Shondaland’s debuted on Netflix last year, it arrived just in time to salvage what was left of 2020. Based on Bridgerton Julia Quinn’s bestselling novel , the Regency romance follows a young couple of schemers who agree to fake date — only to find themselves falling in love for real. If you, like The Duke and I 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 looks a lot like the fake-dating trope popular in contemporary romance, and their families’ constant meddling 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: 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, 15 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
A journalist butts heads with a detective in this romantic, Victorian-era mystery. 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, and without arousing suspicion. They're normally at each other's throats, but they'll need to play nice if they want to convince everyone else that they're in love. Traveling hundreds of miles with someone you hate is hard enough, but it only gets harder when they’re forced to share a bed at every inn.
7 Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Career-minded Ph.D. candidate Dani Brown wants a friend with benefits. Athlete-turned-security guard Zafir Ansari needs publicity for his children's charity. When a video of Zaf rescuing Dani from a fire drill goes viral, he begs her to be his fake girlfriend, hoping to milk the internet publicity for cold, hard charity donations. Dani agrees, thinking she'll get a friend-with-benefits arrangement with Zaf out of the deal, but he has other plans...
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 turns to Drake, an architect-turned-soldier, for help. He shares Valinda’s vision for the city, but it’s when she receives a dreadful call from home that he begins to really fall for his headstrong new ally.
9 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.
10 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 tries to live by 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?
11 A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby
Patience Jordan knows her husband didn’t take his own life, but voicing that opinion only leads the West Indian woman to an asylum. When a charity gets her a position as nanny to her own infant son, Patience leaps at the chance, even though it means working 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.
12 A Duke in Disguise
Verity needs Ash to illustrate her steamy new book, and he's more than happy to oblige — though it’ll only make it harder to keep their relationship platonic. Worse, Ash has just discovered that he’s a duke’s lost heir — and there isn’t much time before the rest of the world will learn of his newfound identity, too. Will Verity be able to accept Ash as he really is? Does he even want her to?
13 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
. 14 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 (virtually) 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? 15 Accidentally Engaged
Former food blogger Reena is barely keeping herself afloat as she juggles an unfulfilling job and meddling family. What she
doesn’t need right now is her father trying to set her up with his company’s newest employee, Nadim. But when Reena’s career goes into free fall and her only way out 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...