Books are like balms — grabbing the right book at the right time can provide the perfect antidote for what you’re going through at that very moment. Whether you need a dose of hope, happiness, comfort, inspiration, courage … you name it, a great book has the power to ease worries and let you rest and recharge. After a draining day or difficult week, there are few things better than snuggling up with a great read — or a great TV show — that transports you to another time. Enter the wildly popular Netflix series Bridgerton, which is the best of both worlds: a beautifully shot 19th-century romantic TV drama based on Julia Quinn‘s bestselling book series. If you’re one of the millions of fans looking forward to the third season, you’re in luck! We rounded up 10 of our favorite romantic books like Bridgerton to keep you entertained and starry-eyed while you wait.
Keep scrolling to discover 10 historical romance books like Bridgerton — from steamy second-chance romps to sweeping “marriage of convenience” sagas — and more. Happy reading!
If you like electrifying enemies-to-lovers stories…
Brimming with simmering passion and fun banter, this historical romance is sure to win hearts. Widowed Lady Templeton and bachelor Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, are infamous among their high society English circle not just for their societal standing but for their fiery exchanges and flirtatious conversations. But when Jeremy shows up at Lady Templeton’s door with an interesting offer that can possibly help both of them with their relationship issues, it’s only a matter of time before the steamy arrangement between them turns into a game of love.
What readers are saying: “Such a fun read that lets you get away for a few hours and be transported somewhere else, into a much simpler time and into a steamy romance that anyone is sure to love.”
If you like romantic stories featuring a strong heroine…
This joyful, hopeful romance whisks readers away to another time! Annabelle Archer is on the precipice of a new frontier for women in 1879, England: She has earned herself a place among the first group of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. But in return for the scholarship she’s been given to go there, she must recruit men of influence to support the women’s suffrage movement. And when she and her first target, Duke Sebastian Devereux, meet, they soon enter into a passionate battle between British social order, their dueling willfulness…and feelings neither of them ever expected.
What readers are saying: “This was a fun, adorable, tension-filled romance! It has equal amounts of hilarious moments, intense emotional scenes, a delicious slow burn, and two stubborn characters who are just perfect for each other — even if it’s kind of impossible for them to be together.”
If you like charmingly witty second-chance romances…
Surprising twists, a juicy love triangle, an exciting historical premise … this novel has it all! After the passing of her older husband, the Earl of Somerset, Miss Eliza Balfour has the chance to live her life how she wants. Her first step? Traveling to Bath with her cousin to have a little fun. But when the new Lord of Somerset gets word of her behavior, Eliza realizes she may still have to face consequences.
What readers are saying: “I was hooked from the beginning — a well deserved 5-star read! As for Eliza, I felt her character was very relatable even with the different time period. If you love Bridgerton and historical fiction, you’ll love this book!”
If you like spirited stories that read like Jane Austen…
Try Mr. Malcolm’s List by Suzanne Allain
Fans of Bridgerton and Pride & Prejudice alike will adore this novel by Suzanne Allain — which was recently made into a movie starring Freida Pinto, Sope Dirisu and Theo James. The story follows The Honourable Mr. Jeremy Malcolm, who is searching for a wife … and he has a specific list of requirements. His search feels futile — until Selina Dalton arrives in town. Selina, a vicar’s daughter of limited means and a stranger to high society, is thrilled when her friend invites her to London, until she learns it’s all part of a plot to exact revenge on Mr. Malcolm. What follows is a series of schemes, secrets, unattainable standards and undeniable attraction. Will Selina and Mr. Malcolm live up to one another’s expectations?
What readers are saying: “The romance was swoony (the fountain scene!) and the dialogue was witty. And the well-rounded cast of secondary characters added to the hilarity of this book. I highly recommend this for true fans of classic Regency romance.”
If you like love stories sprinkled with science & mystery…
Dynamic characters and passion abound in A Love By Design, the third installment in Elizabeth Everett’s The Secret Scientists of Love series. In this novel, Margaret Gault returns home to London to establish England’s first woman-owned engineering firm. But her endeavors are threatened by greedy investors and her irritatingly attractive old flame George Willis, the Earl Grantham. Will they both remain disconnected or will they find a way to bridge their differences and construct a love that will last?
