Dearest readers, if you’re a fan of period dramas and Regency romance, you’ve probably been watching the delectably entertaining Bridgerton series on Netflix. If you want more, the Bridgerton book series covers numerous books with lots of love stories to satisfy your new addiction while you await the following season.
The show is based on the popular romance series by Julia Quinn and follows the lives of the Bridgerton family in 19th-century England between the years 1813 and 1827.
Now that season two of the pop culture hit has dropped, you may (like us) have already binged through the entire season and now look forward to season three! (On a side note, if you thought season 1 was too explicit, season 2 is much less so. We’ll go into more detail in a new review soon.)
RELATED: 55 Best Sensational Period Dramas On Netflix To Watch (2022)
Well, why wait for season 3? If you’re looking to read the books in chronological order, we’re here to help!
In this article, we’ll talk about the best order in which the Bridgerton books should be read and provide brief descriptions of each one (as well as buy links).
We’ll also discuss the show’s popularity and what fans might expect from future seasons!
While the books are more explicit than we typically cover on this site, we’re aware of our readers’ interest in the series and find the sweet love stories still worth discussing.
The books tend to range between a 2.5 and a 4 out of 5 on the steaminess scale. So, expect some explicit love scenes – anywhere from one scene to a few per book. But the books are not in the erotica genre.
The explicit content may not be throughout each book, but it is there. You can skip over these scenes if you’re like us and prefer less explicit content.
Trigger Warnings: Expect some sexism, racism (the books sometimes have racist undertones), a non-consensual scene, suggestive descriptions, death, a miscarriage, revenge, etc.
Ultimately, be aware that the books are not diverse like the series and not as feminist in tone either.
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WHAT ORDER DO THE BRIDGERTON BOOKS GO IN? (MINOR SPOILERS BELOW)
OPTIONAL STARTING POINT: The Rokesby Series by Author Julia Quinn (First book published in 2016)
The Rokesby series are four prequel novels to the Bridgerton series about the Rokesby family (neighbors with the Bridgertons).
The prequels take place in the late 1700s during the Georgian Era, and you even get to see a few of the Bridgerton siblings as children. Such fun!
So, if you’re interested in reading chronologically and want to check out the prequels, here’s the order to read them:
- *Because of Miss Bridgerton
- *The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
- *The Other Miss Bridgerton
- *First Comes Scandal
Reading the prequels is not required to understand the Bridgerton series, but it may add to your enjoyment if you like reading or watching things in chronological order.
However, if the prequels hold no interest, skip ahead to the first book in the Bridgerton series.
#1 THE DUKE & I (Originally published in 2000)
“Can there be any greater challenge to London’s Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
—Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1813
By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend’s sister, the lovely—and almost-on-the-shelf—Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth—it’s all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.
But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it’s hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it’s his devilish smile, certainly it’s the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her… but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke… for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love…”
About The Duke & I:
Fans of the Bridgerton Netflix show are in for a frothy treat with The Duke & I, the first book in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. The Duke & I is an unexpected romance with plenty of scandalous gossip, making it the perfect read for fans of the Bridgerton TV show.
We admit, however, that we prefer the TV show version over the book (primarily due to the diverse cast and Golda Rosheuvel’s performance as Queen Charlotte).
Still, Quinn’s witty dialogue and captivating characters will transfix readers, and they’ll be eager to see how the story unfolds.
If you’re looking for a fun and addictive read, The Duke & I is a must-have (as long as you don’t mind some steam). Just don’t expect to see the diversity of the series (although it helps to imagine the actors in the roles).
And yes, that non-consensual scene is still in the book. It would be better without it, for sure, but it is still there, so just be aware of it – especially if you find it triggering.
If you don’t want to read the first book because of this scene, you can skip it and start with book two.
#2 The Viscount Who Loved Me (Originally published in 2000)
1814 promises to be another eventful season, but not, This Author believes, for Anthony Bridgerton, London’s most elusive bachelor, who has shown no indication that he plans to marry.
And in truth, why should he? When it comes to playing the consummate rake, nobody does it better…
— Lady Whistledown’s Society Papers, April 1814
But this time the gossip columnists have it wrong. Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate is the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…
Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate is determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself…
About The Viscount Who Loved Me
The Viscount Who Loved Me is the second book in the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, and it is more delightful than the first. The story follows Anthony Bridgerton as he falls in love with the lovely Kate Sheffield.
