If you’ve already burned through the entire first season of Bridgerton on Netflix, then, gentle reader, you may be in search of something to read that’s equally engaging and romantic. Fortunately, there are more than a few historical romance novels that will satisfy all your post-Bridgerton desires.
Historical romance is a rich and sometimes even diverse genre that goes way beyond the stereotypes, and there’s sure to be a story for pretty much any tastes. Even better: it’s common in the romance world to write full-fledged book series, not just standalone novels, so if you fall in love with one—or more—of the titles below, there’s probably more where they came from!
The Duke and I
If you’ve finished the Netflix version and you’re interested in reading the Julia Quinn books that Bridgerton is based on, start with The Duke and I. The inspiration for most of the first season, the novel narrates the reluctant courtship between star debutante Daphne and Simon, a duke with a tormented past. There are a total of nine books in the series, one for each of the Bridgerton siblings (plus a bonus “epilogue” story)! Fair warning, however: don’t read past the first book if you want to go into future seasons of the Netflix adaptation unspoiled.
The Duchess War
The first entry in Courtney Milan’s The Brothers Sinister series is a historical romance icon at this point, and you can’t go wrong with one of the biggest names in romance today. The Duchess War kicks things off with the story of Minerva, an apparent wallflower with a scandalous, secretive past, and a Robert, duke who figures it all out while trying to keep a secret of his own well buried..
To Have and to Hoax
If it’s the sexy, witty rom-com vibe of Bridgerton you love, then Martha Waters’s To Have and to Hoax should be next on your list. Violet and Audley, the couple at the center, are already married, but they’ve been estranged for years due to a massive fight that they never recovered from. They wind up in an escalating war of fake illnesses, hilarious manipulations, and dramatics, only to realize they still care about each other. The sequel, To Love and to Loathe, is also out this April!
A Princess in Theory
Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series is what happens when the tropes of nobility and romance are transported into the modern day—and, crucially, center non-white characters. A Princess in Theory starts the series with a grad student, Naledi, who keeps getting spam emails claiming she’s engaged to an African prince, but it turns out those emails aren’t spam at all—not that her “prince” is all that interested in a pre-planned marriage either!
Bringing Down the Duke
Fans of Bridgerton‘s sparky, conflict-to-love central romance will love Evie Dumore’s A League of Extraordinary Women series. Bringing Down the Duke centers on an ambitious suffragette, Annabelle, whose task is to convince wealthy and powerful men to back their cause. She targets Sebastian, a particularly difficult duke, only for both of them to realize thier mutual dislike is slowly turning into admiration and more.
A Duke, a Lady, and a Baby
Just as Bridgerton mixed things up by expanding its casting beyond the usual lily-white expectations, Vanessa Riley’s Rogues and Remarkable Women series deliberately focuses on heroines from the Caribbean. Her first entry, A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby centers on Patience, a Caribbean heiress newly freed from prison after she questioned her husband’s mysterious suicide. Now, she’s disguising herself as her own son’s nanny, but she’s growing unexpectedly close to his new guardian in the process.
A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
Take Bridgerton‘s notorious female columnist, add some murder, and you get Manda Collins’s delightful romance-meets-mystery A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem. A female crime columnist irritates a police inspector with her reporting, but when they’re forced to work together, they both have to admit the other has a good point—some of the time, at least.
It Takes Two to Tumble
Where Bridgerton keeps queer romance as a subplot, Cat Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwicks series puts it front and center, while maintaining the historical settings. The first book in the series, It Takes Two to Tumble, is about a country vicar who teaches a naval captain’s three children, only to fall in love with the man himself, despite all the drama that surrounds them at every turn.
The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke
The central plot of Bridgerton focuses on a duke who’s fine with love and lust, but not marriage and having an heir. The Duchess Deal: Girl Meets Duke follows the exact opposite plot. A duke needs to marry for the purposes of having an heir, but he’s totally disinterested in any sort of real relationship and feelings. Unfortunately for him, his chosen bride, a strong-willed vicar’s daughter, has other plans. It’s packed with fun tropes and more than a touch of genuine wit and humor, as is the whole series.