10 Books to Read if You Love ‘Bridgerton’

written by KELLY ETZ

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Source: Netflix
Source: Netflix

Let’s be honest: Attempting to fill the Bridgerton-shaped holes in our hearts until season 4 drops in 2026 is going to be nearly impossible. Now that Polin has finally been given the ending they deserve, we couldn’t be happier—but we also need more escapist period romances soundtracked by acoustic Pitbull in our lives. Though these books may not be able to provide the *exact* same experience as watching the carriage scene for the first time, they will absolutely sweep you off your feet. Here are 10 historical romances to binge-read while you not-so-patiently await the next season.

Let’s Start With the Obvious: Reading the Entire Bridgerton Series

If you can’t imagine straying to another ton and set of characters, do not worry. All eight (seriously, eight! One for each sibling) novels are available to read now. The entire series is amazing, each following one of the eight Bridgerton siblings as they wind their way to happily ever after. Quinn is especially talented at showcasing the sibling dynamics of the ginormous brood; there is so much delightful bickering and many a contentious game of pall-mall, the 19th-century equivalent to croquet. Light and sparkling as a crisp glass of champagne, the books will give you the same delights as the series: posh manners, a plethora of sex, and of course, Lady Whistledown.

Bridgerton Boxed Set 1-4
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Bridgerton Boxed Set 5-8
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10 Historial Romance Books to Read if You Love ‘Bridgerton’:

And if you manage to fly through the Bridgerton series as fast as my eyebrows flew up while streaming the show, browse our list of steamy, Whistledown-approved historical romances to add to your TBR pile now.

Important: You cannot be a lover of historical romance if you’re going to judge a book by its cover because there are some truly lurid ones. So let’s just collectively move past that and focus on the delicious plots, OK? Fabulous. 

Sherry Thomas
My Beautiful Enemy

It’s rare that an author can take the regency genre and give us something entirely new and endlessly exciting, but Sherry Thomas always delivers on the promise. She writes these richly layered characters embroiled in scandal and I’m utterly transported every time. Here, we follow the reunion of Catherine, the illegitimate daughter of an English adventurer and a Chinese courtesan, and the enigmatic Captain Atwood. The settings are lush; the characters flawed but impossible not to root for. A get-lost-in-it-for-hours kind of read with just the right amount of steam.

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Lisa Kleypas
Hello Stranger: The Ravenels, Book 4

What are you even doing if you haven’t read a Lisa Kleypas novel. She writes gorgeously; deliciously descriptive turns of phrase that catapult you right into a regency ballroom. I recommend her entire body of work, but this is a particular fave. I love when historical romance authors can play with the restrictions of the time period to give us two strong leads that aren’t hampered by period-appropriate thinking. Part of her Ravenels series, the novel follows Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England at the time. Cue many satisfying moments of Garrett slapping sexism directly in the face while also embarking on a sexy affair with a former detective for Scotland Yard. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Jennifer Ashley
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

One thing the historical romance genre does incredibly well is family dynamics. There are tons of amazing series serving peak family bicker moments and I’m here for it all. This series follows the Mackenzies and you guessed it, they are hot Scottlsh lords. Think <em>Outlander</em> with even more sex. Seriously. This is the first in the series and one of my favorites for sheer uniqueness. It follows Ian Mackenzie, who spent his youth in an asylum because the 19th century didn’t understand his analytical way of thinking. While it’s not explicitly stated in the novel, Ian displays characteristics of autism and it imbues the book with such a compelling story and emotional arc. Not a typical historical romance by any stretch and highly recommended.

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Evie Dunmore
Bringing Down the Duke

In regency times, literary women were called bluestockings (less than complimentary at the time, but now it’s like, women who read? Hot) and it’s such a pleasure when historical romance authors play with the outdated norms of the time and give us the surfeit of manners without sacrificing strong-willed characters. Very Elizabeth Bennet, no? Here, we follow Annabelle Archer, a suffragette (you love to see it) and student at Oxford, in her quest to recruit men of influence to her cause. Lots of palpable chemistry in this one; your heart will positively race.

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Olivia Waite
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits

Speaking of fighting the patriarchy, step right up and look no further, have I got a book for you. Differing slightly in tone from something like a Bridgeton novel, this is more of an angsty, intellectual burn (say it again, slower) with two incredibly intelligent women straining against the bonds and norms of their time. Utterly feminist and such a delight for the genre—Olivia Waite is now a one-click author for me.

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Beverly Jenkins
Rebel: Women Who Dare

Beverly Jenkins is an absolute icon in the historical romance genre and for good reason. She writes female characters that are so unapologetically badass that it is a gift and we are all not worthy. <em>Rebel</em> is set in the aftermath of the Civil War and we follow Val as she works to help the newly emancipated community in New Orleans. Jenkins takes you on an emotional journey, leaning into the difficulties and horror of the era while giving you an undeniable romance to root for. Drake is everything and more in this book and the steam he ignites with Val is Bridgerton-spoon-scene-worthy.

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Sarah MacLean
One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: The Second Rule of Scoundrels

I have such a weakness for the “teach me how to sex” trope and you know what I’m not even sorry about it. This is one of the best of the bunch, with a heroine that is set to get married but realizes she has absolutely no idea what that actually means (very Daphne Bridgerton vibes here). So, as one does, she seeks out a “gentleman of a certain reputation” for explicit instruction. If you read historical romance, you know they love a gaming hell (think a casino, but British and posh) and this series delivers on all the salaciousness that the setting promises. There is a memorable sex scene in this book that is so lush that when you arrive at it, you will instantly know it’s the scene I’m talking about and you’re welcome.

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KJ Charles
The Magpie Lord: A Charm of Magpies Book 1

If there is one thing I adore, it’s a little magic with my romance. And there’s something so sexy about magicians in the 19th century—very Hugh Jackman in The Prestige. This book has an aforementioned sexy magician as well as my other weakness: an 19th century leading man with tattoos. I mean, this is really everything you need. Sprinkle in just the right amount of humor, buckets of steam, and a pinch of sexy bantering back and forth between our reluctant allies and you’ve got yourself a story.

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Julie Anne Long
What I Did For a Duke: Pennyroyal Green Series

Remember when I said don’t judge a book by it’s cover? OK, just checking. Despite the Fabio level of hair blowing around on the front of this book, inside is an absolutely delightful read that made me laugh out loud in my apartment so many times I probably frightened my neighbors. Julie Anne Long has a talent for dropping her characters into such delectable situations that will have you cheshire cat grinning and begging for more. The hero in this book is striding around saying things like “unconscionably soft” and “getting ready to give her a pleasuring.” It is so perfectly over-the-top and outrageously hot. Read it!

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Meredith Duran
The Duke of Shadows

And finally, if you’re looking for a book that will utterly sweep you away, here it is, friends. The leading man in this novel is so compelling you will be caught from the first moment he steps out of the shadows. Half this novel takes place in India and half in regency London and the balance of settings is perfect and very atypical of the genre. Lots of angst here but tempered by true necessity for it—each of our main leads faces shuddering horrors and much of the romance is found in them finding their way back to each other. Beautifully written and captivating till the last page with yes, a generous burn of attraction and temptation.

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