Those of us who have had the pleasure of reading a Julia Quinn book will have no trouble understanding why she’s considered the queen of the romance genre.
Quinn has been featured on The New York Times bestseller list over 19 times, and her books have been translated into a colossal 41 languages.
Quinn has a somewhat strict upbringing, and her father only allowed her to read books that were considered to be ‘good for her’.
Some of Quinn’s favorite books growing up included ‘Sweet Valley High’, which she studied in her spare time, in order to practice her own literary aspirations.
When she attended college, Quinn entered medical school but found the teachings dreary and tedious.
As a result, she began to write romance stories in order to combat her boredom.
This love for writing eventually led her to publish her first novel ‘Splendid’, which details the adventures of an American heiress.
Quinn witnessed great success as a result of her publication and was eventually catapulted into stardom.
This led to her writing some of the most prolific books in the genre, the Bridgerton series.
This series, which follows a band of hapless siblings as they look for love, was eventually recognized by Shondaland entertainment and was subsequently transformed into a groundbreaking Netflix series.
This helped to bring Quinn to the forefront of contemporary culture, and she has made various television appearances where she discusses items such as character formation.
If you love the work of Julia Quinn, then you’re guaranteed to adore the steamy novels of both Lisa Kleypas and Beverly Jenkins. Both of these authors produce highly exciting works with plenty of twists and turns, with several love scenes peppered throughout.
Books By Julia Quinn
Now that we’ve taken a brief look at Julia Quinn’s background, we can move on to discuss some of her novels in greater detail.
As we mentioned briefly above, one of the first novels published by Quinn was ‘Splendid’. This follows the adventures of an American Heiress, and the Duke of Ashbourne.
The Duke mistakes Emma for a maid, and subsequently steals a kiss, only to find out that she is the heir to a vast fortune.
He falls for this headstrong young girl, and a romantic pursuit with chaotic circumstances occurs.
We can’t mention Julia Quinn without the Bridgerton series.
The first in the series, entitled ‘The Duke And I’, follows the oldest Bridgerton sibling Daphne, as she makes her seasonal debut.
She catches the attention of the Duke, who against his own will, falls for her in spite of a bargain to help her find a match.
The second in the series, ‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’, follows Anthony Bridgerton, who is the head of the household. In order to secure his family’s stability, he is forced to marry, something highly unappealing to one of the town’s most notorious rakes.
He eventually meets Edwina, the model of grace and perfection, but it’s her older, headstrong sister who truly captures his affection.
Some of the key themes we find in Quinn’s work involve platonic, familial ties.
Despite the fact that romance stands at the forefront of her novels, we truly get the sense that it’s family bonds and relationships that are important in shaping who we are.
The Bridgerton siblings have a uniquely close bond, as well as her secondary characters Kate and Edwina.
In splendid, we witness the platonic relationship between Emma and her friend Dunford, expressing that male/female relationships that don’t involve sensual tension can be just as fulfilling.
Another theme that we commonly find in her work is the ‘reformed rake’.
This is a common trope within romantic literature and involves a gentleman who previously engaged in lurid and reckless behavior, but has since been tamed by a headstrong heroine.
Authors Like Julia Quinn
We couldn’t mention Julia Quinn without mentioning Lisa Kleypas in the same breath.
Kleypas is known as one of the originals of romance authorship, and she began publishing during the 1980s when she was simultaneously competing in Beauty Pageants which saw her crowned Miss. Massachusetts.
The most popular books published by Kleypas include the Wallflower series. This series follows a group of four hapless young girls, who are the ‘wallflowers’ of their social circle.
They vow to find each other husbands before the season is out. The result is a chaotic romp that spans four novels.
‘Devil In Winter’. features the shyest of all the Wallflowers, as she makes a bargain with rake St. Vincent in order to escape her abusive family.
The two run away to Greta Green to elope and witness all manner of misadventures on the way.
Another highly rated book within the series is ‘It Happened One Autumn’, which details the romance between American Heiress Lillian and the stiff and highly proper Lord Westcliff.
This story mimics that of Pride and Prejudice, from which Kleypas drew great inspiration.
Finally, we’d also like to recommend ‘Dreaming of You’, a standalone novel that details the odd relationship between a hardened gaming club owner, and a quirky young novelist.
Some of the most familiar and memorable themes we see presented in Kleypas’ work is the ‘reformed rake’, which can also be found ubiquitously in the work of Quinn.
We also see frequent examples of the enemies-to-lovers trope, which is popular within romance fiction (If you like romance and fiction, check out Books Like Two By Two).
This includes a couple who start out disliking one another but end up falling madly in love despite their own will.
- Exciting – There are several twists and turns within Kleypas’ work, and they’re sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Character Development – Kleypas is a master of character development, and we really see her protagonist’s transformation throughout the course of the novel.
- Sensual – Kleypas is a master of creating steamy love scenes.
- Rehashing – Sometimes we see similar characters rehashed throughout Kleypas’ writing career.
Themes: romance, regency era, reformed rake, enemies to lovers.
Beverly Jenkins is an African American romance writer who first began her journey reading history books in the local library.
She noticed that there was a major gap in the market for black romance novels, and subsequently began to invent this new subgenre.
Some of the most popular books produced by Jenkins include ‘Indigo’, which follows a railroad outlaw who is hidden by a young former slave, Hester Wyatt.
The two partake in a romance that has the highest stakes possible, in their lives.
Jenkins has also written a series of books that form a part of the Destiny series.
The first novel in the series, called ‘Destiny’s Embrace’, follows a romance that takes place in the Old West.
The second installment in the series, called ‘Destiny’s Surrender’, follows the feisty Wilhelmina, who is determined to find a better life for herself and her young daughter.
The themes in Beverly Jenkin’s work include explorations of the Old West. We often see cowboys and ranchers, and detailed depictions of everyday life within this setting.
Another theme that is common to her work is the inclusion of real-life figures who hold significance in African American history.
Jenkins will interweave historical figures into her fiction in order to educate the reader.
- Informative – As well as being sensual and exciting novels, Jenkin’s work also includes several history lessons peppered throughout the length of the book.
- Love Scenes – Few people can write such heartwarming and sensual love scenes as Beverly Jenkins.
- High Stakes – The romance stories presented by Jenkins are incredibly high stakes, and keep readers yearning to turn the next page.
- Weighty – Her stories contain weighty topics such as slavery, and as a result might not be what everyone is looking for.
Themes: historical fiction, romance, love, black experiences.
To sum up, if you loved the work of Julia Quinn, you’re guaranteed to adore both Lisa Kleypas and Beverly Jenkins.
Kleypas writes fiction that is sure to get readers hot under the collar, and her character development is truly unmatched.
Jenkins is great at interweaving real history with fiction, and readers serve to gain a lot from her novels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Bridgerton Based On A True Story?
Some people may be wondering whether or not Julia Quinn based Bridgerton on a true story.
The answer to this question is no, it is not based on real-life characters, but rather research conducted by Quinn into the time period.
How Many Books Are There In The Bridgerton Series?
There are a total of 8 books in the Bridgerton series, so fans have plenty to enjoy.