What readers are saying: “A Love by Design is the third book in the author’s popular The Secret Scientists of London series. However, this can be read as a stand-alone novel. My advice is to read the entire series as it’s all so much fun. This story is heartwarming, exciting, humorous and just delightful.”
If you like sweet yet sizzling stories set in New Orleans…
Try Rebel by Beverly Jenkins
Fast-paced adventure, heartfelt moments and memorable characters abound in this novel by bestselling author Beverly Jenkins. After the Civil War, Valinda Lacy wants to help New Orleans’ newly emancipated community flourish. Before long, she learns that freedom also comes with unforeseen dangers, and Valinda soon finds herself running directly into the arms of the rich, handsome architect Captain Drake LeVeq, who wants nothing more than to help Valinda rebuild the city. Sparks fly between them, but then Valinda’s father makes her return home to marry a man she doesn’t love. Can Valinda and Drake still find a way to one another?
What readers are saying: “This book was beautiful and kept me on the edge of my seat. The historical references were on point. This story made me run the gamut of emotions … amused and happy in some parts, fearful and angry in others. In all, a wonderful read that left me wanting more.”
If you like stories about handsome rakes and shy heroines…
In this sweeping, steamy and achingly romantic tale, bestselling author Sarah Maclean dazzles. Calpurnia Hartwell is a 28-year-old rule-follower, but this has left her unnoticed and unsatisfied for far too long. To get a taste of the life she’s been missing, she needs someone who can teach her all about rule-breaking. Enter Gabriel St. John, Marquess of Ralston — a handsome man with a wicked, ruthless reputation. As Calpurnia navigates this bold new world and feels a sudden attraction like never before, will she want to leave her old life behind?
What readers are saying: “I’m a huge fan of the Bridgerton books and the show — and this historical romance ticks all of the same boxes for me: so many steamy scenes, a brooding hero, a compelling “wallflower” heroine and a premise that is as fun as it is romantic.”
If you like tender, sizzling reads about marriages of convenience…
Try The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Lush romance and unforgettable scenes meld in this novel by beloved romance author Tessa Dare. Post-war veteran the Duke of Ashbury has one goal: to get married and have an heir. The only problem? No one meets his criteria: They will be husband and wife by night only, no lights, no kissing, no questions about his battle scars. Last, and most importantly, once she’s pregnant, they will never share a bed again. And when the vicar’s daughter, Emma Gladstone, shows up in his library in a wedding gown, the Duke knows she’s the one. But Emma has her own set of rules, and soon, the Duke is forced to decide if he is willing to risk his list for true love.
What readers are saying: “I absolutely loved this story. I was laughing and smirking from start to finish. We are treated to the kind of love story that leaves you feeling mushy gushy and truly believing that there’s love out there for everyone.”
If you like enchanting stories about romance and family ties…
Bestselling author Vanessa Riley is known for her romantic Regency-era tales, and her latest is bursting with wit and charm. When the headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her husband’s eerie death, she lost everything — including custody of her son. But a secret widow’s society gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. His guardian, a rakish Duke, soon strikes a fire in Patience’s heart.
What readers are saying: “I adored this book! This is filled with Vanessa Riley’s trademark lush historical and sensory details and poetic prose. An enchanting historical romance to be treasured on your keeper shelf.”
And if you can’t wait to see Colin & Penelope’s love story…
How could we curate a list of books like Bridgerton and not actually include one from Julia Quinn’s fan-favorite series? The upcoming season focuses on the fourth installment of the beloved book series — and it’s Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s story.
Fed up with all the gossip and drama swirling around about him, Colin Bridgerton returns from his travels ready to shut the rumors down. He’s also tired of the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish a story without mentioning him. When he’s back in London, Colin realizes nothing is the same — especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply there is suddenly the girl he can’t stop thinking about. But she’s his sister’s best friend…and she’s harboring a secret that could ruin everything. Now, Colin must decide if Penelope is worth the happily ever after.
What readers are saying: “It made me laugh. It made me smile. It made me cry. It touched my heart and it touched my soul. And it also made me desire a certain Mr. Colin Bridgerton. He loves intensely!”
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