Dearest Reader, Shondaland’s Bridgerton has debuted on Netflix and we here at Three Houses Press are dying for more.
First, let me start by saying that The Duke and I by Julia Quinn means a lot to me. It is the very first historical romance novel I ever read when I was far too young to be reading romance. So when Netflix announced that Shondaland would be adapting it and the rest of the Bridgerton novels into a television series, I was ecstatic. And apprehensive. How could a TV show ever be as good as JQ’s novels?
Well friends, I’m elated to say any apprehension on my part was misplaced. If you haven’t binged Bridgerton yet, start immediately. If you have binged Bridgerton, I’m going to do us all a favor and not review it. Many individuals much more thought-provoking and critical than myself have already written incredible pieces on the show.
What I’m here to discuss today is MORE. Bridgerton has proven what we in Romancelandia have known to be self-evident for years: romance novels make for excellent entertainment. Now that Bridgerton has crossed into the mainstream and people are loving it, it’s time for more.
Netflix, HBO, Apple TV+, whoever needs to hear this, we want more shows like Bridgerton and I’ve got a few choice series to recommend.
The Hathaways and Wallflowers by Lisa Kleypas
Bridgerton work well as a Netflix series because there are 8 siblings, which means lots of IP for Shondaland to draw from. Lisa Kleypas has an equally compelling set of 5 siblings called the Hathaways. Better yet, the Hathaways are a spinoff of another series, the Wallflowers, which takes place a few years prior. If you combine these two series together along with the Wallflower prequel novel, Again the Magic, you have a total of 10 books to draw from. So much IP, I may swoon! However, Kleypas’ novels aren’t just a great fit for adaptation based on size. Set during Victorian England, their content is broad ranging, dealing with issues of class, industry, social reform, and antiziganism.
Immortals After Dark by Kresley Cole
HBO this one’s for you. This sprawling series is about different factions of immortal beings warring and falling in love. Honestly, what more could you want? Intense, sexy, and hilarious, Cole’s series is a dominant force in the paranormal romance subgenre. Kresley’s fans have been anxious to see her stories translated to the big screen for years. With Bridgerton’s recent success, now feels like the right time.
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
A neurodivergent woman hires a male escort to help her improve at sex. Hilarious, poignant, and deliriously romantic, this was one of my favorite books of 2018. The Kiss Quotient is filled with charming side characters, one of whom is the hero in Hoang’s other novel, The Bride Test, that would help turn this rom-com into a delightful and diverse ensemble show.
The Playbook by Alexa Martin
As the wife of a former NFL player, Alexa Martin knows a thing or two about being married to a professional athlete. She wields that first-hand knowledge deftly in her Playbook series about a group of football players and the women they’re falling for. Hilarious, sexy, and fun, the Playbook series is the only football I want to be watching.
Rule of Scoundrels by Sarah MacLean
Set in Georgian England, MacLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series is Bridgerton’s darker, sexier sister. Each book centers around one of four disgraced members of the aristocracy who own and operate London’s most exclusive gaming hell. To paraphrase Stefon, this series has it all: gambling, manipulation, deception, murder, and lady bosses.
The Destiny Trilogy by Beverly Jenkins
Adventurous, passionate, and downright epic, the Destiny Trilogy by Beverly Jenkins is mostly set in the 19th century American West and centers on the Yates Brothers and the incredible women they love. Jenkins is consistently one of the most fastidiously detailed historical romance novelists. Every detail in her books is meticulously researched to provide a rich background for her dazzling characters. Ms. Jenkins not only creates beautiful atmospheres, but she creates them for black characters set at a time where, black people are typically depicted only as enslaved or servants. Her novels don’t eschew from or erase slavery, but she creates characters that are strong, intelligent, creative, courageous, and free. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see some of that onscreen.
Those are just some of the series I’d love to see get the Bridgerton treatment. Drop us a comment telling us which romance novel/series you’d love to see onscreen!