The world of Bridgerton has taken both book and television audiences by storm with its opulent Regency-era romances and steamy affairs. The Netflix adaptation of Julia Quinn’s popular book series has introduced viewers to the charismatic Bridgerton family.
Each season focuses on the love story of each Bridgerton sibling. We might even get to see Violet find a second chance at love, or at least lust, in the upcoming seasons. Each love story explores specific romance tropes, from ‘fake romance that turns real’ to ‘friends to lovers’ journey.
However, while the show has garnered praise for its portrayal of a racially diverse ton where folks of all colours, shapes, and sexualities get to explore their desires and find their happily-ever-afters, it is worth noting that not all of the books are created equal when it comes to heat and chemistry. In fact, in the Bridgerton books, the male characters often come across as sleazy. Their show versions have been an improvement so far.
The series creators have also fixed several problematic aspects of the books, especially when it comes to certain elements of consent, especially in the modern context. In particular, they transformed Kanthony’s (Kate and Anthony, as seen in season two) dynamic into one of equals.
Here we offer a ranking of the Bridgerton books from spicy to icy, in case you’re in the mood to get your smut on before season three drops.
Of course, this is not definitive because when it comes to matters of sex, one person’s yuck may be another person’s yum. Also, the ranking is solely based on the erotic moments in the books and has nothing to do with the potential presence of sketchy consent among the book couples.
The Bridgerton books ranked by sexiness:
1. When He Was Wicked
Francesca Bridgerton’s story is often counted as one of the hottest by book readers. In this book, accompanied by the “irresistible” Michael Stirling, their love is all about their tense passion, and the chemistry between them sizzles off the pages.
2. Romancing Mr Bridgerton
The culmination of a storyline that builds over three books, this friends-to-lovers romance between Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton is warm as well as tender. Unlike the other books in the series, this one does not rely on tricks or misunderstandings—at least not during the hot scenes. As far as consent and communication go, two signs of healthy relationships, Romancing Mr Bridgerton is the clear winner. Plus, there is that carriage scene, which some readers would place above and beyond anything portrayed in When He Was Wicked.
3. The Viscount Who Loved Me
Anthony Bridgerton’s tale is rich with the classic enemies-to-lovers trope. His encounters with Kate Sheffield (Sharma on the show) brim with tension, and the heated exchanges make for a captivating love story.
4. It’s in His Kiss
Hyacinth Bridgerton and Gareth St. Clair’s adventure-infused romance is clever yet sensual. Their witty banter and undeniable chemistry make this a sexy and satisfying read about a couple who are both as stubborn as the other.
5. An Offer From a Gentleman
Benedict Bridgerton’s story may have a Cinderella theme but it is not tame. Forbidden love, class inequalities, steamy scenes, and a dash of mistaken identities contribute to a tale of passion intermingled with intrigue and sexy longing. The show still has the immense scope to turn Benedict’s story into one of queer joy, but let’s see where they go with that.
6. On the Way to the Wedding
The final Bridgerton book focuses on Gregory, who navigates a zany rom-com on his way to finding love. While it might not be the steamiest, it has its moments of charm and humour.
7. To Sir Phillip, With Love
While Eloise Bridgerton is a delightful character, her romance with Sir Phillip lacks the sizzling spark found in other books. Nonetheless, it has its own charm and appeal for fans of grumpy/sunshine pairings in romance stories.
8. The Duke & I
As the first book in the series, The Duke & I introduces readers to Simon and Daphne’s love story. Although the chemistry is undeniable, the book’s writing and consent issues are not as refined as in later instalments. Even fans of the show are divided on the issues about consent, particularly in the context of the scene where Daphne finally learns that Simon has been lying to her (by omission) about how babies are made and has her gotcha moment with him.