Whether you have Netflix or not, by now if you haven’t heard of Bridgerton then perhaps you’ve been living under a rock. The new series, inspired by the novels of Julia Quinn, has been taking social media and the world by storm, in part because they are highly-charged reimaginings of Jane Austen, and partly because these are dramatic tales of love and power in Regency London. If you are in love with the riveting new TV series and are craving more, then we reckon you’ll love these books! Note: These books aren’t pure sex. If that’s your thing, see E.L. James, but these are novels charged with romance and in some cases, additional adventure, things we reckon you’ll adore if you’ve liked the politics of Bridgerton!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The books that inspired the hugely popular TV series are a great place to turn if you want historical romance, but this has the added bonus of thrilling adventure and immense character development. The series follows Claire, a Second World War nurse who falls through a stone circle, only to end up in 1700s Scotland. Forced into a marriage with Jamie Fraser, a member of the clan who capture her, Claire, a time-traveller, believes that the clan, with her help, can change the course of history. These books are practically doorstops in their size and certainly take a lot of commitment but once you’re gripped you will be hooked on this series. Best of all – Gabaldon hasn’t completed the series yet!
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Sarah Waters’ books have become literary sensations here in the UK, and have been developed into several TV adaptations. While they have the same amount of scandal and adventure, they also have amazing LGBTQ+ representation, and focus the Victorian novel on the people that may have been pushed to the side in the past. Gothic, dark and riveting, Waters’ books are bursting with crime and danger as well as the romance you’re looking for.
Emma by Jane Austen
Or actually, ANY Jane Austen! Austen’s works are the most likely inspiration for Julia Quinns romance novels, and are the source of the sensationalism surrounding Regency Britain. More the antithesis of Quinn in highly charged romance scenes, Jane Austen’s novels were written in the ealry 1800s – the current moment of the Regency period. Much more restrained and centring around social conventions, Austen’s stories are fantastic tales of love that also mock the society Austen was a part of, providing comedy and drama at the same time.