‘Bridgerton’ Binge Is Over? These 6 Queer Romance Books Might Help

‘Bridgerton’ Binge Is Over? These 6 Queer Romance Books Might Help


These LGBTQ+ romance novels give readers all the bodice-ripping fun Bridgerton is known for, but double down on making queer people the main characters in their love stories

Dearest gentle readers, it’s been four years since the premiere of Netflix’s original series Bridgerton turned people’s Covid-era free time into a rabid frenzy for historical dalliances. Now with three seasons under its belt, the Shonda Rhimes-helmed adaptation of author Julia Quinn’s popular book series has cemented its title as the diamond of the television season. Season 3 of Bridgerton, which was split into two releases, the most recent of which premiered in May, topped the Neilsen streaming charts with over 2.7 billion minutes viewed.

Aside from bringing its own established fanbase, Bridgerton has been the catalyst for an explosion in interest in romances taking place during the British Regency in the early 19th century. In 2021, People and The New York Times reported massive spikes in sales of both Quinn’s books and other Regency bodice rippers. The setting — a social world where marriage is life, balls abound, and the smallest slights can end in a duel — has built-in conflict and spaces for sex and intrigue to thrive. Rhimes’ Bridgerton took that a step further, centering her story in a Regency alternate universe where the social rules are the same, but race no longer plays a factor. It’s butter-churned, frothy escapism for romance lovers with modern sensibilities. 

But with Bridgerton’s AU approach to race, the biggest discussion in subsequent seasons has been how far this escapism can reach. Since the show’s creators have been open to changing dynamics around race in the series, fans also hoped they’d be open to including queer main characters in future seasons. Showrunner Jess Brownell and cast members have said there are at least two years before fans can expect to see another season, but have indicated LGBTQ+ plot points are on their radar. “I think this is a show about the many ways in which people love,” said Brownell. “So it only feels right to show all the ways in which people love, including queer love.” Without spoilers, Season 3 of Bridgerton shows certain hints and explicit clues about future pairings, but for fans who have now found themselves hooked on romances that revolve around elaborate balls, duels, and dance cards — but are perhaps interested in seeing more queer versions of their new favorite world — here are a few steamy novels that could scratch that itch.

Read original source here.

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