With its strict societal norms and the pressure on young women to marry well, the Regency era provides a rich setting for historical romance.
The characters in these stories must navigate these societal expectations while also facing personal obstacles and conflicts in their quest for love.
Throughout the series, the Bridgerton family members face challenges such as arranged marriages, scandals, and unrequited love but, eventually, find happiness and true love.
What started as a trilogy turned out to be an eight-book series that is easily one of the best historical romance series.
How many books are in the series? Who wrote them?
You have to read on to find out, because I have all the Bridgerton books in order, the best 5 Bridgerton books, and some Bridgerton FAQs.
Our best Bridgerton Books at a glance:
- The Viscount Who Loved me
- When He Was Wicked
- An Offer from a Gentleman
- Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
- The Duke and I
Who Wrote the Bridgerton Books?
The American novelist Julie Pottinger (née Cotler) wrote the Bridgerton book series using the pen name Julia Quinn.
Julia Quinn was born Julie Pottinger in 1970 to Jane and Stephen Lewis Cotler. She has been an avid reader since her early childhood, and she dreamed of being a writer even before she became a teenager.
Before her writing career took off, she earned a degree in art history from Harvard and Radcliffe colleges. Toward the end of her studies, she decided to enroll in a medical school, but that meant she had to add two more years in college just to meet the science requirements for medical school.
However, her love for writing got in the way; Julie delayed her medical studies to write novels. She had already published three books by the time she began her studies in medicine at Yale, but she did not finish them due to the success of her historical romance novels.
The Bridgerton series, which is Quinn’s most successful book series, was adapted into a TV drama series for Netflix in 2020.
The historical romance book series takes place in Regency-era England and follows eight Bridgerton siblings as they navigate love and marriage. Each book focuses on a different sibling finding love and the ups and downs of their romantic journey.
All of Quinn’s Bridgerton novels were New York Times bestsellers by March 2021, setting a world record for an adult fiction author.
Bridgerton Books in Order
- The Duke and I
- The Viscount Who Loved Me
- An Offer from a Gentleman
- Romancing Mister Bridgerton
- To Sir Phillip, With Love
- When He Was Wicked
- It’s In His Kiss
- On the Way to the Wedding
Best 5 Bridgerton Books Summary
The Viscount Who Loved Me, the second book in the series, follows the eldest Bridgerton son, Anthony, as he tries to find a wife and secure his family’s future.
He decides to settle down, and his choice is Edwina Sheffield. However, there’s a wall standing in their way: Kate Sheffield. Kate is Edwina’s older sister, and she believes that Anthony, a “reformed rake,” cannot make a good spouse for her sister.
So, Kate decides to make sure that the Anthony-Edwina marriage fails before it even begins. But Kate does not know that what she considers “the wrong sort” for her sister will turn out to be the one to conquer her own heart.
This story centers around Francesca and Michael Stirling (*someone Bridgerton fans will recognize from other Bridgerton books). Michael is a rake and is crushing on Francesca, who also happens to be John Stirling’s (his cousin’s) wife.
When John suddenly dies, his widow is filled with grief, and a window opens for Michael—albeit in grievous circumstances. However, he fails to win her heart completely, and he is also conflicted about taking his cousin’s widow.
It is when Michael leaves and returns four years later that a romance between the two gets a chance to brew.
An Offer from a Gentleman, the third book in the series, focuses on the third sibling, Benedict Bridgerton.
Benedict, a handsome Bridgerton struggling to find love and carve out his own identity, finds himself spellbound by the beauty of an uninvited guest at Lady Bridgerton’s masquerade ball. His life is disrupted when Sophie Beckett, a young, beautiful orphan, sneaks into the ball.
The two form an unlikely connection, and the story embarks on a Cinderella-like trajectory—a journey of self-discovery and love. The book is filled with humor, heartwarming moments, and plenty of drama as Benedict and Sophie navigate societal expectations and their demons. “An Offer From a Gentleman” is a charming and captivating read that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton is Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s story as they navigate their growing attraction to each other while trying to keep up appearances in Regency-era London society.
When Colin, who has been traveling for years, returns home, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to Penelope, who has always been in the background.
Penelope is best friends with Colin’s sister, and she’s been crushing on the charming Mr. Bridgerton for as long as she can remember.
When Colin realizes that the simple girl who’s always been around is compassionate, witty, and intelligent, he begins to fall in love.
I rarely have a top 5 without the first book in the series. So, here’s the first of the eight Bridgerton books.
This is about the eldest sister, Daphne, who is seeking a husband and strikes herself an irresistible deal with the wealthy and handsome Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset.
Simon is about to propose to Daphne, but he is not interested in marriage, so the two make a deal to pretend to court each other to keep the marriage-minded mamas away from him. Daphne’s end of the deal will see her attractiveness rating rise, thereby improving her chances of finding a suitor.
But as they spend more time together, real feelings start to develop, and their goal shifts to finding their way to a real happily-ever-after.
Bridgerton Books FAQs
Does it matter in what order you read Bridgerton books?
No, the Bridgerton books can be read in any order, as each book focuses on a different sibling’s romantic journey and can be enjoyed as a standalone story. However, the series is published in chronological order, following the events of each sibling’s life, so reading them in order might enhance the overall reading experience.
How does the Bridgerton TV series differ from the books?
The Bridgerton TV series stays true to most of the things in the books, but a few things are different. There are slight changes in the storylines and new characters, and the show takes some liberties in terms of scenes.
The TV series also accommodates new themes that deal with sexuality and race.
What is the setting of Bridgerton?
The Bridgerton books are set in the Regency Era, a period between 1811 and 1820.
Are the Bridgerton books historically accurate?
The Bridgerton books are not entirely historically accurate, but they do take place in a historically-inspired setting. The books are influenced by Regency-era manners, customs, and fashion, but they also contain some liberties and embellishments. It’s sort of a mix of fact and fiction, and the author took some creative license to bring the world of Regency London to life for readers.
If you need to read some good historical romance, the Bridergton books by Julia Quinn are just the perfect book series to get immersed in.
The Bridgerton books are an eight-book series, and per my evaluation, the second book, The Viscount Who Loved Me, is the best.
There’s just something about sequels being better than the first book. It is always risky to make a sequel to a good book, but Julia Quinn just had to give in to the pressure from fans who loved her stories, and it turned out to be a risk worth taking.
To be honest, it could go both ways, but for Julia Quinn, the execution was an actual success.