Shondaland’s debuted on Netflix in 2020, it took the world by storm, quickly becoming Netflix’s most-watched show of all time. Now, the series is back for Bridgerton a second season on March 25, and it’s poised to once again dominate the ratings, winning viewers over with its intoxicating blend of fanciful aesthetics and soap opera-worthy drama. Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novel , this season’s romance follows eldest son Anthony Bridgerton as he squares off against his fiancée’s abhorrent sister, who hates Anthony almost as much as he hates her. If you, like The Viscount Who Loved Me millions of other fans, just can't get enough of Netflix's new series, these books like will help fill the entertainment void that follows your marathon-watching session. Bridgerton Bridgerton may be set in the 1800s, but fans aren't flocking to the series for historical fiction alone. Daphne and Simon’s manufactured attachment in Season 1 looked a lot like the fake-dating trope popular in contemporary romance, and Anthony’s enemies-to-lovers attachment in Season 2 will be all-too-familiar to fans of the genre. Plus, one of Bridgerton’s biggest selling points — the cast's ethnic diversity — is also common in the show’s literary counterparts, as there are plenty of historical romance novels focusing on characters of color.
That’s all to say, if you’re a fan
of , you’re almost guaranteed to love romance novels. And whatever your reason for loving the show — a certain trope, the period setting, or any number of other elements — you'll find something on the list below that will satisfy your Bridgerton craving for more. Below, 19 books like to read, because you can only re-watch the series so many times. Bridgerton 1 Slightly Married
The first novel in Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn Cycle,
Slightly Married centers on Aidan, the second son of the prominent Bedwyn family. After Aidan promises a dying comrade-in-arms that he will protect the man's sister, Eve, he finds keeping his word will be no easy task. Eve is living on a crumbling estate, which she will soon lose to her brother’s heir, and entering into a marriage of convenience is the only way Aidan can rescue this damsel in distress from ruin. But what happens when the couple begin to feel real affection for one another? 2 Written in the Stars
Pride and Prejudice retelling centers on Darcy and Elle, two women who agree on only one thing: that their one date did not go well. But Darcy is tired of her brother setting her up with abysmal matches, and Elle needs a date for the holidays, so the two decide to fake a whole relationship to get a little breathing room. They didn't count on forming a real attachment, but there are some things you just can't predict. 3 Ten Things I Hate About the Duke
Cassandra’s boisterous nature has cost her plenty of friends. But after her father decides to prevent her younger sister, Hyacinth, from marrying until
after Cassandra ties the knot, she must turn over a new leaf. Enter the Duke of Ashmont: a not-quite-reformed rake who used to be the object of Cassandra’s affections. After making a scene in a small town — and compromising the heroine’s claims to virtue in the process — the duke offers to marry Cassandra. But is becoming the Duchess of Ashmont the right move? And if it isn't, what will Hyacinth do with the rest of her season? 4 A Prince on Paper
When Nya leaves New York City for her home country, Thesolo, she doesn't expect to walk right into a scandal. But that's exactly where she finds herself after spending the night with Johan: the bad-boy younger brother of Liechtienbourg’s royal heir. Johan’s got to keep the press heat off of his brother, and appearing to settle down with Nya is just the thing to grab their attention. No one has to know their relationship is fake... but what if it turns out not to be?
5 A Lady's Guide to Mischief and Mayhem
Lady Katherine Bascomb’s newspaper column is known for its sensational stories about men who prey upon women. But when unexpected fame arrives at her doorstep, Katherine flees — and witnesses a murder in the process. Now, she’s thrust together with D.I. Andrew Eversham, a man who dislikes her column and distrusts her testimony. But if they want to solve the case, they'll have to find a way to work together.
6 A Week to Be Wicked
Bookish Minerva Highwood and devilish Colin Sandhurst (aka Lord Payne) need to get out of town fast, without arousing suspicion — and it seems like pretending to be together is the best option. They're normally at each other's throats, but they'll need to play nice during their journey. When they’re forced to share a bed at every inn, it only gets harder.
7 Something Fabulous
To a hopeless romantic like Arabella, an arranged marriage seems untenable. Faced with just that, Arabella runs away ahead of her wedding — and her betrothed, Valentine, must team up with her twin brother, Bonny, to get her back. Bonny knows that Arabella will be reassured once she realizes that Valentine’s a romantic, too. There’s just one issue: Valentine’s big heart is pulling him towards Bonny, not Arabella.
