Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton

My Bridgerton TBR List: 7 Tantalizing Historical Love Stories

April 16 2021
Share My Bridgerton TBR List: 7 Tantalizing Historical Love Stories

All is fair in love and war . . . The Bridgerton family has captivated not only the attention of the ton, but also the many viewers who tuned in to the Netflix series. Based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling series, Bridgerton has been dubbed a cross between Downton Abbey and Gossip Girl. The Regency era drama is brimming with enchanting characters who provide much fodder for the mysterious Lady Whistledown’s society paper.

The first season of the TV show introduces us to many members of London society, but centers upon the courtship of Lady Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset. The second season is already in production, and if they follow the same plot of the novels, each season will feature one of the eight Bridgerton children—Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. Hopefully we’ll be able to follow along to discover the fate of the next Bridgerton sibling.

The series has inspired many artists around the world, resulting in the development of a musical, the launch of an apparel line, and more. If you can’t tell I’ve fallen into the Bridgerton fandom and I’m obsessed. If Bridgerton whet your appetite for more historical fiction, I encourage you to explore these books!

To Have and to Hoax
by Martha Waters

Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met and fell deeply in love five years ago, but after a year of wedded bliss, a fight causes it all to implode. Although they remain married, they barely speak to one another and Lord James often travels to their other estates. One day, Violet receives a letter that her husband has had a terrible accident and was knocked unconscious at their country estate. She rushes to his side only to discover he is perfectly fine, drinking with his friends at the pub. She decides to teach him a lesson for making her worry unnecessarily and feigns her own illness. They begin to one-up each other in their antics and the bantering allows them to rediscover the feelings that made them fall in love in the first place.

This charming novel reminds me of the bantering relationship of Daphne and Simon. Both couples have secrets that they are keeping from each other and the ton and have to find a way to let the truth set them free.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
To Have and to Hoax
Martha Waters

Named a Best Romance of April by Goodreads, Popsugar, Bustle, and more!

“A laugh out loud Regency romp—if you loved the Bridgertons, you’ll adore To Have and to Hoax!” —Lauren Willig, New York Times bestselling author

In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.

Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

With charm, wit, and heart in spades, To Have and to Hoax is a fresh and eminently entertaining romantic comedy—perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Julia Quinn.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

My Bridgerton TBR List: 7 Tantalizing Historical Love Stories

By Saimah Haque | April 16, 2021

Close
The Parting Glass
by Gina Marie Guadagnino

Set in the 1830s, this novel is perfect for fans of historical novels that have a romantic flair. THE PARTING GLASS is a heart-wrenching tale set in New York City. Mary Ballard serves as a lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, a wealthy woman of society. When she’s allowed to be away from the prim and proper eyes of high society, Mary’s true identity is revealed—Maire O’Farren, an Irish exile. Mary is captivated by the young mistress she serves, but she doesn’t know that Charlotte has a secret of her own. The lady has been having an affair with a groomsman who works in the stables, who turns out to be none other than Maire’s twin brother, Seanin. The twins’ mutual love of Charlotte threatens to come between them.

Similar to Bridgerton, the love triangles in this story make it even more dramatic and intriguing. Both stories also explore the challenges of having gay relationships in a society that is not at all accepting of that type of love and hiding one’s true feelings.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Parting Glass
Gina Marie Guadagnino

Downton Abbey meets Gangs of New York…a gem of a novel to be inhaled in one gulp” (Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author) about a devoted maid whose secretive world is about to be ripped apart at the seams—a lush and evocative debut set in 19th century New York that’s perfect for fans of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith and Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin.

By day, Mary Ballard is dutiful lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, a wealthy and accomplished belle of New York City high society. But Charlotte would never trust Mary again if she knew the truth about her devoted servant’s past.

On her nights off, Mary sheds her persona as prim and proper lady’s maid to reveal her true self—Irish exile Maire O’Farren. She finds release from her frustration in New York’s gritty underworld—in the arms of a prostitute and as drinking companion to a decidedly motley crew consisting of members of a dangerous secret society.

