Full disclaimer: anything that Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward write, I will happily devour. They are phenomenal writers in their own right, but when they write together it’s magical. I could never imagine writing with another person. I think it takes such a skill to fully enmesh yourselves and your writing to create a cohesive book that has a united voice. I feel like I can barely manage that well enough on my own.
Dear Bridget, I Want You is the story of sexy British Simon who is doing his residency at the same hospital as his new roommate, nurse Bridget. Bridget is a single mom still grieving the death of her husband. She works full-time, but it is tough to still make ends meet, so she rents out a room to Simon who is in need of some housing. They had a previous fun meet-cute awhile back involving a fish hook in a butt that comes to play a larger role later in the novel.
It’s a bit of opposites attract: Simon is unapologetically a bit of a slut and Bridget is tightly wound and finds her release in her romance novels. But there is still an undeniable attraction, which is hard for Bridget because she just can’t see herself as desirable to sexy Simon since she’s a mom and had a lackluster sex life with her deceased husband. But fear not, through some sexy late night letter writing and slightly ajar doors, these two finally get together and it’s super sexy.
First of all this book is set in Rhode Island and the characters work in Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket (which is sadly closing) but I love reading books from where I am because I can easily picture Simon walking through Providence during Water Fire. And as much as I hate on Rhode Island (I live on the border of RI and MA so I had to choose a side), I am there at least once a week and love that there was a romance novel devoted to this often neglected teeny little state. (PS: If you have any romances set in Rhode Island that you know of, let me know!)
I also really enjoyed this novel because you could see how the characters really developed and were changed by this relationship. In a lot of romance novels, the characters don’t really change or if they do, it’s the manwhore who becomes devoted to only one woman or the Alpha male who learns to mellow out because we women are perfectly fine doing shit on our own. It’s kind of one dimensional and forced. And yeah, Simon was a bit slutty before he met Bridget but he evolves more than that. He comes to realize that his goals for his life have changed and he learns to accept that as a good thing.
I really related to Simon because I was in a similar position in my life where I had all these amazing doors open to me and I chose a more modest door to be with someone who I loved. For some people, they saw it as “settling”, but when you find love and choose that, it’s just as valid an option as choosing to pursue your career. And Simon gets to that place, too. That place of “fuck what you think, I choose love and it’s a perfectly valid and okay choice because I’m happy.”
So I have a bit of a soft spot for this book and it really has become one of my top 10 and my hands-down favorite Vi and Penelope novel so far.