With Bridgerton hitting Netflix, I want to talk about the book that inspired the show!
I read this series earlier this past year and absolutely loved it (with the exception of one of the books), so today I’m excited to attempt to rank each book in the series, while briefly reviewing them.
We’ll be starting with my least favorite and working towards my favorite, so let’s get started!
#8. The Duke and I
Rating: 1 Star
Order in the Series: #1
TW: Sexual assault, rape, child abuse (in past)
“Many a woman has been ruined by a single kiss.”
This book had a lot of promise. I really enjoyed parts of it, but there was one scene that completely ruined it for me. If you want to know all of my detailed thoughts on this, I wrote an in-depth review on just The Duke and I last week. In the end, this scene was extremely disappointed and made me hate this book. And I’m extremely disappointed to see that they kept this scene in the show.
#7. When He Was Wicked
Rating: 3 Stars
Order in the Series: #6
TW: death, miscarriage
“In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one’s been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one’s life will never be the same.”
This book was interesting, but it wasn’t my favorite. Following Francesca after the death of her first husband, this book gets dark. I usually love some angst in a book, and I did appreciate that this book touched on darker subjects, but I felt it lacked the charm and humor I loved in the other books in this series. The pacing seemed slower than the other books as well, and I found myself frustrated with the characters more than once.
#6. To Sir Phillip, With Love
Rating: 3 Stars
Order in the Series: #5
TW: death, depression, suicide, child abuse
“No, she didn’t need someone perfect. She just needed someone perfect for her.”
To Sir Phillip, With Love, like When He Was Wicked, also touches on some darker themes. I like that these issues were discussed, but I felt like they could be handled better (specifically when discussing depression and suicide). That said, I still enjoyed this book. I loved Eloise as a character (although I did wish Phillip would stop telling her to shut up), and I really loved seeing her dynamic with the kids.
#5. It’s In His Kiss
Rating: 4 Stars
Order in the Series: #7
TW: child abuse (in past)
“I would give the world to have one more person for whom I would lay down my life.”
I think this book might have the best banter of the series. Which makes sense, considering Hyacinth is our main character. And, did I mention that Lady Danbury plays an important role in this book? Lady Danbury is the best character in this series and you can’t convince me otherwise. Her grandson, our hero Gareth, is also a great character (even if one decision of his wasn’t my favorite). Overall, this is a great read and is where this list changes from “meh” to “amazing”.
#4. On the Way to the Wedding
Rating: 4 Stars
Order in the Series: #8
TW: kidnapping, violence, sexual assault (mention), side character outed by someone else
“She didn’t want misery. She didn’t want despair. And if that meant she also had to forsake bliss and rapture, so be it.”
The drama in this book. I loved it so much. As the final book in the series, On the Way to the Wedding had a lot to live up to, and it delivered. We follow the youngest Bridgerton, Gregory, who has witnessed his siblings all find love and wants to find love as well. I loved having a hopeless romantic male protagonist. I’m so used to seeing them jaded and closed-off (especially in this series), so this book was so refreshing. This book was fun and addictive and exactly what I wanted it to be. We even got an LGBTQ+ side character, which was great to see considering the lack of diversity in this series.
#3. The Viscount Who Loved Me
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Order in the Series: #2
TW: death, fat-shaming, panic attack, anxiety, phobia [bees]
“There were some bonds, he was coming to realize, that were stronger than those of blood. These were not bonds he had room for in his life.”
After The Duke & I, my expectations were low. But The Viscount Who Loved me was able to restore my faith in this series. I loved our two main characters, they were both so fun to read about. Their banter is amazing, and I just adore them so much. This book is just pure fun.
#2. An Offer From A Gentleman
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Order in the Series: #3
TW: sexual assault (attempt)
“Then we must pack a lifetime into this very night.”
I’m a sucker for a Cinderella story. I won’t lie. This book took me from enjoying this series, to absolutely loving it. While it isn’t perfect, I really loved watching these characters fall for each other and seeing their love story play out. I also loved seeing the rest of the Bridgertons in this book and learning more about them (I stand by the fact that Violet Bridgerton is an icon and deserves the world).
#1. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Rating: 5 Stars
Order in the Series: #4
TW: fat-shaming, blackmail
“Isn’t it nice to discover that we’re not exactly what we thought we were?”
If you’re familiar with these books, then you’re probably not surprised that this is my favorite. It seems that most fans agree that Romancing Mr. Bridgerton is absolutely amazing. Colin and Penelope are a great pair, with amazing development, banter, and chemistry. I also really enjoyed the twists in this book. This book includes some important moments for the series as a whole that were amazing to watch play out!
In the end, my thoughts on the Bridgertons books are mixed. There were really great books, and really, really horrible ones. As a series, I enjoyed the interesting characters, witty banter, and constant drama, but it was severely lacking in diversity and representation, and didn’t handle some very serious subject matter as well as I would have liked.
I can definitely see myself rereading some of these books, while others I’ll avoid for now.
Have you read this series? What are your thoughts?
Also, have you seen the show yet?
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5 responses to “Ranking + Reviewing the Bridgerton Series”
[…] Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Bridgerton #4) by Julia Quinn [Review] […]
Lacking in diversity? You do realize it was based in the early 1800s and diversity was simply not there in the rankings of upper society.. Why do you want the author to treat it as there was? They have brought in plenty of diversity in the show to appease to the 202x way of life. In a book written in a certain time of history, now that’s rubbish.
You do realize LGBTQ+ people and people of color did exist in the 1800s, right? Yes, even in the rankings of upper society. Many other regency novels, shows, and movies are aware of this and include diverse casts of characters. And even if that weren’t the case (which, again, it very much is), this is a work of fiction. This series is not 100% historically accurate, so why does it seem like people only care about “historical accuracy” when it can be used to exclude people from marginalized communities?
[…] Related: Ranking & Reviewing The Bridgerton Series […]
After reading the first two books, I realized that this series is meant to be fictional and not historically accurate. The tv show had a diverse cast fortunately and I really enjoyed to see many actors of all ages and cultures working together to bring such an enjoyable piece to life.
Of course, we know things were different back then. The movie Belle comes to mind (such a beautiful movie). But Bridgerton is fiction, and I am so happy they we are going to see a different take on Kate, Edwina and Mary next season. I love Simone since I watched her in Sex Education, and I can’t wait to see her performance, I bet it will be amazing!
As for the books, I read the first two. I disliked The Duke and I (Daphne from the show is more enjoyable than the Daphne from the books/sometimes Daphne and Simon’s moments felt bland/and I don’t want to talk about the rape scene again). HOWEVER; I loved The Viscount Who Loved Me!!! So much fun! Even when Anthony felt confused and left the house, it didn’t feel frustrating like The Duke and I. I really really enjoyed it from the beginning to the end!
I will come back after reading the next two books!