8 Accidentally Engaged
Former food blogger Reena is barely keeping herself afloat as she wrestles with an unfulfilling job and meddling family. So when her father offers to set her up with his company’s newest employee, Nadim, she’s sure it’s the last thing she needs. But when Reena’s career goes into free fall and her only hope to salvage it is winning a cooking competition show, Nadim agrees to step in as Reena’s fake fiancé for the program. Suddenly, the oven’s not the only thing getting hot in here...
9 Act Your Age, Eve Brown
Forced to get a job in the hopes that she’ll finally grow up, Eve Brown lands herself an interview with Jacob Wayne, the straitlaced owner-operator of a local B&B. Jacob has no intention of hiring Eve, but when she hits him with her car after their disastrous interview — yes, you read that correctly — he’s left with a broken arm and no choice but to accept her help.
The first book in Beverly Jenkins’ Women Who Dare series centers on Valinda, a free Black woman who travels to New Orleans, Louisiana to help formerly enslaved people in the aftermath of the Civil War. When Valinda’s efforts mark her as a target, however, she asks Drake, an architect-turned-soldier, for help. Drake appreciates that Valinda shares his vision for the city, and he soon begins to fall for his headstrong new ally.
11 Temporary Wife Temptation
Garrett Song wants to take over his family’s lucrative fashion business, but he refuses to marry the Korean heiress his grandmother has chosen for him. Instead, he and his co-worker Natalie Sobol — who needs a husband in order to adopt her recently orphaned niece — devise a scheme that will get them both what they want. It's just supposed to be a fake engagement, but rom-com fans know it will be anything but by the time they're through.
12 Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake
Ladies are supposed to follow the rules, but Calpurnia Hartwell has just had an epiphany: The rules have done nothing for her. Unmarried at age 28, Callie’s time to find a husband is behind her. So she devises a different set of edicts. She's going to drink, smoke, gamble, and ride astride a horse. Still, she needs someone to accompany her. Who better to become her partner in crime than Gabriel, the bad-boy Marquess of Ralston?
13 First Comes Like
Muslim beauty influencer Jia Ahmed is far too focused on her career to think about dating. But that all changes when the
wildly handsome soap opera star Dev Dixit messages her on social media out of the blue. Sparks fly at first — until Jia meets Dev IRL and the two realize she’s been catfished. Undeterred, the duo decide to enter into a fake relationship anyway, in the hopes that it will help both of their reputations. But where’s the line between real and pretend? 14 A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby
Patience Jordan knows her husband didn’t take his own life, but when she voiced her doubts, she was sent to an asylum. Now with few options, Patience leaps at the chance to work as a nanny to her own infant son — even though she’ll have to do so in the house of her late husband’s brooding cousin: Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington. He’s trying to untangle the knot of the late Mr. Jordan's affairs, but the new nanny’s presence is distracting him in all the right ways.
15 Electric Idol
Eros does whatever his mother asks, spilling blood so Aphrodite can keep her hands clean. But when she orders him to kill Demeter’s daughter, Psyche, Eros realizes that Aphrodite’s finally given him an order he can’t follow. Eros marries Psyche to keep her safe, but their problems have only just begun.
16 The Queer Principles of Kit Webb
After opening a profitable coffee shop, Kit thought he’d escaped his old life as the infamous highwayman Gladhand Jack. Then Percy blew into his life. To save himself and his best friend, Percy needs to steal one of his late mother’s books out from under his father’s watchful eye. Percy comes to Kit intent on hiring Gladhand Jack to do his dirty work, but Kit’s done with that part of his life. That doesn’t mean he can’t train a successor, however.
17 The Worst Best Man
Years ago, wedding planner Lina was left at the altar when her groom got cold feet, thanks to some prodding from his younger brother, Max. Now, Lina’s got the chance to take her business to the next level by planning a wedding at a swanky hotel — but the job will force her to go toe-to-toe with Max, who works as the hotel’s marketing coordinator. When anger gives way to affection, however, will Lina and Max be able to put aside way-back-when in favor of what-may-be?
18 The Hellion’s Waltz
Mr. Giles is a villain, as anyone in the weavers’ union will tell you, and silk-weaver Maddie has hatched the perfect plot to bring him down. But her carefully laid plans may soon be waylaid, as Sophie — the meddlesome piano teacher who just moved into town — has sniffed out a con in the making. Her father’s business was destroyed by a confidence man, and Sophie will be damned before she lets another crook do their dirty work on her watch. Enemies-to-lovers antics ensue.
19 To Have and to Hoax
Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley haven't spoken to each other for four years ... and they've only been married for five. They were once madly in love, and they're both determined to reignite that flame — in secret. Hijinks ensue as Violet and James each fake illnesses and injuries in the hopes of receiving attention from from the other, without making their true intentions known
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This article was originally published on
Dec. 29, 2020