American historical romance fiction author Julia Quinn is one of the most successful modern-day authors. Among her works, the Bridgerton series, published during the 2000 - 2006 period, is arguably the most well-known.
The series follows the noble Bridgerton family and is set in the British Regency era. Focused on the family's eight siblings, the series tells the tale of how they make their way through London high society in the pursuit of adventure, happiness, and love.
Once Upon A Book Club brings you the Bridgerton Volume 1 - Book Collection. The collection, available as a book subscription box, consists of the first four books of the Bridgerton series:
- The Duke and I (2000)
- The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
- An Offer from a Gentleman (2001)
- Romancing Mister Bridgerton (2002)
The Duke and I (2000)
The Duke and I is the first novel in the Bridgerton series, and it focuses on the life of Daphne, the Bridgerton family's fourth-eldest child.
In the novel, the new Duke of Hastings, Simon Basset, begins a fake courtship with Daphne. However, what starts as a façade eventually turns into true love. They get married, but things quickly unravel when Daphne discovers the truth about Basset's childhood.
Although the novel was not well-received when it was first released in 2000, it gained popularity after Netflix released its version in 2020. Eventually, the novel became a bestseller and remained at the #1 spot on the New York Times Best Seller List for several weeks.
The Viscount Who Loved Me (2000)
The Viscount Who Loved Me, was released in 2000 as well, and it follows Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest Bridgerton sibling.
The dashing Anthony Bridgerton, first introduced in The Duke and I, has decided to put his wild days as a rake behind him. His newfound desire to settle down and start a family is based on his belief that he, like his father, will not live to see old age. However, he also wants to avoid the pain of love, but fate intervenes in the form of the lovely Kate Sheffield. Their courtship eventually becomes controversial.
Fans of the first novel were thrilled with The Viscount Who Loved Me, and it was nominated for the Long Historical Category at the 2001 RITA Awards. The novel also ranked #1 on the New York Times Best Seller List.
An Offer from a Gentleman (2001)
An Offer from a Gentleman revolves around Benedict Bridgerton, Anthony's younger brother and the second-eldest brother in the family.
The novel introduces Sophie Beckett, the daughter of an Earl who her stepmother mistreats after her father's passing. Sophie, forced into living the life of a servant, catches the eye of Benedict in Lady Bridgerton's masquerade hall. Two years later, Sophie and Benedict collide again, but Benedict does not recognize Sophie. The two are attracted to each other, but Benedict's vow to marry the woman he met in the masquerade hall, coupled with Sophie's life of servitude, makes things complicated.
Waldenbooks honored An Offer from a Gentleman with its 2001 Bestselling Original Historical Romance Award. The novel also marked the first time author Julia Quinn was recognized on the New York Times Best Seller List.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton (2002)
Romancing Mister Bridgerton's protagonist is the third brother among the Bridgerton siblings - Colin.
In the novel, Colin reconnects with Penelope after a few years of traveling the world. Their shared passion for journaling quickly makes them friends. However, the identity of tabloid writer Lady Whistledown has Colin worried, as he suspects it might be his younger sister, Eloise. A series of dramatic events ensues, eventually leading to Colin and Penelope getting married.
Following the appearance of An Offer from a Gentleman on the New York Times Best Seller List, all the Bridgerton novels made it big, including Romancing Mister Bridgerton. Since Netflix's adaptation was released, it made a re-entry into the famed list.
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