Meanwhile, Charlotte has a secret of her own—she’s having an affair with a stable groom, unaware that her lover is actually Mary’s own brother. When the truth of both women’s double lives begins to unravel, Mary is left to face the consequences. Forced to choose between loyalty to her brother and loyalty to Charlotte, between society’s respect and true freedom, Mary finally learns that her fate lies in her hands alone.

A captivating historical fiction of 19th century upstairs/downstairs New York City, The Parting Glass examines sexuality, race, and social class in ways that feel startlingly familiar and timely. A perfectly paced, romantically charged “story of the sumptuous world of the privileged and the precarious, difficult environs of the immigrant working poor is highlighted by vibrant characters and a well-paced plot, which will pull readers into the tangled tale” (Publishers Weekly).

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

My Bridgerton TBR List: 7 Tantalizing Historical Love Stories

By Saimah Haque | April 16, 2021

11 Books New in Paperback to Pick Up This April

By Carrie Cabral | April 13, 2020

Close
The Duchess Deal
by Tessa Dare

If the storyline of the courtship of convenience is what drew you in to Bridgerton, look no further than THE DUCHESS DEAL by Tessa Dare as your next read. Unlike Simon Basset, the Duke of Ashbury is eager to marry to continue his family line and produce an heir. When Emma Gladstone, a seamstress and the daughter of a vicar appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides that she will suit his needs. The duke’s former fiancée called off the wedding after he returned from war scarred from burns and refused to pay Emma for the labor of the ornate wedding gown. In desperate need of funds to support herself, Emma hoped the duke would be able to cover the cost, but she never expected the proposal that would make her a duchess. If she accepts his offer, she’ll never have to worry about her finances again, but she may have to endure a loveless marriage with the brutish man.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Duchess Deal
Tessa Dare

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close
The Vineyard
by Maria Duenas

After a sudden disastrous event, Mauro Larrea, a widower who emigrated to Mexico from Spain, loses his fortune. Like Lord Featherington in Bridgerton, Mauro has to find a way to reclaim his fortune to pay off his debts. Luckily for Mauro, he has better luck gambling than Lord Featherington. With the last bit of money he has left, he places a bet and wins an abandoned home and vineyard in Spain. Mauro journeys across the ocean with every intention of selling the land and returning to Mexico, but when he meets Soledad Montalvo everything changes. Soledad is determined to protect her family’s legacy: the vineyard. Mauro begins to immerse himself in the wine trade and endeavors to restore the vineyard to its former glory. He can’t help but fall in love not only with the rich culture of his new home, but also with Soledad.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
The Vineyard
Maria Duenas

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close
The Look of Love
by Julia Kelly

Much like Eloise Bridgerton, Ina Duncan is not in any hurry to get married. Throughout Bridgerton, Eloise shares her disdain for the inequalities of society and the pressures put upon women to be married, when all she wants to do is explore her passions.

Ina is a sculptor and wants to spend her days experimenting with her art and hanging out with her best friend, Gavin. But after an accidental encounter at a party, Ina is compromised and must quickly find a husband or be ruined. The most powerful matchmaker in Edinburgh, Moira Sullivan, is summoned to help her find a suitor. Moira realizes the solution to Ina’s predicament is right in front of her—Gavin. The second son of a baronet, he has secretly been in love with Ina for years, but he never thought he would be able to capture her heart. Moira convinces Ina to propose a marriage of convenience to save her from ruin. After all, Gavin is her best friend and will allow her to continue with her art. After a rocky beginning, the newlyweds begin to find happiness, but another twist of fate bestows a title of Sir Barrett on Gavin. He is forced to assume responsibilities in society that could tear them apart.

Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Kobo logo Kindle logo
The Look of Love
Julia Kelly

Discover the first installment in the new delightfully charming Scottish romance series where the matchmaker of Edinburgh uses her uncanny abilities to create the perfect matches—even if the couples are doubtful they’ll ever find love.

An accomplished sculptor with secret ambitions, Ina Duncan has managed to avoid marriage for years until an accidental encounter at a party leaves her near ruin and in need of a husband. Fast. Determined to find a willing husband for Ina, Edinburgh’s most powerful matchmaker, Moira Sullivan, quickly realizes that the solution to Ina’s problem might be right in front of her.

