The Match - A Baby Daddy Donor Romance by Winter Renshaw




Prologue





Two Years Ago





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Rossi



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“Hey, what about this one?” My sister, Carina, slides a piece of paper across my dining room table. “Donor A77462J. Trilingual Sailor.”

I cringe. “When I think of a sailor, I think of a hot guy screwing beautiful women all over the world, and then that makes me think of STDs.”

“The agency isn’t going to give you a sperm donor with STDs.” She rolls her eyes.

“I know. I’m just telling you those are my connotations.”

“Ooh.” She plucks another from the pile. “Eager Engineer.”

I wince. “Makes me think of a socially awkward genius.”

“Smart is good though. You want smart. The father of your child should be a freaking prodigy.”

“Yeah, but what if he’s one of those guys who are so freakishly intelligent they lack common sense and street smarts? Like your last boyfriend?” I wink. Reminding her about the time the poor guy got mugged in New York City and thought he could use intelligent conversation to convince his attacker to drop his knife and run away isn’t necessary.

My sister crumples the page before hurling it across the room. “Moving on. Okay, what about this guy … Donor K87338L … This donor puts God above all else and is always willing to help those in need. In his free time, he volunteers at local nursing homes and youth clubs, as well as fosters homeless elderly cats—”

“—stop.” I lift a palm. “He clearly has a saint complex. And he sounds too good to be true. Pass.”

My sister chuckles, retrieving the next page from the stack. “Pile’s getting thin here …”

“Who’s next?”

“Donor W44321G … Ambitious Athlete … Tall with chiseled cheekbones, dimples, and a sun-kissed bronze complexion, this donor is not afraid to stand out in the crowd. Naturally athletic, physically fit, intellectually gifted, and driven, there’s nothing he can’t do once his mind is set. He would describe himself as adventurous and well-traveled, with a focus on collecting experiences, not things. Heritage: Italian and French.”

“Let me see that.” I feast my eyes on Donor W44321G’s profile. “Athleticism is good because we definitely don’t have that on our side of the family … and ambition is never a bad thing. Dimples are a bonus.” I purse my lips, studying the rest of the limited details. “He’s six two. Black hair. Brown eyes. It says his closest celebrity lookalikes are Eddie Cibrian, Eric Bana, and Benjamin Bratt.”

“So basically he’s hot as sin.”

A strange flutter tickles my chest, but I remind myself that I’ll never see his face, that he’ll be nothing more than the other half of my future child’s DNA. And then I quiet the palpitations and get back to business.

“You know, Dad was full-blooded Italian and Mom’s mom emigrated from Normandy,” she says, sharing things I already know. “Maybe it’s a sign?”

I lift a brow. She isn’t wrong. But she’s also been combing through these with me for the past six weekends. I’m sure a part of her is ready to be done with this exhaustive search. I know I am. But this isn’t the kind of thing I can take lightly. This is the biological father of my future child we’re talking about. I can’t pick someone who’s good enough.

He has to be perfect.

“There’s no such thing as the perfect match.” My sister waves Ambitious Athlete’s profile like a white flag in front of my face. “But this is pretty damn close.”

I examine his paper, reading through the sparse information as if I could possibly glean something extra, something subtle, something hiding in plain sight. Closing my eyes, I picture his face, a mish-mash of handsome actors with the kind of fist-biting, knee-weakening physique you only see on giant billboards in New York, Paris, and Milan.

“You said Dr. Wickham matched you genetically to these donors?” Carina asks.

“He has some kind of state-of-the-art algorithm that pairs us genetically,” I say. I read all about it in the brochure months ago when I first embarked on this single motherhood journey. A week after I met with the doctor’s team and signed the contract, they mailed me a mountain of questionnaires focused on genetic history, psychological tendencies, and personality traits, and once I’d finished, they brought me in for bloodwork. After months of analysis, they sent me a semi-thick manila envelope of prospects.