Julia Quinn, renowned romance author whose Bridgerton series spurred the creation of the wildly popular Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix series, has written eight Bridgerton books and four Bridgerton Prequels, the Rokesby books. Quinn’s books are a hugely popular romance series, essential for every romance reader.
If you haven’t dug into the Bridgerton books and prequels, this is the time. The books’ storylines differ from the Netflix series. On the show, each book’s story is intertwined with the others, laying the groundwork for relationships in seasons to come. Expect the Bridgerton and Rokesby books to be more streamlined plotlines, with Julia Quinn’s trademark romantic prose.
The Viscount Who Loved Me: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 2)
This best of the Bridgerton books and prequels is a particularly sexy and endearing story of Anthony and Kate. In The Viscount Who Loved Me, eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony decides that a marriage based on love is not for him. Fearing that he will die young and leave his wife devastated like his mother when his father died, Anthony decides to find a wife of convenience and produce an heir quickly. He sets his sights on Miss Edwina Sheffield, a lovely young woman with high society graces who would be a suitable match.
Edwina’s elder sister and stand-in guardian, Kate, is dead set against the match, thinking Anthony an incurable rake. Anthony courts Edwina, but the chemistry between Anthony and Kate is positively undeniable. Edwina takes a step back quickly in the book (more quickly and quietly than in the Netflix series). This unconventional courtship is a steamy, fun, exciting read.
You can buy The Viscount Who Loved Me here.
An Offer From a Gentleman: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 3)
This Bridgerton book is the Cinderella story of Benedict Bridgerton and Sophie Beckett. Sophie is the illegitimate child of the Earl of Pennwood. She is raised in his household, having a relatively normal upbringing until his untimely death. When her father dies, Sophie must become a servant in the home and is treated with contempt by her unkind and unloving stepmother.
In an incredible night of love at first sight, Benedict meets Sophie at Lady Bridgerton’s Masquerade ball – which Sophie has managed to sneak into unannounced with the help of the other servants in the Pennwood estate. Benedict and Sophie spend a lovestruck night together but then do not meet again for years.
When they finally do meet again, Benedict mistakes the kind of relationship he might be able to have with Sophie, making unfeeling assumptions about her station. This Cinderella retelling is a romance not to be missed.
You can purchase An Offer From a Gentleman here.
The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel (Rokesby 3)
Poppy Bridgerton finds the marriageable men in her London season lacking, particularly in intellect. While visiting her friend on the coast in Dorset, she discovers a smugglers’ cove, to her great delight. Unfortunately for Poppy, the cove happens to currently be in use.
Poppy is kidnapped and delivered to the bed of the captain of the pirates’ ship. As it so happens, the captain in question is one Captain Andrew James Rokesby, cousin of the family’s neighbor. Captain Andrew, the pirate, is harboring the secret of his nobleman’s status and finds himself torn between the duty of a nobleman and his intense attraction to Poppy.
Each of them knows that to be caught in a compromising position will result in forced marriage, which neither wants at the beginning of the tale. But as the gentle readers know, Julia Quinn’s novels necessitate happy endings. So Poppy and Andrew must find their way to each other despite their questionable meeting and unconventional means of courting.
You can buy The Other Miss Bridgerton here.
When He Was Wicked: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 6)
This romantic Bridgerton book is the story of Francesca and Michael. Michael Stirling is a true incorrigible rake until the day he meets Francesca Bridgerton. Unfortunately for Michael, the day of their meeting was a celebration of her upcoming nuptials to his cousin, just three days away.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Francesca’s husband has passed away. Michael has lived loving Francesca since the day they met, alongside the couple, from a respectable distance. Michael is now the Earl in his cousin’s stead, and Francesca is mourning the loss of her husband.
This is the story of love after loss, and the budding romance between the characters is not-to-be-missed.
You can purchase When He Was Wicked here.
Because of Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel (The Rokesbys (Bridgerton Prequels) Book 1)
The Bridgertons and the Rokesbys have been neighbors for as long as anyone can remember. As a small child, intelligent, capable Billie was a tomboy who ran around with the neighboring Rokeby boys, Andrew and Edward. But one Rokesby, George, always rubbed her the wrong way. And the feeling had always been mutual.
