Historical romance is nothing new. So what made the Bridgerton books so popular that women everywhere were flocking to them, so popular that they were made into a TV show on Netflix?
Was it the not-quite-a-princess relatability factor of the main characters in a royalty setting?
Was it the gossip-girl addition of Lady Whistledown that breathed new life into a dying genre?
Was it entwining a love story through an entire family of wild and unpredictable siblings?
Was it the apt vocabulary lessons, enriching our lives with the mouthwatering reality of what a “rake” is?
Or…maybe it was just a good story with word-of-mouth appeal at the right time. We’ll never really know what kicked off the trend of the gossip ridden, challenging underworld of finding real love in a historical time where marriage was used as currency.
Smutty Books Like Bridgerton to Get Addicted to Next
We don’t have to understand it to love it. But once you’ve had your fill of reading Bridgerton, where do you get more like it? The sass! The sauce! The heart wrenching realities of what real love entails. All of it wrapped in a corset and ribbons.
Thanks to some very reading-hungry rankers, we’ve got a solid list of what to read next.
1. Girl Meets Duke by Tessa Dare
Duke of Ashbury managed to survive war. Which is good, because he doesn’t yet have an heir. When he returns home, that’s next on his list—along with being in a miserable, brooding mood.
He discovers Emma in his library wearing a wedding gown. She’ll do, he thinks, and it’s done…in his mind, at least.
His rules were supposed to be simple.
Essentially, once an heir was on the way, any traditional means of marriage is out the door. They won’t even kiss. No lights. And certainly no questions about the scars he gained in battle. But Emma has rules of her own…and they won’t stop them from falling for each other.
2. The Beautiful Barringtons by Kathleen Ayers
Margaret has no interest in a marriage for romance. She has a list of exactly the perfect partner: passably attractive, below average intelligence, and has outdoor hobbies that will allow her to live her life unbothered by the traditional expectations of marriage.
Lord Welles can help Margaret on her quest. But when he makes a request he thinks she’d refuse—to play piano for him in her underwear—he’s surprised by what happens.
But Welles is a stone wall, a bachelor, and nothing will change that. Or, he thought…
3. The Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas
Finding husbands at a time like this isn’t always easy. It’s not just love you’re looking for. Most often, that’s the last thing you can look for, as is the case for Annabelle Peyton. She has to marry someone with money to save her own family from ruin…but she doesn’t even have a dowry.
What she does have? Friends who will do anything to help each other find husbands…
And unfortunately the attentions of a handsome businessman who wants to make her his mistress.
4. Outlander by Diana Gaboldon
You’ve probably already heard of this TV show based on these books. But as we all know, the books are better. Enter into the world you haven’t yet seen with the 9-book complexities (and sexities – hah, it’s a word now) of the Outlander world. Similar to Bridgerton in its overall setting, but containing a few elements of fantasy, you may just love crossing that genre bridge. You could consider this a portal fantasy with regent historical romance thrown in.
5. League of Unweddable Gentleman by Tamara Gill
Who doesn’t love an enemies-to-lovers tales? In this case, the main character inherits a quality horse club that just needs a prime stallion to breed her mare.
The horses need some help as well. Kidding! In this story, the main character does indeed need the help of a man who has a horse she wants to mate with her own mares.
The thing is…she swore to never see the horse’s owner ever again.
Shit luck that he has what she needs. Or is it?
6. Hell’s Belles by Sarah MacLean
Sesily’s reputation is anything but modest in London. She’s the scandal that doesn’t seem to go away, ushering men out to the gardens for…not what you’d think. Only her brother’s oldest friend knows the truth of her escapades with men and he can’t seem to not notice how beautiful and brilliant she is.
Maybe proximity will help him get over this silly little infatuation.
Yeah…like that ever works.
7. Smith-Smythe Quartet by Julie Quinn
Without a doubt, this is the #1 reader recommended series when someone asks what books are similar to Bridgerton. Julia Quinn is, after all, the author of that series as well. This series in particular follows a beautiful violinist who intends to marry the very last Bridgerton…
Unless “her handsome, love-struck guardian has anything to say about it.”
If you liked Bridgerton, this one is a no-brainer, as are many of Julia Quinn’s other spin-offs and series.
Authors to Read if You Liked Bridgerton
Alright, let’s face it. There are actually more books out there like Bridgerton than you may have thought. These are the highest reader ranked recommended authors to enjoy some historical romance—extra spice.
- Julie Quinn
- Amanda Quick
- Lisa Kleypas
- Manda Collins
- Suzanne Enoch
- Jude Deveraux
- Susanna Craig
- Anne Gracie
Most of these authors have multiple books and series, so now your TBR list can be as long as the weeks in the year.
Bridgerton lovers don’t have to worry. There are plenty of books similar to them out there. You just have to know where to look. Like right here. Above. The list we gave you. Right there.
And if you’re looking for something historical but with a bit more treachery, danger, tragedy…WWII historical romances are also a plenty.
Happy reading, ranker.