Jeannine Colette is the author of the Abandon Collection, a series of stand-alone novels featuring dynamic heroines who have to abandon their reality in order to discover themselves . . . and love along the way; Wrecked, and the Sexton Brothers Novels: Austin, Bryce and Tanner. Her upcoming romance, A Really Bad Idea, releases May 14th!
A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She left the television industry to focus on her children and pursue a full-time writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the three tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.
Jeannine and her family are active supporters of The March of Dimes and Strivright The Auditory-Oral School of New York.
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A Really Bad Idea
Everyone has a best friend. Mine just happens to be Dr. Christian Gallagher— the gorgeous, blue-eyed heart surgeon who wants to have a baby with me.
Yes, you read that correctly.
When my mother approached me on my thirty-third birthday with a brochure for egg freezing, it was a glaring reminder that my biological clock is ticking toward its expiration date. I’ve always dreamed of being a mom and had a plan — one that was destroyed when I caught my professional hockey player husband in bed with another woman.
Despite my broken heart I still believe in love. I want the happily ever after, but I also want a child desperately and won’t settle in order to make it happen.
That’s why when I decided to take my mother’s advice, Christian came up with his own plan: Let’s have a baby together.
It’s a bad idea. A really, really bad idea. And yet…I can’t stop thinking about how great it could be.
There’s just one condition. Before we have sex (oh, yes, we’re doing this the old fashioned way!)
Christian is adamant we go on three dates.
Sounds easy, but it’s not. I thought sex would be the hard part, but the dates are only making me fall for the man I’ve known almost my entire life.
Whoever said sex doesn’t change things never went to bed with their best friend.
Christian grabs my computer that’s resting on the coffee table with the screen lit up on the webpage I was looking at—the New York CryoBank. “Worse than Tinder, huh?”
“Yeah,” I sit up and scrunch my mouth a little. “There are a few viable candidates.”
The laptop is now on his thighs. I settle myself up against his side, so I can look at the screen with him.
“So, you’re going with embryo freezing?” He looks at me, concerned.
“Just keeping my options open. Besides, it’s kinda neat to pick out the future father of my children.”
His brows are curved, and his cheekbones are accentuated so severely that it’s almost lethal. He blows out a sharp breath. “All right, what are your criteria?”
There’s a drop-down box on the side where you can filter down the donors. The first is height. “Five foot ten and up.”
He clicks the selection for over six foot tall. “You want a tall mate. Next, eye color.”
“Blue,” I answer assertively.
He grimaces. “What’s wrong with green?”
I blink back at the seriousness of his tone and wonder if he’s actually kidding. From his stone-cold look, I know he is not.
“It’s the odds of genetics. I have brown eyes, so that gives a fifty-fifty shot of blue or brown. Green eyes aren’t as genetically dominant.”
“But you could meet someone like me with a recessive gene and have a green- or a blue-eyed child. Our moms have blue eyes, so it could definitely happen.”
I scratch my temple and squint at him. “When you choose embryo donation for yourself, you can pick whatever eye color you want. I choose blue.”
He grunts and selects green anyway. “Hair color? Brown,” he answers for me, and I let him have it. “You really get to choose hair texture?” He runs a hand through his thick mane of dark hair and selects, “Wavy. Education level? Post-graduate.” He chooses for me again.
I just sit here and sink into the corner of my deep-set sofa as I let him take over, as he clearly has his own perfect man in mind. When he hits Find, it produces zero search results.
I laugh. “Looks like your perfect man doesn’t exist.”
“Not surprising.” He goes into the search and deselects postgraduate and changes the eye color to also include blue. The screen pops up with thirteen options.
The first is a man named Ace. I assume these are code names as I listen to him read, “Ace is a creative and talented man with a career as a successful audio engineer. In addition to music, he enjoys stand-up comedynope.” Christian exits out of Ace’s bio page and selects another potential donor.
“Ram considers himself an introvert who prefers to take long walks to think by himself,” I read.
Christian closes the window before I can read another word. He goes back to the sections page to choose another candidate.
“Brooks plans to spend approximately six more years on his education. After he finishes his undergraduate degree, he intends to enroll in medical school with a focus on orthopedic surgery. He has volunteered at a nonprofit primate retreat, working with the animals.” I lean back and sigh. “He’s probably donating sperm to pay for school. Click on the extended profile,” I say with a pointed finger, directing him to show me more.
Christian clicks on the link. “German, Irish, and French. Played high school football and has visited over thirty countries.”
I’m leaning over Christian now, looking at the profile further. “If this were a dating site, this guy would be my next boyfriend. There’s a picture. Click on it!”
Christian opens the photo album to baby pictures of a blondhaired boy with deep dimples and the sweetest blue eyes I’ve ever seen. My ovaries might have just exploded.
He closes the laptop and puts it on the coffee table. He twists his body toward me and doesn’t bother sparing me a look of consternation. “That’s not what you want.”
“It’s not?” I question, blinking a few times before coming to my senses and shaking my head at myself. “You’re right. I know. It’s just … I know this seems like a new concept for you, but I’ve been silent about my desires to be a mother.”
He places a hand on my knee. His touch is tender and warm. “How long have you been thinking about this?”
“Forever,” I say honestly. “But it’s been on my mind a lot the last three years. When I turned thirty, I started having this longing. Beth said it was my biological clock ticking. It suddenly felt like a reality—the next chapter in the story of my life. I didn’t talk about it because I didn’t want my mom pressuring me. Then, I got divorced, and I didn’t want anyone feeling sorry for me. I already felt like a failure—”
“Marrying an asshole who doesn’t know how to treat a woman right isn’t your fault.” His fingers dig lightly into my skin.
There are so many things I want to say in response to that, but that’s a whole other discussion to be had. “I’m not old, but I’m not young. We’re both medical professionals, so let’s stop playing the game that I have all the time in the world. I have two years to make a serious decision, and I want to be as educated as possible on what my options are.”
“That’s plenty of time to meet someone—”
“And, if I don’t, I will have just wasted two more years.”
He lets go of my knee and runs his fingers through his hair. “Meadow, you’re gorgeous and smart and sexy as fuck. You’re funny and kind, and by God, if you’re not married by thirty-five, I might snatch you up myself because any man would be a fucking asshole not to take you as his own.”
I grab my untouched whiskey and take a large gulp. As the burn travels into my belly, I try not to act affected by how he just called me funny and kind and smart—oh, and sexy as fuck.
“Thank you. That is really kind of you, but there’s also the factor of me not wanting to get snatched up just because my ovaries have a sell-by date. That’s the point of this. I still want to fall in love.” I take another swig of whiskey and make a face at the burn that creeps down my throat and settles in my chest. I loudly place the glass on the coffee table. “It’s so frustrating. As a woman, I can do everything on my own. Except get pregnant. I think it’s God’s way of making sure we don’t kill off your species.”
“Glad we have a purpose.”
I blow out a large breath. “Brooks is looking kinda good right now.”
His eyebrows furrow as his teeth graze his lower lip. That chiseled jaw sharpens. His intense eyes darken as they stare into space and then shoot back at me with a sudden burst of internal knowledge, like whatever he was just thinking about brought on the greatest idea in history.
“Have a baby with me,” he declares.
I stutter, “What?”
“Let’s have a baby.” It’s not a question. It’s a proclamation.
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