How to Read the Bridgerton Books in Order, and What They Can Tell Us About Season 4

How to Read the Bridgerton Books in Order, and What They Can Tell Us About Season 4
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Dearest reader, with Season 3 of Bridgerton now streaming on Netflix, it’s possible you might be desperate for more spicy content to sink your teeth into. If you’ve already finished the final four episodes of the latest season, you may be wondering who will Bridgerton Season 4 be about. Well, friends, reading the books that inspired this Edwardian romance series is the best way to find out what happens next. In which case, you may be poised to ask: in what order should I read the Bridgerton series of books?

The Bridgerton book series consists of eight novels (and one novella) penned by Julia Quinn — who is a number one New York Times-bestselling author of historical romance fiction. While Bridgerton remains her most popular series, she has also written four prequel books and another series, The Smythe-Smith Quartet.

Each Bridgerton novel follows one of the eight siblings’ love lives through Regency-era London, where they navigate high-society standards and scandals that constantly threaten their family’s reputation and wealth.

Without further ado, let’s explore the best reading order for the Bridgerton series.

Warning: The following may contain spoilers for future seasons of Bridgerton.

How to read the Bridgerton book series in order

1. The Duke and I

The Duke And I
Image: Avon US

If you’ve already watched the first season, then you’ll know all too well the story of Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest Bridgerton daughter, and her relationship with Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Duke of Hastings. The Duke & I is the first book in the series and kicks off in 1813, where a dismal Daphne has been searching for a suitable husband over the last two years.

Daphne fears that most of the men she knows think of her as a friend, rather than a mate thanks to her kindness, wit and straightforwardness. She dreams of finding a husband who truly desires her, and wants to be the father to her own brood. Meanwhile, Simon, who was brutally rejected by his own father from a young age, wants to never marry nor have children of his own.

After Daphne spurns the advances of an unwelcome suitor, Daphne and Simon agree to a mutually beneficial faux courtship. Simon will pretend to woo Daphne, which will keep desperate mothers from thrusting their eligible daughters at him while Daphne will enjoy Simon’s attention, whose status as the Duke of Hastings will make her a more desirable bride.

But as the pair continue into their ruse, a mutual attraction blooms…

Read the first Bridgerton book here for $12 (down 48%).

2. The Viscount Who Loved Me

The Viscount Who Loved Me
Image: AVON US. Read the Bridgerton books in order

The second book in the series is The Viscount Who Loved Me. And in turn, Daphne’s eldest brother, Anthony (Jonathon Bailey), took centre stage for the next chapter of the Netflix series.

In the second book, the Ton’s most elusive bachelor, Anthony, has not only decided to marry, but he’s even chosen his wife. All that stands in the way of his happily ever after is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield (Simone Ashley). Unfortunately for Anthony, the course of true love never did run smooth, as he begins to experience erotic dreams about the meddlesome Kate.

All the while, Kate sees Anthony for what he truly is — a wicked rogue who she desperately wishes to protect her younger sister, Edwina (Charithra Chandran), from. But as her attempts to stop the betrothal transpire, Kate fears she might be falling for the dashing rake herself.

Shop it here for $22.99.

3. An Offer From A Gentleman

An Offer From A Gentleman
Image: Avon US

Benedict didn’t get much screen time during the early seasons of Bridgerton, but you’ll likely remember him as the second-eldest brother in the family.

Julia Quinn’s An Offer From A Gentleman is a Cinderella retelling. Sophie Beckett is the ‘illegitimate’ daughter of the Earl of Penwood, who marries before dying, forcing Sophie to live with her horrible stepmother until her 20th birthday. One night, Sophie sneaks out to a masquerade ball, where she encounters ‘Prince Charming’, who is none other than Benedict Bridgerton. The two are enchanted by one another, but Sophie leaves the party early, and the two don’t see each other again for two years.

Benedict has vowed to marry the “vision in silver” he encountered at the ball two years ago, but finds his heart conflicted as he begins to fall for a familiar beauty dressed in maid’s garb…

Read the third Bridgerton book here for $17.70 (down 23%).

4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton

Romancing Mister Bridgerton
Image: AVON US. Read the Bridgerton books in order

Folks expected Season 4 of the hit series to fixate on Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which is Colin and Penelope’s story. However, we know now that this is being covered in Season 3.

Colin is the second youngest son of the Bridgerton family, while Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) is depicted as his younger sister Eloise’s best friend. Penelope has been in love with Colin her whole life and it’s so satisfying to know they get a whole book dedicated to their love story.

In book four, the Ton are busying themselves with a competition to unmask the notorious Lady Whistledown, where the winner will pocket a cool £1,000. Colin (Luke Newton), who has been living abroad, returns home only to notice Penelope in a new light. Of course, this frazzles poor Colin, who begins to wonder if his happy ever after had been right under his nose all these years.

You would think this is fantastic news for Penelope and her unrequited crush. It is, until Colin discovers her greatest secret.

Shop it here for $17.70 (down 23%).

5. To Sir Phillip, With Love

To Sir Phillip, With Love
Image: Avon US

To Sir Phillip, With Love gives us big Pride and Prejudice vibes. The fifth book in the series is about Eloise’s romance and if you’ve been paying attention to her character in the TV series, you’ll know that she’s quite determined to be a spinster, hates balls and has loud and unapologetic opinions about everything. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that.

