neat pile and sitting on my dresser. Josh starts to stand up.
“Stay there. I need to talk to you.”
I decide that rather than risk him leaving while I change, I’ll talk to him covered in sauce.
“Alright.” He scoots over and pats my bed.
I give him a look and he shrugs. “Sorry. I was up all night finishing a storyboard. Whenever I stayed the night with Dylan, your mom would always give me your bed to sleep in. I didn’t think, it just seemed natural to…”
He trails off when he sees the expression on my face. I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that Josh has apparently been sleeping in my childhood bedroom for years.
I look at my dresser and realize that my teenage diary is in the top drawer hidden under my underwear. My skin prickles with, yup, that’s embarrassment. I look at the dresser then at Josh, but he doesn’t seem any different than usual. Maybe he’s not a snooper. Probably, yes, probably he never read it. Because if he had…errr…my teenage self was not shy about fantasizing about him.
I settle onto the mattress next to him.
He clears his throat and scoots over. “So what’s up?”
Am I really going to do this?
Can I do this?
It seemed perfectly reasonable and normal when I was planning it out after my doctor’s appointment. I looked more into donor sperm and weighed the benefits and detriments of donor versus Josh. Every way I looked at it, Josh came out on top.
He gives me a funny look. “Gemma? What’s up? You alright?”
“I need your sperm,” I blurt out.
Josh starts to choke, then he coughs. His face turns red and he hits his chest.
Oh no. I’ve killed him.
He coughs and his eyes water.
I slap his back and he shakes his head.
Maybe I shouldn’t have just blurted it out like that, but I was nervous and I didn’t think.
Finally, he takes a wheezing breath and says, “Come again?”
“I…I need your sperm?”
I smile at him. The look he gives me makes my hand fly to my mouth in an effort to contain the laugh bubbling up from my chest. Oh jeez, I’ve lost my brain. I should’ve written talking points or a speech or something.
“You want to have sex?” Josh asks. He looks really confused. “Gemma. You really have to work on your pick-up lines.”
I shake my head. But he’s already starting to lift his shirt up. I catch a glimpse of rock-hard abs. “If you want to, we can. But we’ll have to hurry. The New Year’s Resolution reading is soon. We have maybe ten minutes. Not that I can’t blow your mind in ten minutes.”
I scoot back and make a strangled sound.
He takes in my expression and starts to snicker.
“Kidding. Gemma, I’m kidding,” he says, and he drops his shirt.
I nod and blow out a long, mind-clearing breath. “Sorry, I didn’t say that right. What I meant to say was, ummm, we’ve known each other a long time.”
“Twenty-four years,” he agrees.
“Right. We grew up in the same town. Went to the same school. You’re my brother’s best friend. You come to our holiday parties, birthdays. You’re always around.”
I scrutinize his face to see if he gets where I’m going. Unfortunately, he just looks confused.
“I feel like I know you pretty well. I can say that you’re a decent guy.”
He frowns. “Thanks.”
“If I ask you something, do you promise not to tell Dylan, or anybody?”
Josh leans back and studies me. “Gem, I don’t think we should have sex.”
I close my eyes. “No. No, jeez. Obviously. Ugh, did it once, got the T-shirt.”
I open one eye and look at him, then I open the other.
He grins at me. “The T-shirt huh?”
About the author:
Sarah Ready writes contemporary romance and romantic comedy. Her books have been described as “euphoric”, “heartwarming” and “laugh out loud”. Her debut novel The Fall in Love Checklist was hailed as “the unicorn read of 2020”. She loves to write fast-paced, emotionally compelling romances about quirky, smart women and the men who love them.
Before writing romance full-time Sarah had lots of fun teaching at an Ivy League. Then she realized she could have even more fun writing romance. Her favorite things after writing are adventuring and travel. You’ll frequently find her using her degree at a dino dig site, crawling into a cave, snorkeling, or on horseback riding through the jungle – all fodder for her next book. She’s lived in Scotland, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland and NYC. She currently lives in the Caribbean with her water-obsessed pup and her awesome family.