While the book is full of the usual witty banter and romantic hijinks that fans of the series have come to expect, it delves deeper into the characters’ emotional lives, making for a truly satisfying read.
If you’re looking for a charming historical romance, The Viscount Who Loved Me is a perfect choice.
While we still prefer the Netflix version of the story more, it’s overall a fun, romantic book.
#3 An Offer From a Gentleman (2001)
“Will she accept his offer before the clock strikes midnight?
Sophie Beckett never dreamed she’d be able to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famed masquerade ball—or that “Prince Charming” would be waiting there for her! Though the daughter of an earl, Sophie has been relegated to the role of servant by her disdainful stepmother. But now, spinning in the strong arms of the debonair and devastatingly handsome Benedict Bridgerton, she feels like royalty. Alas, she knows all enchantments must end when the clock strikes midnight.
Ever since that magical night, a radiant vision in silver has blinded Benedict to the attractions of any other—except, perhaps this alluring and oddly familiar beauty dressed in housemaid’s garb whom he feels compelled to rescue from a most disagreeable situation. He has sworn to find and wed his mystery miss, but this breathtaking maid makes him weak with wanting her. Yet, if he offers his heart, will Benedict sacrifice his only chance for a fairy tale love?”
About An Offer From a Gentleman:
The third book in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, An Offer From a Gentleman, is a lovely take on the Cinderella story. Benedict and Sophie are simply perfect for each other, and their story will make you believe in happily ever after.
Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone who loves a good romance. Plus, it gives lots of good spoilers into what you might expect from future seasons.
#4 Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (2002)
“Penelope Featherington has secretly adored her best friend’s brother for… well, it feels like forever. After half a lifetime of watching Colin Bridgerton from afar, she thinks she knows everything about him, until she stumbles across his deepest secret… and fears she doesn’t know him at all.
Colin Bridgerton is tired of being thought nothing but an empty-headed charmer, tired of the neverending sameness of his life, and, most of all, tired of everyone’s preoccupation with the notorious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, who can’t seem to publish an edition without mentioning him in the first paragraph. But when Colin returns to London from a trip abroad, he discovers nothing in his life is quite the same—especially Penelope Featherington! The girl who was always simply… there is suddenly the girl haunting his dreams. But when he discovers that Penelope has secrets of her own, this elusive bachelor must decide… is she his biggest threat—or his promise of a happy ending?”
About Romancing Mr. Bridgerton:
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is the fourth book in Julia Quinn’s bestselling Bridgerton series. In this novel, we finally see Penelope and Colin’s love story.
Penelope has been in love with Colin for a long time but has always seen her as a friend. In this novel, that changes!
Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is a delightful friends-to-lovers story that will make you believe in true love. However, Colin can sometimes have too much of a temper.
#5 To Sir Philip, With Love (2003)
My dear Miss Bridgerton,
We have been corresponding now for quite some time, and although we have never formally met, I feel as if I know you.
Forgive me if I am too bold, but I am writing to invite you to visit me. It is my hope that we might decide that we will suit, and you will consent to be my wife.
—Sir Phillip Crane
Sir Phillip Crane knew that Eloise Bridgerton was a spinster, and so he’d proposed, figuring that she’d be homely and unassuming, and more than a little desperate for an offer of marriage. Except… she wasn’t. The beautiful woman on his doorstep was anything but quiet, and when she stopped talking long enough to close her mouth, all he wanted to do was kiss her… and more.
Did he think she was mad? Eloise Bridgerton couldn’t marry a man she had never met! But then she started thinking… and wondering… and before she knew it, she was in a hired carriage in the middle of the night, on her way to meet the man she hoped might be her perfect match. Except… he wasn’t. Her perfect husband wouldn’t be so moody and ill-mannered, and while Phillip was certainly handsome, he was a large brute of a man, rough and rugged, and totally unlike the London gentlemen vying for her hand. But when he smiled… and when he kissed her… the rest of the world simply fell away, and she couldn’t help but wonder… could this imperfect man be perfect for her?
About To Sir Philip, With Love:
To Sir Philip, With Love is the fifth book in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series and one of the most polarizing. This book is about Eloise Bridgerton as she takes center stage and goes on a journey to find love.