When George dares to try to save Billie from a roof, it turns out he, too, ends up stranded. But the forced proximity adds a new dimension to their relationship, a catalyst for a significant relationship shift. This enemies-to-lovers story will be a great next Julia Quinn read for lovers of romance.
You can buy Because of Miss Bridgerton here.
It’s In His Kiss: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 7)
Hyacinth Bridgerton is bright, painfully honest, and according to her elder siblings, frankly obnoxious. Garreth St. Claire finds her positively intriguing. But his father was set upon ruining their estate and has almost done so, and he seems a less-than-perfect suitor for Hyacinth.
Garreth has been left with one thing from the estate – a diary written in Italian – which he does not speak. The journal is said to contain information on family secrets that could affect his whole future.
Hyacinth offers to translate the diary for him, leading to plenty of forced proximity. However, Garreth begins to find Hyacinth’s charm so beguiling that the truths in the diary become less important than Hyacinth translating it, particularly with her less-than-perfect Italian. This hilarious love story is yet another Bridgerton romance winner.
You can purchase It’s In His Kiss here.
On the Way to the Wedding: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 8)
Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. He believes that love strikes once, is all-encompassing, and forever. He thinks he’s found that woman in the beautiful Hermione Watson. But Hermione is already engaged, to a man her best friend, Lady Lucinda Abernathy, dislikes as a match for Hermione.
As luck would have it, Lucy thinks Gregory is a much better match for her best friend. So in her machinations trying to convince Hermione that Gregory would be a better match for her, Lucy herself falls for Gregory. But Lucy herself is otherwise engaged.
This book is a great romance, but much of the book is about Lucy dealing with this complex situation, having feelings for Gregory, and continuing to be his stolid and loyal friend. Then, almost too late, Gregory sees the light…and may stop events before his chance at true love is dashed forever.
You can buy On the Way to the Wedding here.
The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband: A Bridgertons Prequel
In this fun Bridgerton prequel, Edward Rokesby has been sent to war in America. His best friend, Thomas Harcourt’s sister writes to him frequently, and over time, begins to include sections addressed to Edward as well. Then, one day, Edward is injured with a head wound that causes a coma. When Edward awakens in a hospital, he finds a beautiful young woman, Cecilia Harcourt, by his side, who everyone claims is his wife.
From Cecilia’s perspective, she has been orphaned, and she thinks her best recourse is to board a ship bound for America and find her brother, even though he is fighting in a war. Upon landing and being unable to find him, her best thought was to cling to the familiar, Thomas’ best friend Edward. And a little lie, saying that she is his wife, makes her safer to search for her brother while in America unchaperoned.
Until, that is, he awakens. This romance is a fabulous must-read.
You can purchase The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband here.
To Sir Phillip, With Love: Bridgerton (Bridgertons Book 5)
Eloise Bridgerton is a force to be reckoned with, an educated, original woman with exacting standards. She’s independent, stubborn, and unconventional, so it isn’t surprising that this book felt like something of a departure from the previous Bridgerton books.
When Marina Thompson, the Bridgerton’s distant cousin, dies, Eloise takes up a letter correspondence with Sir Philip Crane, Marina’s widower. The two become penpals, writing to each other for a year. Sir Philip proposes by letter, desperate for a mother for his twin children. There is certainly comedy in this book, particularly in thinking Eloise is likely a plain girl with no other marriage prospects – ever – as she is a spinster of the elderly age of 28 years old.
Eloise, thinking the man crazy to propose from afar, alights to meet him and her prospective children face-to-face. In true Eloise fashion, neglecting to tell anyone else that she’s going.
Although this Bridgerton book is a bit sadder and darker than the others, the romance and emotional content are absolutely on point.
You can buy To Sir Phillip, With Love here.
Bridgerton: The Duke and I (Bridgertons Book 1)
A good fake-to-real romance trope is fabulous, and The Duke and I is just that. Daphne Bridgerton and Duke Simon Bassett are practically made for each other. In the Netflix series, Simon’s story includes having grown out of his stutter and became the consummate gentleman and the most eligible bachelor of the season. In the book, while the Duke is certainly the aspiration of many a Regency maman for her daughter, he retains his stutter and Daphne is a bit of a spinster, having gone through several seasons without a marriage match.
