If our Netflix queue is any indication, we and half the world are still very much in love with all things Bridgerton…but Julia Quinn actually has a lot more to offer than that singular series. Don’t get us wrong, we’ll hold the Bridgerton fam near and dear to our hearts forevermore, but this week before V-day, we’d like to help you explore some other listens penned by one of our favorite romance writers that will get you in the lovey-dovey spirit. Have a listen to any one of these other Quinn masterpieces and then who knows, maybe let’s petition Netflix to start a new series?
The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband
If there’s one thing our girl Julia loves, it’s a series about a family, so here we have not the Bridgertons, but the Rokesbys- specifically Edwar Rokesby and that time he had a fake wife and didn’t know it.
Let’s back up. Cecilia Harcourt is an orphan and everyone knows orphans should be pitied and always win in the end. So her brother is far and away fighting the good fight (we guess, even though we’re American sooo) in the Revolutionary War, gets injured, and goes missing. Cecilia’s creepy cousin emerges (we’re assuming from the shadows, drumming his fingers together menacingly) and is like “Hey, now you’re truly alone so you have to marry me or move in with your cruel spinster aunt.” Celia is like “nah” and flees to America to find her brother. Too bad she finds his BFF Edward instead. Also too bad that because she’s nothing but a woman the army won’t help her find her brother until she claims to be Edward’s wife. He’s a duke so he gets to do whatever he wants. He comes to with amnesia (convenient) and well, you see where this is going.
Jack is a wayward highwayman with no sights on respectability or responsibility, thank you very much. So things get a tad tense when he holds up his long-lost grandma’s carriage? Oops.
Naturally, her companion Grace is inside and witnesses her employer’s eyes light up as she realizes the man who is attempting to…carriage-jack? Carriage-mug? Is none other than the real duke of Wyndham?
Now Jack is saddled with the very life of opulence and obligation he never wanted, but he does want Grace. Too bad he’s a duke now and she’s a regular girl with a job.
It’s giving Jane Eyre but with more romance and fewer crazy wives in attics, so we’re here for it.
If you’re on the hunt for your next enemies-to-lovers sensation, then look and listen no further. Here we’ve got yet another family to follow- the Smythe-Smiths (say that 5 times fast(- specifically cousin to said family, Sarah, who can never forgive Hugh for picking a drunken duel with her cousin Daniel.
Was Hugh the one who ended up permanently injured in the leg from a said duel? Whatever. Is Sarah seemingly the most insolent one over the whole ordeal even though it mainly affected her cousin’s family? No matter. Are they thrown together because Daniel, the other actual victim in the scenario has forgiven Hugh and now they’re friends? Besides the point.
Sarah has one thing going for her, and that’s her righteous indignation that she will forfeit for no man, even if he has great lips and a perfect smile…
Lady Arabella- Bella- may be rich and beautiful but she can read darn it! In a time when marriage was mostly an economic decision, why won’t any eligible suitors remark on the fact that she can do basic math! Ugh!
She’ll just have to escape to the countryside and encounter a broody, angry at the world war veteran/Earl who tells her to go away a lot… and fall in love with him. That’ll show all those shallow boys back home in London!
John Blackwood, Earl, and grizzled war veteran isn’t capable of love and wants Bella to just go away, only he’ll write her some poems and climb a tree outside her window to dance at midnight. THAT will surely show her how disinterested he is, right?
Thanks for reading! All these Julia Quinn audiobooks and more are available now on AudiobookSTORE.com– because yes, the woman is a machine and has many more! And make sure to check out our FlexPass Membership for the ultimate roster of podcasts, savings on audiobooks, and more!