How to Read the“ Bridgerton” Books in Order (And How They Differ From the Netflix Show!)

The timeline of the book series doesn’t match up to the one being shown on its Netflix adaptation

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p>

Julia Quinn / Avon

'Bridgerton' book series by Julia Quinn

Julia Quinn’s beloved Bridgerton book series has been delighting romance novel fans since the first installment, The Duke & I, was released more than 20 years ago in 2000.

Like its Netflix adaptation, each novel in the collection spotlights a different Bridgerton sibling and explores their quests for love in London’s Regency era. Unlike the TV series, however, the order in which the siblings are spotlit is more chronological than the show would suggest.

"We're not necessarily going in order but we are going to be seeing each of the siblings and their stories,” executive producer Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment Tonight of the Netflix hit in March 2022.

Fans looking to explore the literary series in the order in which it was written may find themselves ahead of the curve compared to the show. Book three, titled An Offer From a Gentleman, which details Benedict Bridgerton’s love story, won’t be brought to life on the small screen until after season 3, which is centered around Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington — the subjects of book four, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. The two-part season will debut on May 16 and June 13, respectively.

“It's not that they're jumping ahead,” Quinn told PEOPLE ahead of season 1 in December 2020. “But you can see little things, like they're getting things ready, hopefully for more.”

As for where they’ll jump to next, showrunner Jess Brownell told TV Insider fans will have to tune in to find out. “I do think that there are some clues at the end of season 3 of where we’re headed,” she shared.

Keep reading to find out how to read the Bridgerton books in chronological order.

How to Read the Bridgerton Books in Chronological Order

1. The Duke & I

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "The Duke and I" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"The Duke and I" book cover

The first book in the Bridgerton series introduces readers to the family’s oldest daughter, Daphne Bridgerton, as she makes her debut into society.

To improve her chances of finding a desirable suitor, Daphne enlists the help of family friend Simon Basset, a young duke who agrees to publicly court her in order to create jealousy among her peers and drum up the most attractive prospects. In turn, Daphne promises to help Simon avoid the clutches of other would-be marriage-seekers.

Before long, they fall for each other despite their differing wants and needs. “Daphne knows what she wants, Simon doesn't,” Quinn told PEOPLE of the couple in 2020. “The irony is that he doesn't know what he wants, but he has all the power. She does know what she wants, but within society she's fairly powerless.”

2. The Viscount Who Loved Me

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "The Viscount Who Loved Me" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"The Viscount Who Loved Me" book cover

Love blooms in all the wrong places for the oldest Bridgerton child, Anthony Bridgerton, who serves as the subject of book two.

He is prepared to marry Edwina Sheffield, even asking her disapproving older sister Kate for her blessing. Still, he can’t stop thinking about the older sister who seems to hold him in such disdain thanks to gossip she’s read about him in Lady Whistledown’s column.

After a forbidden kiss between the two, Kate develops feelings for the viscount that threaten to derail all of his best-laid plans — and her sister’s happiness.

3. An Offer from a Gentleman

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "An Offer from a Gentleman" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"An Offer from a Gentleman" book cover

Book three in the Bridgerton series likens the second-oldest Bridgerton child, Benedict Bridgerton, to Prince Charming himself when he meets the girl of his dreams at a masked ball.

The fairytale-like object of Benedict’s affections, Sophie Beckett, seemingly disappears at midnight, only to resurface as his family’s new housemaid.

Now, Benedict must weigh the undeniable connection he has with Sophie against his desire to continue his search for the elusive mystery girl who has left him wanting more.

4. Romancing Mister Bridgerton

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "Romancing Mister Bridgerton" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"Romancing Mister Bridgerton" book cover

Exploring the growing feelings between the third oldest Bridgerton, Colin, and his longtime friend and neighbor Penelope Featherington, Romancing Mister Bridgerton sees the pair’s relationship transform from something comfortable and familiar into something new and exciting.

The progression of their love is not without its roadblocks, however. Secrets kept between the two threaten to derail their budding romance.

5. To Sir Phillip, With Love

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "To Sir Phillip, With Love" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"To Sir Phillip, With Love" book cover

Like the literary plots of the Bridgerton books before it, book five is not a cut-and-dry tale of romance. The novel begins when Eloise Bridgerton is summoned to the home of her new pen pal, Sir Phillip Crane, as a potential marriage prospect in the wake of his wife Marina Thompson’s death.

To the high-minded feminist, the man she meets in Sir Phillip is far from the one she had envisioned to be her perfect match. Then again, he’s certainly handsome, and they have enough chemistry to make her second-guess herself.

6. When He Was Wicked

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "When He Was Wicked" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"When He Was Wicked" book cover

Book six explores the theme of love unrequited as Earl Michael Stirling fights back his feelings of adoration for his cousin’s wife, Francesca Bridgerton.

Two years into the marriage, Francesca is suddenly widowed, leaving the earl free to express his affections — but he doesn’t dare for fear of ruining their friendship.

Once the two cross the line from friends to lovers, however, it quickly becomes clear that this once one-sided romance just might have the potential to become a love fully realized.

7. It’s In His Kiss

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "It's In His Kiss" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"It's In His Kiss" book cover

Hyacinth Bridgerton, the youngest of them all, finds love wrapped up in a mystery in It’s In His Kiss. After meeting her love interest, Gareth St. Clair, at an annual musical, she becomes embroiled in his quest to decipher an old family diary that may hold the keys to his financial freedom.

She gets more than she bargained for when her focus begins to shift from translating the book, which is written entirely in Italian, to translating Gareth’s heart following a perfect kiss between them.

8. On the Way to the Wedding

<p>Julia Quinn / Avon</p> "On the Way to the Wedding" book cover

Julia Quinn / Avon

"On the Way to the Wedding" book cover

In the final Bridgerton installment, Gregory Bridgerton, the clan’s youngest son, is a hopeless romantic pining after one Hermione Watson. Her best friend Lucinda has pledged her support for their union, but Hermione has her sights set on someone else.

To make things even more complicated, Lucinda is beginning to fall for Gregory herself — but she’s already engaged. And by the time Gregory realizes Lucinda might actually be the one he loves too, the countdown to her impending nuptials may be over.

How to Read the Bridgerton Books in Series Order

<p>Courtesy of Netflix </p> Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Season 3 of 'Bridgerton'.

Courtesy of Netflix

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton and Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Season 3 of 'Bridgerton'.

While the first two seasons of Netflix's hit series Bridgerton follow the order of Quinn's novels, the show jumps ahead in season 3, instead depicting book four, Romancing Mister Bridgerton. While Bridgerton has been renewed for season 4, it is unconfirmed which book it will follow.

Here's how to read the books in order of the Netflix series — so far.

  1. Season 1: The Duke & I

  2. Season 2: The Viscount Who Loved Me

  3. Season 3: Romancing Mister Bridgerton

  4. Season 4: TBD

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.