Television streaming is a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you don’t have to wait a week for an episode. On the other, you can finish in a weekend and then have to wait a whole year or longer for the new season. And if you’re anything like me, once you fall in love with something, you crave other things exactly like it. After Bridgerton’s incredible first season, I wanted to read as much sweeping historical romance as I could get my hands on. I just didn’t know where to start. After a lot of research and digging in recommendation lists, I found some good books to fill the Bridgerton hole but now after season 2, I’m desperate for recommendations. So I called on some popular historical fiction writers to ask them what they recommend reading after the great season 2 binge. So find your nearest fainting couch, get some tea and scones ready and prepare to fall into a world of Dukes and society and scandals. There’s so much to read until the next Bridgerton season and this list is a great place to start!
Jeannie Lin, author of Red Blossom In Snow
Joanna Bourne blends spy vs. sexy spy with an enemies to lovers plot, resulting in a clever and scorching romance match-up. Like Bridgerton, Bourne creates an ensemble cast in her Spymasters series that spans the entire series. The Black Hawk is one of my top five, but if you’re a stickler for starting with the first in a series, The Spymaster’s Lady is also a gem.
Bourne’s use of an ensemble cast inspired my own Lotus Palace mystery series, which blends cross-class romance with a murder mystery in Tang Dynasty China.
Amalie Howard, author of Rules of Heiresses
Now that Bridgerton season 2 is over, if I had to make one recommendation for your next historical romance read, it would have to be Erica Ridley’s The Perks of Loving a Wallflower. Not only is this a gorgeously written, diverse LGBTQ+ story with a wonderfully inclusive cast of characters, but the author herself is BIPOC. Representation for the win! I was also thrilled to learn that the couple on the cover are married in real life, which made my sentimental heart so happy. Give it a try—Erica and her Wild Wynchesters won’t disappoint!
Emily Sullivan, author of The Hellion and The Hero
I will always recommend anything by Sherry Thomas for historical romance readers. Not only is she a fabulous writer, but her books are heart-tugging, deeply emotional, and feature compelling characters that you can’t help but root for (even when they make you want to tear your hair out).
Luckiest Lady In London follows a young woman during her first season. However, Louisa Cantwell is a bit older and more mercenary than the usual debutant, as she has just one shot to find a husband and safeguard her family’s future. Felix Rivendale, the Marquess of Wrenworth, is absolutely not her list of potential suitors. Though he may present himself to society as The Ideal Gentleman, Louisa doesn’t trust his intentions. She can’t imagine he has any real interest in her, and yet they are continually drawn to one another, where he reveals increasingly scandalous desires that she can’t help but return.
The season ends and no other men have proposed to her—except the marquess. What follows is an angsty, heart-wrenching marriage of convenience between two flawed people trying and failing to deny the very real, passionate love between them.
Kate Pembrooke, author of Say You’ll Be My Lady
Finished with Bridgerton, but still not ready to leave the world of Regency England? Fear not my fellow lovers of all things Regency! May I recommend The Spindle Cove series by Tessa Dare? The series consists of 5 books and 3 novellas and while all of them are wonderful, my particular favorite is the second book in the series, A Week To Be Wicked. Is there anything more worthy of a swoon than a bespectacled amateur geologist heroine and an oh-so-charming rake dashing about the English countryside on a road trip and being forced to share a bed at night? *fans self* I think not.
Samara Parish, author of How To Deceive a Duke
One of Suzanne Enoch’s earlier books, Taming Rafe is one of my go-to reads when I need a pick-me-up. It’s the second in Bancroft Brothers series and features a hero who suffers the what-is-my-purpose crisis that besets the “spare.” I feel like he and Prince Harry have a lot in common. I love Rafe Bancroft because while he’s admittedly very irresponsible, he is a total cinnamon roll and I have a sweet tooth.
His reckless nature pairs well with the heroine, Felicity Harrington, who is straining under the weight of her many responsibilities, including the care of her adorable younger sister, whose relationship with Rafe as a brother-in-law develops as beautifully as the main romance. Felicity’s brother has just lost their home to Rafe in a card game.
This is an opposites attract novel that will melt your heart. It was one of the first romance novels I ever read and it cemented Suzanne Enoch as one of my auto-buys. I loved that it was set in the country, without the glitz of London ballrooms but still feeling very “regency.” It was inspiration for setting my first novel, How To Survive A Scandal, outside the whirl of the ton.
Kristin Vayden, author of Fortune Favors The Duke
There’s nothing like a good regency romp, and with so many amazing authors and books out there, it’s hard to choose your next binge-worthy read, especially after finishing the glorious Bridgerton season two, (or one!) One of my favorite regency book is A Raven’s Heart By K.C. Bateman. Intrigue, adventure, delicious romance and all the glamour of the Regency era, with an intricate web of history woven through the storyline makes this book one of my top ten regency reads!
Jane Ashford, author of Earl On The Run
Once you’ve binged on Bridgerton, you might try Heir to the Duke, in which a young lady who’s been stifled by her oppressive family blossoms as a newlywed duchess.
Sophie Irwin, author of A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting (Out July 12)
If you haven’t heard of Georgette Heyer, I am so jealous – because you can now devour forty of the wittiest, most deliciously romantic novels ever written. I love all of them, but Frederica is my favourite: the story of a headstrong young woman determined to secure her sister’s happiness, no matter the obstacle. Frederica has no interest in falling in love herself. At least, not at first…
Frederica was a huge inspiration for my own historical romance novel, A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting – and it’s impossible not to love it. Enjoy!
Bethany Bennett, author of Dukes Do It Better (out May 24)
So, you’ve binged Bridgerton on Netflix and need more Regency goodness? Welcome! The Historical Romance genre offers something for every mood. And I don’t just say that because I write them. If you really want that Anthony and Kate vibe where the main characters can’t decide if they want to kiss or kill, well…*slides A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman across the table* They’re from feuding families and claim to loathe each other, but the thirsty looks are plentiful. Bateman’s banter is top notch and there’s a fun adventure sub-plot to entertain you in between the heated glances, hurled insults, and inevitable sexy times. Enjoy!
Manda Collins, author of A Spinster’s Guide To Danger and Dukes (out November 8)
When newly widowed Delilah, Lady Derring, discovers the only thing left to her by her ne’er do well husband is an empty former brothel on the Thames, she makes lemonade out of lemons by turning the building into a respectable boarding house. One of her first guests is the handsome naval officer Captain Tristan Hardy, who unbeknownst to Delilah is there hoping to find the late Lord Derring’s stash of contraband cigars. But it’s the pretty young widow he discovers first. Fun and sexy with a colorful cast of characters, and lighthearted humor, Julie Anne Long’s Lady Derring Takes A Lover, Book 1 in her Palace of Rogues series, is the perfect way for fans of Bridgerton to pass the time when they’re finished binging Season 2.