Hello there and welcome to my definitive and very subjective rankings of all the Bridgerton novels from worst to best. I say definitive because I like to be right, and subjective because – I have to say that legally.
The Bridgertons series, if you are new around here, is an eight-volume regency romance novel series by Julia Quinn that has been successfully adapted by Netflix, and which we’ve discussed at length here on our site and on our YouTube channel. You can’t miss it. Really, where have you been that you haven’t encountered this glorious art?
Each book follows the erstwhile romance of one of the eight Bridgerton siblings. All heterosexual. All rich. All very white. It’s regency. And therefore it is almost always somewhat problematic. Still, we go into regency expecting these things, and we love it anyway. Mostly.
Without further adieu, ranking the Bridgerton books … from the worst to the best.
8. An Offer From a Gentleman
The gentleman in question is no gentleman at all and his offer sucks. Benedict Bridgerton’s book is easily the worst. Around here, we call Benedict, “Been-a-Dick,” for a reason. That reason is the power dynamics. At any point in time, he could have empowered Sophie beyond what he assumed her station was, and yet he never does. He literally wants to hurt her, is always angry, punishes her, never puts himself in her shoes. The magical Cinderella story at the start of this novel does not make up for how terrible the rest of it is.
You can watch our Bridgerton Book Club livestream for more on what we thought of this book.
7. On the Way to the Wedding
Gregory Bridgerton is a full-out dumbass. I absolutely do not want to read a romance novel where the hero believes he is in love with someone else for the majority of the book. I will never like that he felt drawn to Hermoine (and her neck) before he was ever able to look at Lucy. However, this book begins and ends with someone busting up a wedding because he is in love with the bride, and that trope gets me every time.
6. To Sir Phillip With Love
Excuse me, but I WAS PROMISED epistolary courting, and there are not enough letters. Also, Eloise is smart and vivacious and independent, and I’m supposed to believe she becomes a surrogate mother for a whole ass GRUMP? OH HELL NO. I don’t like Sir Phillip or how he talks about his wife, and he doesn’t deserve Eloise. However, the Bridgerton brothers essentially tell him this exact thing in the best brothers scene of the whole franchise. So, in summation, more letters.
5. Romancing Mr Bridgerton
Get ready to hate me, because Polin didn’t even crack my top half. Romancing Mr Bridgerton used to be higher on my list, and then I re-read it. I think that what actually makes this book most people’s faves is how they felt when Lady Whistledown was revealed. That was a BIG DEAL. But Penelope loses SO MUCH of what makes her special once they get together; she becomes fully FOR HIM and less for herself. And yet, as a couple in the previous and subsequent novels, they are my favorite, so I still love a lot about this book.
4. The Duke and I
Sigh … problematic dub con notwithstanding, this book just works. Tropes as old as time are classic for a reason. And Netflix made it into the best season of period television ever with this book, and in the process, they were able to make it less problematic. Therefore the book just got better. I don’t know how that works, but it just does.
Have fun watching our very first Bridgerton Book Club all about The Duke and I, right here.
3. It’s in His Kiss
Ok, romance fans. This book is pure fluff. Seriously … zero angst. On top of that, there’s a super fun mystery for them to solve together. The comic relief in this one is just wonderful, along with there being much Lady Danbury. And truthfully, Hyacinth is arguably THE BEST Bridgerton sister in terms of personality and knowing herself. Watching her find love is incredibly satisfying.
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
Kate and Anthony have arguably the best chemistry of all the Bridgerton couples. I will not be moved from this. The tropes in The Viscount Who Loved Me run the gamut, but most telling and interestingly, this book is both enemies AND friends to lovers. And it contains my favorite trope: smöl annoying dog meets Alpha Viscount. And … Reformed Rake is the best regency trope, fight me on it. Watch us fight about it here.
1. When He Was Wicked
I talked about this book at length in my “Missing Bridgerton” article, which you should definitley read if you haven’t. The basic gist: Francesca and Michael’s book is the HOTTEST BY FAR. There is much pining (which we live for). Even when they get together, there is still a believable outside force pulling them apart, and it just works. Did I mention the garden shed?
There you have it: the ultimate Bridgerton book ranking. If you would rather watch me opine on this in micro-video form, follow us on TikTok.
More Bridgerton Book Club
In case you’ve missed us talking Bridgerton, we are going to be reading the 4th novel, Romancing Mr Bridgerton together in the next couple of weeks, and getting together to discuss it on Sunday, August 8th. JOIN US. See if you can move my ranking needle any higher. Follow our socials for more info on how to join.
How are you ranking Bridgerton books?
Beth is the proud sponsor of two little women and a huge fan of fandom. She took 3 years of Latin in high school and now speaks fluent pretension, which fully explains her current preference for gay wizard regency novels. She will roll over for a giant book with a map in the front. She takes comic book recommendations every day but Wednesday and TV recommendations never (she knows what's good).