It finally gives readers a chance to see Eloise’s story unfold. Readers will root for her as she tries to navigate London society and find true love.
Now, Philip is a polarizing romantic lead, so read the book and decide for yourself how you feel about him!
#6 When He Was Wicked (2004)
In every life there is a turning point.
A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.
After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer–the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.
But that was then… Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love… until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…
About When He Was Wicked:
When He Was Wicked follows Francesca Bridgerton this time around in 1824. But be aware, this one’s on the steamier end of Julia Quinn’s novels. But it’s fun to find out more about Francesca, a character that doesn’t get as much attention.
Overall, if you like wicked bad boys and lots of pining, this one’s for you!
#7 It’s In His Kiss (2005)
Meet Our Hero…
Gareth St. Clair is in a bind. His father, who detests him, is determined to beggar the St. Clair estates and ruin his inheritance. Gareth’s sole bequest is an old family diary, which may or may not contain the secrets of his past… and the key to his future. The problem is—it’s written in Italian, of which Gareth speaks not a word.
Meet Our Heroine…
All the ton agreed: there was no one quite like Hyacinth Bridgerton. She’s fiendishly smart, devilishly outspoken and according to Gareth, probably best in small doses. But there’s something about her—something charming and vexing—that grabs him and won’t quite let go…
Meet Poor Mr. Mozart…
Or don’t. But rest assured, he’s spinning in his grave when Gareth and Hyacinth cross paths at the annual–and annually discordant—Smythe-Smith musicale. To Hyacinth, Gareth’s every word seems a dare, and she offers to translate his diary, even though her Italian is slightly less than perfect. But as they delve into the mysterious text, they discover that the answers they seek lie not in the diary, but in each other… and that there is nothing as simple—or as complicated—as a single, perfect kiss.
About It’s In His Kiss:
It’s In His Kiss is the seventh novel in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, and it’s a can’t-miss read with a touch of mystery. The book centers on Hyacinth Bridgerton, of the strong-willed Bridgerton sisters, and Gareth St. Clair this time around.
The chemistry between these two characters is undeniable, and their story will surely leave readers satisfied.
#8 On The Way To The Wedding (2006)
Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except…
She wasn’t the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with someone else. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except…
Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar…
About On The Way To The Wedding:
On The Way to the Wedding is the final book in the eight-part Bridgerton series and is more about Gregory discovering that real love isn’t about love at first sight.
It’s a less steamy addition to the series that is likely to please the Bridgerton fans, especially if you like a good love triangle. And Lucy is a likably heroine!
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MORE BRIDGERTON BOOKS TO READ
Want even more Bridgerton books to read? Check out this list.
- *The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (Find out what happens to each of your favorite couples next!)
- *The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown (a novella)
- *Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (another novella)
- *The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton: Lady Whistledown’s Official Guide
THE BRIDGERTON TV SERIES – A NEW POP CULTURE PHENOMENON
Bridgerton on Netflix has quickly become one of the most popular shows on streaming – breaking Netflix records after its premiere and becoming the most popular series ever on the streamer!
It even had several Emmy nominations (while winning one!).
The second season has also broken another record by becoming the most-watched English-language TV series on Netflix. The romantic period drama series shows no signs of stopping with season two doing well.
What makes the series so revolutionary is the diverse casting in a period drama while also proving that there is space in the entertainment industry for romance.
The past couple of weeks alone (with the success of both The Lost City and Bridgerton, season 2) prove the entertainment industry should pay attention to the romance genre.
FUTURE SEASONS OF BRIDGERTON
So far, fans can look forward to at least two more seasons as it’s already been renewed for seasons three and four. Now, if seasons one and two indicate what to expect next, the next season will focus on a different sibling.
However, while Benedict is the obvious choice, Shonda Rhimes recently admitted that they might not do the books in order. They may also make more changes – deviating from the books.
So, only time will tell. Still, the books provide many good clues as to what to expect next. You can also appreciate the books for their own stories and perhaps like them better than the show!
In any case, here’s to hoping Netflix keeps it around for all eight books!
In other good news, there’s a new spinoff coming soon about a young Queen Charlotte (our favorite character!) How fabulous is that?
Well, that about covers it! Have you read the Bridgerton books before? Do you have a favorite book? Do you like the books or show better so far? Discuss below!