Josh and Gemma Make a Baby
W. W. Crown
January 25, 2022
Kindle, paperback, audiobook
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.
This book surprised me on a few different levels. Not only was it not quite what I was expecting, plot wise, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I had originally anticipated. My penchant for RomComs is slowly growing, and honestly this book had a lot to do with that. I can honestly say that I laughed out loud several times while listening to it. There were times that the improbability of events caused my laughter, but there were also some very good one liner type jokes that just made me giggle.
I am a total sucker for puns, but a whole book surrounding them was a little much for me at times. Though the bad jokes do end up playing a significant role in the story line, I found myself growing a little tired of them after a while. That wasn’t the oddest part to me though. I was very confused as to why Gemma lost her virginity to her brother’s best friend, only to end up asking him to be her sperm donor years later. This seemed like a very odd thing to include, because it really didn’t add anything to the plot. Other than them randomly referencing them doing it on the garage floor. Yeah. You read that right. The garage! I feel like him just being her childhood crush would have sufficed.
During the duration of this book, I had a felt like there were a few questionable moments, meaning that I felt like something was so random and out of place that it made me stop to be sure that I heard it right. The first being the whole losing it on the garage floor thing, but another was her relationship with Ian. He is her boss, so that would have been a big no no, but she had also worked for him for years, yet their relationship started so fast and just kept moving along, despite them never really defining things. Also, the descriptions of his office baffled me. That might seem like a really odd thing to get caught up on, but at one point she references a golfing set up, and I was just so confused. How big was it supposed to be?? The last one was the fact that the fertility clinic didn’t supply any material in the donation room. I feel like that is common practice, and therefore just not realistic. I know it was for the plot, but still. It kind of pulled me out of the story, because I just feel like that so would not be a thing.
The fact that this whole story surrounds the actual making of the baby was the biggest surprise to me. Though the plot surrounding the trials of IVF and infertility was honestly interesting, it just was not what I was expecting. I mean, she’s pregnant on the cover of the book, so I was thinking it was going to be more of a co-parenting type of story, or maybe just following them through the whole pregnancy together. But no, it really was about Josh and Gemma making a baby!
Despite the fact that I sometimes get hung up on small details, like the Mary Poppin’s bag of an office, I really did enjoy this book. It dealt with a real issue in a very real way, while also being funny. Infertility is a huge issue, and I feel like this book could make all types of mothers feel seen and represented. Gemma was tired of waiting, so she took matters into her own hands. The women in her fertility support group weren’t doing it alone like Gemma, but they all represented such real women going through IVF. Motherhood is something that everyone views differently, and I loved how this book dealt with that.
In the end, though I saw the “twists” in the story from a mile away, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was sweet, a little heartbreaking, and just cheesy enough to make me laugh. I am always down for a quick read, and this really felt like a great palette cleanser between my darker, spicier romance books.
Since I had started using audiobooks as my main source of book consumption, I have become fairly nitpicky when it comes to my narrators. I have listened to some amazing ones, as well as some who are less than stellar. For me, Erin Mallon’s narration of this book was one of those I just didn’t love. I like to listen to my audiobooks a little fast (or maybe a lot fast, depending on who you ask), but I always start out slow in order to get to know the person’s voice. I want to be sure I get a feel for their style or narration before I step up the pace. With this one, I found myself speeding things up faster than usual, not in the sense that I listened to it faster than normal but meaning that I didn’t need long to realize that this reading was not going to be my favorite. Erin Mallon sounds like cheesy a newscaster, and all I could think is that no one sounds like that. I didn’t feel like the book came across as someone talking to me, but more someone very professionally reading it off. The emotions were there. The voices were there. But it just didn’t sound natural to me.
Leah is a life long, fully devoted book-worm. Not only has she been an avid reader since she was young, she also has an English Degree and works as an author PA. Leah also enjoys writing, and has always found herself drawn toward literature in all its forms – novels, short stories, poetry, fanfiction, etc. She is a military wife, a cat mom, and a true homebody. Her favorite genres are romance, high fantasy, and anything paranormal.