This first book of the Bridgerton series, while having plenty of positives, comes near the end of the list for a reason. It is clear that this book was written in another era]. But as far as ranking the Bridgerton and Rokesby books, the blatant disregard Daphne shows for the Duke’s rights once they are married is questionable, at best. That said, it is still quite a romance story and a great read.
You can purchase The Duke and I here.
First Comes Scandal: A Bridgerton Prequel (The Rokesbys (Bridgerton Prequels) Book 4)
Georgiana Bridgerton is independent, hard-headed, and passionate. And she never wanted to be someone’s second choice. But then Georgie’s put in the position of being socially “ruined” because she was kidnapped by a disreputable man with hopes of trapping her into marriage. Fortunately for Georgie, she and her family refuse this reality, unwilling to wed her to such a person.
When the boy next door, Nicholas Rokesby, who has been away studying medicine, finds out what’s happened, he knows he must help. However, since Georgie understands that the Rokesbys are simply trying to do right by their close friends, she does the thing that any reasonable Regency woman would do.
This fun story of a marriage of convenience turned to love is just the romantic read any historical romance reader will love.
You can buy First Comes Scandal here.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton: Penelope & Colin’s Story, The Inspiration for Bridgerton Season Three (Bridgertons Book 4)
In Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington finally fall in love. Anyone coming to Julia Quinn’s books because of their love for Netflix’s Bridgerton will already understand the pining, unrequited feelings that Penelope harbors for Colin prior to the culmination of their storyline.
For those who are reading the Bridgerton books before watching, well. If anyone deserves to have her turn in the romantic spotlight, it is Penelope Featherington.
Seen as the unattractive sister, put in unflattering colors and cuts by her social-climbing mother, and generally upstaged by her elder, spoiled sisters Prudence and Phillipa, it is difficult for Penelope to catch a social break. However, in Romancing Mister Bridgerton Penelope is finally seen by Colin for the beautiful person she is, inside and out.
But this story has more than one purpose, not simply the romance that most come to Quinn for but also the unmasking of Lady Whistledown, the notorious gossip-rag writer who is clearly in the know. As we all know, however, we’re here for romance. And Romancing Mister Bridgerton does eventually deliver a slow-burn romance, where Colin slowly realizes that he is in love with Penelope.
You can purchase Romancing Mister Bridgerton here.
What is the original order of the Bridgerton books?
The original order of the Bridgerton books is as follows:
1. The Duke and I.
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me.
3. An Offer from a Gentleman.
4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton.
5. To Sir Phillip, With Love.
6. When He Was Wicked.
7. It’s in His Kiss.
8. On the Way to the Wedding.
What is the original order of the Rokesby books?
Were the Rokesby or Bridgerton books written first?
Julia Quinn wrote the Bridgerton series first. The Rokesby series is a spin-off of the original Bridgerton series.
Do you have to read the Rokesby books to understand the Bridgerton books?
No. Most of Julia Quinn’s novels are great stand-alone books that can be read in any order. Certainly, characters are intermixed within the series, but the Rokesby books were written second and are unnecessary for understanding the Bridgerton books.
Are there other Julia Quinn romance series?
Which books did Julia Quinn write?
Here is a list Julia Quinn’s books in order of publication year:
The Lyndon Sisters:
The Duke and I (2000)
The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
An Offer from a Gentleman (2001)
Romancing Mister Bridgerton (2002)
To Sir Phillip, With Love (2003)
When He Was Wicked (2004)
It’s in His Kiss (2005)
On the Way to the Wedding (2006)
Agents of the Crown:
The Smythe-Smith Quartet:
Additional Bridgerton-related books:
The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (2013) – A collection of epilogues and a new novella
Lady Whistledown Strikes Back (2004) – Anthology, contains the novella “The First Kiss”
Further Observations of Lady Whistledown (2003) – Anthology, contains the novella “36 Valentines”
Other books by her:
The Lost Duke of Wyndham (2008) – Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 1
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (2008) – Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 2
What Happens in London (2009) – Bevelstoke, Book 2
Ten Things I Love About You (2010) – Bevelstoke, Book 3
Four Weddings and a Sixpence (2016) – Anthology, contains the novella “Something New”
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