9 Books To Read If You Loved Binge-Watching ‘Bridgerton’

Photo: Netflix
Bridgerton

By now you’ve probably watched— maybe even rewatched — Netflix’s Regency-era drama and have been left pining for a historical romance plot to take its place. 

If you’re in need of a book just like Bridgerton to wean yourself off the Shondaland series, this is your list of essential reading that might even last you until season two comes out. 

The Netflix series is jam-packed with plenty of lust-filled scandals and the only thing better than seeing this kind of thing play out in front of your eyes, is getting to read exactly what is going on in the character’s minds as the drama ensues. 

Sure, nothing beats seeing Rege-Jean Page as The Duke shirtless on screen, but if you exercise your imagination a little bit while reading these books, you’ll get pretty close to the real deal. 

Here are 9 books to read if you loved binge-watching Bridgerton.

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1. The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton Book 2 by Julia Quinn

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Obviously, the first addition to your post-Bridgerton library has to be Quinn’s second book from her series. Most of season one of the Netflix show was based on Quinn’s first book, The Duke & I, so if you really want to relieve it — start there. 

But if you’re ready for a sneak peek into what season two might have in store, this book follows Daphne’s older brother Anthony on his journey from elusive bachelor to a potential husband, but who he will marry is a mystery even to him. 

Luckily for you, there are eight books in total in this series and Quinn has plenty of other novels, too, so your Bridgerton journey is far from over.

2. Bringing Down The Duke by Evie Dunmore

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If you’re trying to fill a Simon and Daphne-shaped hole in your heart, this book will give you all the chaos of their tumultuous relationship and more. 

When Annabelle takes up a scholarship to attend Oxford University in the midst of a rising suffragette movement, she is tasked with recruiting an influential Duke into the women’s rights movement. 

Both locked in a power play filled with passion and rivalry, drama ensues. The book is Dunmore’s debut novel and with new releases expected in 2021, you’ll have plenty of her work to binge soon if you like this book. 

3. It Takes Two To Tumble by Cat Sebastian

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This is the first book in Sebastian’s Seducing the Sedgwicks series, and it makes a great contribution to the world of queer historical romance. 

When Ben Sedgwick agrees to care for Captain Philip Dacre’s three children, he quickly falls in love with their father. The men get hopelessly caught up in a forbidden love story and must decide if sacrificing happiness is worth the promise of a safe life free from judgment. 

4. My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh

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If the whole fake courtship plot is what got you hooked on Bridgerton, Leigh’s Regency-era series will be right up your alley.

Lady Grace Wyatt is trying to get the attention of a handsome suitor, but must spike some competitive interest by giving her friend Sebastian Holloway a makeover and transform him into a rival for her love interest. 

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5. Rebel: Women Who Dare by Beverly Jenkins

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Jenkins takes us on a beautiful but harrowing journey in this book. She’s a powerful writer when it comes to writing women and it’s easy to connect with her characters, even if centuries of history divide us from the time she is writing about.

This book is the first in a two-book series and follows Val, a woman living in the North after the American Civil War, as she makes a journey to the heart of New Orleans to help a newly emancipated community find its feet. 

Her journey is filled with challenges and threats to her life, and she soon finds herself falling into the arms of one Captain Drake LeVeq. 

6. The Luckiest Lady In London by Sherry Thomas

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High society, status, and reputation are themes that flow through this book and Bridgerton in equal measure. 

Louisa Cantwell struggles to resist the pull of the mysterious Felix Rivendale, a man full of secrets that could threaten both of their reputations in London’s upper-class circles. 

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7. Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin

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This historical romance takes you back to the Tang Dynasty in the 8th Century. Ai Li is the only daughter of the Emperor of China, and she is fleeing from an arranged marriage to a man she doesn’t love. 

It features all the same forbidden love plot as every good romance novel, but with something most books won’t offer you — sword fighting. 

8. The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

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Lucy is heartbroken after watching her ex-lover’s sham wedding and decides to distract herself by taking on a new project — translating an astronomy text for a widowed Countess. 

What the two women don’t expect is that the stars have more in store for them than just scientific studies. It is rare that historical fiction gives women a chance to be the orchestrators of their own career and romance, but this book does just that. 

9. The Duke Of Shadows by Meredith Duran

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Spread across Regency London and Indian society, this story has something for everyone. This is a plot of many ups and downs as Emma and Julian face plenty of trauma and scandal on their journey to one another— and then away from one another and back a few more times!

Emma has some of the headstrong traits we love from Daphne Bridgerton and the book has tons of witty moments to break up the more serious ones. 

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She is a generalist with an interest in lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.