Josh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready is a cross between women’s fiction and romance. This book features Gemma, a 32-year-old single woman ready to have a baby through IVF after an infertility diagnosis, and Josh, a family friend who she decides will make the perfect sperm donor.

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The summary, from Amazon:

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, businesslike 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.

Buy Josh and Gemma Make a Baby here.

Gemma always had a crush on Josh growing up, and when they were teenagers, she had her first time with him. But since then, they’ve never been close. Josh is just her brother’s best friend. In particular, he’s her brother’s best friend that left his great job to write comics and is currently living in his dad’s basement. Gemma has never given him a second thought romantically in her adulthood.

Meanwhile, Gemma’s mother is constantly trying to set her up on dates. Gemma divorced young after receiving an infertility diagnosis. Her husband cheated on her in the weeks after. Understandably, she has a lot of hang ups about love as a result. Her mother’s shaming about her weight and overhearing family friends comment about her un-marriageability as an infertile divorcee at a party post-New Year’s continues to impact that. Nevertheless, Gemma makes a resolution to have a baby through IVF.

Josh is handsome, smart, and athletic. He also has a place in her family’s life already, so if he chooses to be involved with Gemma’s baby, it will all work out. Gemma approaches him to be her sperm donor, and while at first Josh says no, he eventually changes his mind. Gemma and Josh inevitably spend the next few months getting to know one another while Gemma tries to conceive through IVF. Gemma realizes that Josh isn’t who she has imagined him to be. Meanwhile, Gemma’s boss, a lifestyle guru full of helpful platitudes, strikes up a romance with her.

Josh and Gemma Make a Baby was an enjoyable read. I do want to note that there are obvious trigger warnings from the title and description in addition to a parental death and a miscarriage. This felt more women’s fiction-y to me for a large part of the book, though the final arc is super romantic. Gemma’s friends from her support group really stand out. The cover is also pretty misleading. Gemma isn’t pregnant for almost the entirety of the title. My biggest gripe is that Josh and Gemma is so similar to Bridget Jones. The plot is almost entirely the same, just throw in IVF as a major theme. Overall, I think the author handled a difficult topic in a sensitive way, and I rate this  book 3 stars.

Josh and Gemma Make a BabyJosh and Gemma Make a Baby by Sarah Ready
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was sweet and romantic and has me laughing and crying. I will say there are some obvious triggers from the blurb, also the death of a parent and miscarriage. The cover is also pretty misleading as Gemma isn’t pregnant for most of the book. Nonetheless, this was super romantic and funny. I will say it was a little too similar to Bridget Jones to really do much for me. Like, same plot, just with infertility themes and the leads getting along. I have seen some negative reviews about comments people make about Gemma’s body, but that’s all addressed by the end of the novel. Gemma’s character development is great and I adored her friendship with Josh. Her friends that she meets through the support group are awesome too. Natasha Lyone as Brook for sure.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Explain the relationship dynamic between Josh and Gemma. How does it change throughout the course of the book?
  2. Why did Gemma choose Josh to be her donor?
  3. Why did Josh agree to be Gemma’s donor?
  4. How does Josh’s relationship with his father impact his decisions throughout the course of this book?
@daily.manifestationx Content warnings on this one for infertility and lotsa things associated with it. IMO felt more fiction than romance. #booktok #romancebooks #romancebooktok ♬ original sound – Marissa

Interested? Buy Josh and Gemma Make a Baby.
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