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7 Books to Add to Your List if You Loved 'Bridgerton'

We’re suffering from some major Bridgerton withdrawal symptoms here at Bed Threads HQ. We binge-watched the series in record time over the summer break, and now we just want to see more.

The good news is that a second season is currently in production, with all the stars reuniting along with a few new faces in the UK. Filming will start soon and will run until September, according to sources in the know. The bad news is that it means season two is a long way off. Quite possibly, it’s not until the new year will we get the chance to revisit the world of the Bridgertons, Featheringtons and Hastings families.

So, what to do until then? How will we cope? Well, one way to pass the time is to turn to books. Here are a few of our favourite series for anyone needing to fill a Bridgerton-shaped hole in their life.

7 best books to read if you loved Netflix's 'Bridgerton'

1. The Bridgerton books by Julia Quinn

OK, this feels like a cheat. But if you’re feeling a lack of Bridgerton in your life right now, maybe you need to… read… Bridgerton? There are eight books in Julia Quinn’s original ‘00s romance series, as well as a handful of side novels and prequels. But the eight original novels are the best.

The first book, called The Duke and I, focuses on Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings, and will be familiar reading for anyone who has watched the series. One thing that is new, though, is that each book really zeroes in on their specific Bridgerton sibling and doesn’t have a lot of subplots, so in that sense, reading the first book even though you know what is going to happen is still enjoyable.

We recommend churning through that before settling in with the best one, The Viscount Who Loved Me, which is all about dearest Anthony. Plus, you’ll have a headstart on season two’s plot line after reading it.

Read it here.

2. The Rokesby books by Julia Quinn

Ha! Another cheat! This is a prequel Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and it’s well worth a read. The fascinating thing about this is that it’s sort of Bridgerton-adjacent, taking place a generation before the main action of the novels and focusing on the Rokesby family in the Georgian-era.

The Rokesbies are neighbours to the Bridgertons, which means that these books give a glimpse into Anthony, Benedict and Colin as babies too cute! and offers a window into the lives of the young Mr and Mrs Bridgerton, but still gives readers a taste of a new narrative. Maybe Netflix will consider these for a prequel series…

Read it here.

3. Mr Malcolm’s List by Suzanne Allain

If you loved Bridgerton for its silly romp factor, Mr Malcolm’s List is for you. Currently being adapted into a feature film, starring Constance Wu and Freida Pinto, Mr Malcolm’s List follows two friends who exact revenge upon a bachelor who decides to pursue a woman’s hand in marriage based on whether or not she matches up to a long list of attributes that he believes she should have.

There’s a double layer of deception in this as well as a few hilarious set pieces involving a greenhouse, a fountain and a very, very tight corset. It’s ridiculous, but isn’t that exactly what we need right now?

Read it here.

4. Emma by Jane Austen

Bridgerton is set in the Regency Era, which is the time when Jane Austen was ruling the world of publishing. Sure, sometimes a Jane Austen novel can feel overwhelming or too much like homework, especially if you studied it at school. But the beauty of Austen is that she writes with such sparkle and wit, telling stories that zip along at a cracking pace, that it’s impossible not to be drawn in.

The big ones are Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibility, of course, though our favourite is Persuasion. But the one that best captures the particularly high-spirited, romantic energy of Bridgerton in our opinion is Emma - the romantic comedy about a girl determined to play matchmaker, not realising that the one person she won’t be able to match is herself. It’s clever, it’s funny, it’s cringe-worthy and it’s extremely romantic.

After you’ve finished reading it, watch the recent film adaptation starring The Queen's Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy, available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

Read it here.

5. Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory is the writer of the most incredible, page-turning romance novels. Her books always feature a complex and flawed black heroine, with big desires and personalities, and they always, always have a lot of really sexy sex scenes (as good as the ones in Bridgerton, trust us).

Royal Holiday is the fourth in a series that starts with the Wedding Date, about a couple who have a meet cute in an elevator on the way to a wedding cute! but you don’t need to have read the whole series to enjoy this, as it focuses on a side character whisked to England to help style a new American member of the royal family, only to have her mother fall for a high-ranking courtier. This book has everything: fancy old English houses, cross-country romance and great sex.

Read it here.

6. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Just a warning: this book is hot. Like filthy hot. Red hot. So if that’s what you came here for, well, this is for you. The story is a pretty standard wild romance novel plot: what if the Prince of England fell in love with the son of the President of the United States, and they shagged all over Buckingham Palace and The White House?

McQuiston is a great writer, funny and knowing and full of spark, and this book is an enjoyable read to lose yourself in over a weekend. She also has a new book out in July called One Last Stop, billed as bisexual riff on Kate & Leopold. We’re here for it.

Read it here.

7. Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Slight side-recommendation here, but have you tried the Grishaverse series, namely the Shadow & Bone trilogy?

These books are about to get the Bridgerton treatment on Netflix and are shaping up to be the next big miniseries that everyone is watching and talking about. Set for release on the streaming platform in April, Shadow & Bone follows a young woman named Alina Starkov, who discovers that she is in possession of great magical powers powers that could help her country end a devastating civil war.

It’s rousing, it’s epic and it’s a big story with lots of characters, so similar in some ways to Bridgerton though it’s a little less obsessed with the marriage market. Get in early before the Netflix series is released, and you can feel smug in the knowledge that you know what’s going to happen to Alina (and her pals Genya and Mal).

Read it here.

Looking for more books to read? Here are the 16 best new novels to read in 2021.

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