After the death of his wife, Prince Phillip receives a sympathy letter from his late partner’s distant cousin — Eloise Bridgerton (Claudia Jessie). Over time, the pair begin to exchange countless letters and an affection grows between them. When Prince Phillip (our Mr. Darcy if you will) proposes marriage, he thinks that the poor 28-year-old spinster would desperately accept his proposal, but he couldn’t be more wrong.

Eloise would never marry a man she hasn’t met. And yet, she finds herself in a hired carriage in the middle of the night only to arrive at Sir Phillip’s doorstep. As the pair meet for the first time, Eloise is disheartened to find that Sir Phillip, while handsome, is moody, ill-tempered and totally unlike her string of past suitors. Phillip, on the other hand, wonders how he will ever get this beautiful creature to stop talking. Suddenly, two imperfect people begin to wonder if they’re perfect for each other.

Shop it here for $12 (down 48%).

6. When He Was Wicked

When He Was Wicked: Book 6 of the Bridgerton series
Image: AVON US. Read the Bridgerton books in order

Book six in Julia Quinn’s series follows one of the youngest members of the Bridgerton brood, Francesca. In the early seasons of the show, we didn’t see Francesca much at all, which has left fans curious about her character.

When He Was Wicked begins with love at first sight for infamous London rake, Michael Stirling. When he sees Francesca Bridgerton for the first time, he falls head over heels for her, but is horrified to discover she’s 36 hours away from marrying his cousin.

Choosing to keep his feelings hidden, Michael watches his favourite cousin marry the love of his life. He then ends up planting himself by Francesca’s side as her best friend and confidante. At least until a tragedy befalls the family and suddenly, he has a chance to win back the one who got away.

Shop it here for $18.50 (down 20%)

7. It’s In His Kiss

It's In His Kiss
Image: Avon US

Hyacinth made a few appearances in season one as the youngest child in the Bridgerton bunch. That said, not too much is known about her other than the fact that she echoes her eldest sister Daphne’s excitement about making her debut in society.

In the seventh book, Hyacinth (currently played by Florence Hunt) has endured three seasons in the Marriage Mart and is exhausted by the parties, the suitors, the whole shebang. While considered a good catch for any eligible bachelor, most men — including Gareth St. Clair — thinks she’s best kept to small doses.

Meanwhile, Gareth is dealing with a bind of his own. After refusing an arranged marriage, his family cuts him off financially. Then, after the death of his older brother, his father begins to run their estate (therefore Gareth’s inheritance) to the ground, out of his hatred for him. All that he’s bequeathed is a lone diary, written solely in Italian, which he cannot read.

When he befriends Hyacinth, she offers to translate his mysterious diary. As the two uncover its secrets, they begin to find answers in each other and one that leads to a single, perfect kiss.

Shop the seventh novel in the Bridgerton book series here for $12 (down 48%).

8. On The Way To The Wedding

On The Way To The Wedding: Book 8 of the Bridgerton series
Image: Avon US

The youngest of the siblings is none other than Gregory Bridgerton (Will Tilston). On The Way To The Wedding is the eighth novel in the series, but not yet the last.

Unlike most men his age, Gregory believes in true love. When he see Hermione Watson, he thinks he’s finally found it, until he realises she’s in love with someone else. But her best friend, Lucinda Abernathy doesn’t agree with who Hermione has given her heart to, and offers to help bring Gregory together with his dream girl.

But of course, Lucinda falls for Gregory while vetting for him. And Gregory, like the smart chap he is, falls for her. But what’s a Bridgerton novel without more drama? It turns out Lucinda has been betrothed to another this whole time and her father refuses to let her back out of the wedding.

Read the eighth Bridgerton book here for $18.50 (down 20%).

Grab the Bridgerton book series as a boxed set

Bridgerton boxed set contains volumes 1-5 of the series
Image: Piatkus

If you can’t wait to get started binging the whole Bridgerton book series, you can buy this boxed set here for $309, which includes all nine books on the alphabetically ordered siblings.

Still not sated by the Bridgerton book series?

Read more about the Bridgerton series through its various spin-offs
Image: Avon US

While the aforementioned eight books cover each of the Bridgerton siblings’ stories and in what order to read them, there are a number of spin-offs to keep the fire burning.

As soon as you finish On The Way To The Wedding, make sure you read the novella The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, which features the beloved family matron, Violet Bridgerton. The novella also includes the second epilogues from each of the eight books that will offer fans more insight into their favourite characters’ married lives. You can get it here for $12.

But wait, there’s more! If you want to see how it all began, there’s even a prequel series that follows the Bridgerton’s close family friends, The Rokesbys. If you’re worried you’re not going to see much of your precious Bridgertons, don’t worry because Julia Quinn has promised plenty of cameos from your favourites — in baby form.

You can read the prequel to the Bridgerton book series in order below:

  1. Because of Miss Bridgerton
  2. The Girl With The Make-Believe Husband
  3. The Other Miss Bridgerton
  4. First Comes Scandal

Season 3 Part 1 and 2 of Bridgerton are streaming on Netflix now.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

Lead Image Credit: Netflix/Avon US


Leave a Reply