Ina’s best friend, Gavin Barrett, has a secret no one knows: he’s loved her for years. As the second son of a baronet, however, he knows he has little chance with his brilliant, beautiful friend. All that changes when Moira convinces Ina to propose a marriage of convenience to Gavin to save her from ruin. Ina only wants two things from him in return: a vow she can continue to sculpt and a promise they’ll remain in Edinburgh.

After a rocky start, happiness—and maybe passion—seems on the horizon for the newlyweds until a twist of fate bestows the title of Sir Barrett on Gavin and forces him to assume responsibilities he’s never wanted. Forced to mold herself into the perfect baronet’s wife, Ina must choose between her dreams and the man she’s learning to love.

Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Kobo logo Kindle logo

MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close
Equal of the Sun
by Anita Amirrezvani

For fans of historical fiction without the steamy romance, I recommend EQUAL OF THE SUN by Anita Amirrezvani. This enchanting tale, set in 1576 Iran, is based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom. This story will envelop you in a tale of political intrigue and the unlikely bond of a princess and a eunuch.

Javaher, a eunuch, has just joined the shah’s household and quickly becomes Pari’s confidante and trusted servant. When the shah of Iran dies without naming an heir, the court is thrown into turmoil. The shah’s daughter, Princess Pari knows more about the inner workings of the state than anyone else, but as a woman she’s unable to assume the responsibilities of being the ruler. Javaher is the only person Pari is able to trust and begins to act as a spy and vizier on her behalf. As a eunuch he has access to every part of the palace, including the harem, and is able to gather information on behalf of the princess.

Javaher’s ability to sneak around in plain sight reminds me a bit of Lady Whistledown. Throughout Bridgerton, we don’t know the true identity of the person writing the society paper. But the character always seems to know the secrets buzzing about and is able to use that knowledge to their advantage.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo
Equal of the Sun
Anita Amirrezvani

Loosely based on the life of a historical Iranian princess, EQUAL OF THE SUN is a gorgeously wrought and evocative tale of power and destiny. When the shah dies suddenly, his daughter is more than qualified to take the throne, but resentment and secrets prevent her. Can she navigate the court in this passionate tale of a powerful woman?

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close
The Duke and I
by Julia Quinn

The London social season is in full swing and the ladies of the ton are eager to find suitors at the many society events that will hopefully result in a proposal of marriage. But the mysterious Lady Whistledown is lurking at every event, ready to document every scandal and blossoming romance. Nobody is safe from her prying eyes and the reports of the society events in her paper. All eyes are on Daphne Bridgerton who has been dubbed the “Diamond of the Season'' and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings who recently returned to London.

The duke has no interest in marriage and is desperate to avoid the overeager mothers who are constantly foisting their daughters upon him. Unfortunately for Daphne, her brutish elder brother Anthony bullies every potential suitor, leaving her without anyone to court her. The duke and Daphne strike up an arrangement: a faux courtship. The appearance of the most eligible bachelor vying for her attention is sure to strike up jealousy among the rest of the men while sparing him the constant overtures from the mothers of other single ladies. As the pair spend more time together to keep up the ruse, they begin to develop feelings for each other, but the duke has a secret that threatens their happily ever after.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo
The Duke and I
Julia Quinn

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo Libro.fm logo

MENTIONED IN:

Stephen King’s Top Books, According to Stephen King

By Aimee Boyer | September 21, 2021

Book Club Favorites: 8 Autumnal Picks to Discuss with Cider Nearby

By Holly Claytor | September 20, 2021

My 8 Favorite Audiobook Listens of 2021 (So Far)

By Kelly Dasta | September 17, 2021

My Book Haul: 9 Shiny New Additions to My Shelf

By Sharon Van Meter | September 16, 2021

8 Captivating Books to Read This Hispanic Heritage Month

By Off the Shelf Staff | September 15, 2021

8 Stirring Historical Reads for Fans of The Alice Network

By Karen Bellovich | September 14, 2021

Close

Photo Credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

You must be logged in to add books to your shelf.

Please log in or sign up now.