She had all her baby plans mapped out....Sam Barclay would father her child, and Corrie Edwards would get the baby she always wanted. It sounded like a good plan...until sperm donor Sam decided he wanted to be the daddy fate had once denied him. It was supposed to be strictly a business arrangement. Romance wasn't on Corrie's radar. But the closer they came to conception, the more Sam wanted to make things personal. Could he convince Corrie that, together, they had what it took to create the home and family theybothcraved?
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May 31, 2008
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Excerpt from The Daddy Plan by Karen Rose Smith
"Will you donate your sperm so I can have a baby?" Corrie Edwards asked her boss.
At his family's cabin in Minnesota's snowy woods, Sam Barclay didn't know whether to laugh out loud or head to the lake for ice-fishing.
Six weeks ago, he'd driven to the cabin to escape the holidays, take a vacation from his veterinary practice, forget his broken engagement and get a perspective on his life.
"You are kidding, right?" His veterinary assistant didn't understand how much the question unsettled him. He'd called off his wedding because his fianc�e had hidden her abortion from him.
"I'm serious, Sam," Corrie answered with a determined look. "I didn't drive four hours in this weather without a good reason."
She was still dressed in her yellow parka, snowflakes melting in her curly red-brown hair. He and his partner had hired her three years ago as a veterinary assistant after they'd bought the clinic.
Studying the brightness of her blue eyes, the dance of freckles across her nose, he felt a tightening in his gut he didn't want to recognize. This was Corrie for heck's sake! He was her boss. They talked about animals, the weather and life in Rapid Creek. They'd never had a "personal" conversation.
But you shared, one out-of-this-world, earthshaking kiss, a nudging voice inside his head reminded him.
That had been two years ago...before Alicia.
"Take off your coat and tell me what this is all about. I'll make a pot of coffee."
As Corrie slipped off her parka and hung it over a straight-backed chair, Sam noticed the way her blue sweater fell over her breasts, how the fabric hung free of her very slim waist. Her legs were long in her stretch leggings and high boots.
Desire kicked him and forced him to concentrate on making coffee in the galley kitchen. Still, he was aware of Corrie gravitating toward Patches. His brown-and-black mutt had the distinguishing attributes of a Labrador, but about ten other breeds mixed in, too. Jasper, a small buff-colored cocker spaniel who trailed into the cabin with Corrie, had settled down in Patches's big bed. His dog didn't seem to mind. Patches flopped down in front of Corrie, thrilled to have her scratch his ears.
For some insane reason, Sam suddenly wondered what Corrie's touch might feel like--
"Something wrong?" she asked, glancing toward him.
The cabin was too small to hide a sound or much of anything else.
As her eyes roamed over his face, dropped to his flannel shirt and jeans, he had the feeling she was sizing him up...or else his genes?
He felt heat crawl up under his scruffy week-old beard. "Nothing's wrong. The coffee will be ready in a few minutes."
As he lowered himself beside her on the sofa, he felt her tense, saw her shoulders square a bit, her chin go up as if she were ready for a fight or an argument.
Corrie, a fighter?
It was as if her question had unlocked a box that he'd always designated for steady, melt-into-the-background Corrie Edwards and someone else had popped out.
Gently, he asked, "So you want to be a mother?"
When she looked at him, her eyes were shiny with emotion. "I've always wanted to be a mother. I've just never met the right man. I don't think I ever will. I'm not getting any younger."
His protest came easily. "You're only thirty-three." A year older than he was.
"Thirty-three might be young as far as the rest of my lifetime goes, but in child-bearing years--" She shook her head. "I have a classmate in Minneapolis who's thirty-eight. She got pregnant and was doing just fine, then all of a sudden she developed preeclampsia. She almost died. I have another friend in St. Paul who's thirty-five. She just had her first baby. Her daughter is six months old, but she never imagined raising her would be so difficult--that she wouldn't have the energy she used to have. She's so exhausted day after day."
"That doesn't mean you'd be like that."
"I know. But I really want to be a mother, Sam. A mom like my mother was to me. Each year that passes my eggs are getting older and I'm not as fertile. I don't want to end up childless because I didn't do this soon enough."
"And my sperm qualify because...?" He waited, needing to know why she'd come to him.
She laid her hand on his arm. "You're..." She paused and flushed a bit. "You're great-looking.You're a good age. And you're wonderful with Kyle. I've seen you with him."
His nephew Kyle, who was five, was one of his favorite people. In fact, he liked kids as much as animals. They didn't have ulterior motives and their reactions were honest.
"I'm flattered, Corrie, really I am. But becoming a father this way--" Her hand on his arm was damn distracting. He had the feeling she didn't even know it was there. After all, they were just boss and employee. They'd always pretended that kiss had never happened.