Netflix’s Bridgerton is a phenomenon, and it’s got us on a bit of a romance kick. Unfortunately, the third season’s premiere is still TBD (but we’ve got Queen Charlotte’s story coming). And if you’ve already read the series of novels on which the show is based, you might need a new romance or two while you wait for season three and Queen Charlotte’s story.
Whether you especially loved the antagonistic banter between Anthony and Kate, the sibling dynamics, or the duty-versus-heart conflict, you’ll find all of that and more in these romance novels:
Red, White & Royal Blue
If it’s enemies-to-lovers with a dash of British aristocracy you’re after, pick up this best-selling contemporary romance by Casey McQuiston. After an incident at a wedding causes one too many headlines, Alex, the firstborn son of the American president, and British prince Henry fake a friendship for PR purposes. However, their mutual loathing soon becomes a real friendship, and then something more. But the pressures of public life and family expectations threaten their romance.
Bombshell: A Hell's Belles Novel
Want an historical romance with even more scandal? Pick up this first book in Sarah MacLean’s new series about dangerous, bold women. Lady Sesily’s scandalous reputation isn’t quite what it seems, and her brother’s best friend, Caleb, finds her antics infuriating—and bafflingly attractive.
The Marriage Game
Looking for a couple that vexes each other as much as Anthony and Kate? Author Sara Desai has you covered! Meet Sam and Layla, two people with nothing in common except that they’ve both claimed the office space above Layla’s family’s restaurant. As she goes on a series of blind dates, her enmity for Sam becomes mutual button-pushing, but then their competitive spark becomes another kind of spark entirely.
Jen DeLuca’s rom-com has period-costume fun without the actual historical setting. After her sister is injured in an accident, Emily arrives in a small town to look after her and ends up volunteering for the local Ren Faire to support her niece. She could get behind the fun of the Faire, if it weren’t for Simon—the local English teacher and Faire organizer. He’s a real stickler for rules and a pain in Emily’s rear, until she meets his devilishly charming pirate alter ego.
The Heiress Effect
In season 2 of Bridgerton, Kate Sharma deliberately tries to keep herself out of the spotlight in lieu of getting her sister married off. You’ll recognize the same motivations in Courtney Milan’s heroine, Jane Fairfield, who allows herself to become an object of ridicule to protect her sister. When Oliver, the ambitious (and illegitimate) son of a duke comes along, Jane has to consider whose life she’s been living.
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels)
India Holton takes the enemies-to-lovers trope to a whole new level in this madcap fantasy, Victorian romance. Cecilia is a proper lady—a lady thief, that is. Hoping to ascend the ranks of her all-female crime society, she crosses paths with Ned, a dashing pirate assassin tasked with capturing or murdering her. It’s a battle of wits and swords and a battle not to fall in love.
A Princess in Theory
In season 2 of Bridgerton, Anthony is on a quest to fulfill his duty by marrying and producing an heir—no love required. The same is true of Alyssa Cole’s hero, Thabiso. This modern-day prince is dutifully tracking down the woman he’s been betrothed to since birth. When grad student Naledi gets what she thinks is a spam email, she deletes it. What she doesn’t know is she’s the missing would-be princess.
Gus and January become reluctant neighbors when they both rent beach houses to try to get past their writer’s block. Their very different styles and perspectives on the world quickly cause conflict between them. The solution? A writing contest, of course! If you appreciated the themes about coming to terms with grief in Bridgerton, this Emily Henry novel is for you.
Like the strong-willed, passionate main characters in the latest season of Bridgerton, the sparks fly between Beverly Jenkins’ characters, Valinda and Drake. In post-Civil War New Orleans, Valinda and Drake fight to rebuild their newly emancipated community. They also face terror and family pressures, while slowly falling in love with the Crescent City, and each other.
Much like the second season of Bridgerton, Alexis Hall’s new romance features a protective older sibling, a romantic younger sister, and an ex-rake planning to marry one, but falling for the other. After his very practical proposal fails to win Arabella’s hand, Valentine enlists the help of her brother, Bonny, to convince her that he’s not so cold-hearted. The only problem is when Valentine starts to open his heart, it’s not to Arabella.
What happens when an entire wedding party, except the maid of honor and best man, get food poisoning? In this Christina Lauren novel, the last two standing get sent on the nonrefundable honeymoon. Too bad they hate each other! Stuck together in paradise, Olive and Ethan are determined to get through it and enjoy themselves, but their close proximity might be their undoing.
The Heiress Gets a Duke
Two sisters, a wealthy nobleman, and a headstrong enemies-to-lovers romance . . . sound familiar? In Harper St. George’s novel, however, there’s no love triangle. Evan, the duke in question, first sets his eyes on a very suitable American heiress. However, his attention quickly shifts to her headstrong older sister, Augusta. As the latter tries to convince him to go away, they find they have much more in common than they ever would have thought.
To Love and to Loathe
Martha Waters’ Regency rom-com isn’t just an enemies-to-lovers tale—it’s an enemies while lovers, too! Diana, a young widow, and Jeremy, a rakish marquess, enjoy nothing more than bickering with each other. They decide to have a brief affair so Diana can help Jeremy improve his skills and the ensuing gossip will signal to others that Diana is open to taking a lover. However, their mutual distaste soon turns to genuine attraction, making things hilariously messy indeed.
Ramón and Julieta
Ramón and Julieta’s first meeting is desperately romantic, but things take a turn when they realize they’re from opposing families. She runs a family taqueria with a recipe that was stolen decades ago. He’s the son of the gentrifying businessman who stole her mother’s recipe. Alana Quintana Albertson tweaks Romeo and Juliet for a contemporary, much less tragic twist on forbidden love.
Bringing Down the Duke
Set amidst the social changes of the late 19th century, Evie Dunmore’s historical romance has everything Bridgerton fans could want. Annabelle is an ambitious suffragette who sets out to garner support from powerful men to put forward laws for women’s rights. Enter the chilly, proud Sebastian, Duke of Montgomery. He’s none too pleased to be Annabelle’s latest target, but their constant meetings stir up more than just arguments between them.
Dating Dr. Dil
Nisha Sharma’s latest novel is a The Taming of the Shrew-style enemies-to-lovers tale. Packed with witty banter, this contemporary twist on the classic trope is a real winner. After their on-air argument goes viral, TV host/cardiologist Prem and his newfound nemesis, Kareena, both experience a major setback. To combat the bad publicity and get what they both want, they agree to a fake relationship, although they can’t stand the sight of each other.
Written in the Stars: A Novel
There’s more than a bit of Pride and Prejudice in season 2 of Bridgerton and the same is true of this sparkling contemporary romance by Alexandria Bellefleur. A blind date that goes all wrong seems to doom any chance of uptight Darcy and dreamy Elle connecting romantically. When they agree to a fake-dating scheme to get their mutual friends off their backs, they end up discovering they might be a perfect match after all.
A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby
Headstrong characters sneaking past each other’s defenses is exactly what we love about the second season of Bridgerton and this historical romance from Vanessa Riley. A West Indian heiress is in trouble after questioning her husband’s mysterious death. When she crosses paths with the strict, closed-off duke who’s been named as her son’s guardian, their mutual interest in him eventually evolves into something much more.
By the Book
Take the forced proximity enemies-to-lovers trope of Bridgerton, add a dash of modern-day Beauty and the Beast, and you get this contemporary romance by Jasmine Guillory. Hoping to kick-start her publishing career, Izzy heads to California to convince a reclusive celebrity to finally submit his overdue memoir. After agreeing to stay and help him with his “process,” Izzy learns there’s far more to the grumpy recluse than meets the eye. Release date: May 3.
A Caribbean Heiress in Paris
Who doesn’t love a good romance where one (or both) characters are determined not to fall in love? Enter, Luz Alana, the protagonist of Adriana Herrera’s new historical novel. This rum heiress has a big problem: customers who won’t do business with a woman (especially when she’s not caucasian). With her inheritance off-limits until she marries, she’s relieved to meet James, an earl with his own family problems. They come up with a solution that could solve both of their problems, never guessing that what starts out as fake might be real. Release date: May 31.