Love 'Bridgerton' But Craving Jewish Romance? Try These Books. – Kveller
Skip to Content Skip to Footer


Love ‘Bridgerton’ But Craving Jewish Romance? Try These Books.


“Bridgerton” season two is an utter delight — full of passion and thirst (the chemistry between Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley is off. the. charts), fancy balls, gorgeous costumes (please give me all of Penelope Featherington’s dresses, no, I don’t care that they’re meant to be garish!) and impeccable performances from the whole cast. And its signature instrumental versions of pop songs just about made me lose it — especially that version of Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.”

Yet what I love most about this show is how it strays from the truly excellent romance novels that it’s based on and gives us colorblind and diverse casting that helps more viewers of romance feel represented. This season, the Sharmas brought us amazing South Asian representation, with a scene of a Haldi ceremony, the interweaving of Hindi words into dialogue and more.

“Bridgerton” was also my personal gateway into romance novels. After a particularly difficult postpartum experience, I was comfort-watching the first season and decided to read the books. Then I blinked and somehow my Kindle and Libby apps were suddenly inundated with romance titles. Funny how that happens.

As I started reading romance novels, I also started seeking out books that made me feel represented — specifically Jewish romance. Unfortunately, while Julia Quinn, the author of the “Bridgeton” series, is Jewish, the books don’t actually have any Jewish characters in them.

Luckily, there are quite a few excellent romance novels with Jewish protagonists. So if “Bridgerton” has you pining for some romance where you, as a Jew, are represented, you are in luck! I’ve gathered some of my favorite Jewish romance novels, and a few that I haven’t read but seem promising, for your post-“Bridgerton” reading pleasure.

Some of these books are very spicy, as the kids say (the kids are mostly millennial moms on TikTok I feel?), which means they have a lot of scenes that may make you blush. Others are what one would call a “clean romance” with no explicit scenes (and some are YA novels! Because teens also deserve romance!). Yet all of them have that most important trope of a romance novel — the happily ever after ending (or HEA, as the aforementioned “kids” also say). And honestly, we all deserve some happiness right now. Another great thing about so many of these books? They don’t stop at Jewish representation — they’re diverse in every way, with disability rep, Latinx rep, Black and brown characters and so much more.

This is not a comprehensive list, but boy are there so many good books waiting for you below. Get your TBR (to be read) list ready and here we go:

The actual “Bridgerton” books:

OK, as I said, these books aren’t Jewish, but when you’re buying them or borrowing them from your library, you are supporting a Jewish writer. Does Julia Quinn need your support? I mean her series is in the top 10 on Netflix right now so probably not. But do you need the sweet support that is these delightful novels? I know I did! Seriously, I love the “Bridgerton” books. They were there for me at a particularly difficult time, and they are such a good point of entry to Regency romance — that’s romance that takes place during the Regency era in England from 1811 – 1820, when King George III was deemed unfit to rule the country and so his son, George IV, ruled by proxy as prince regent.

Since the TV show strays so far from the materials, you will really not be spoiling much for yourself by reading these. The prequels, which tell the story of the Rokesby brothers, the childhood neighbors of Edmund Bridgerton, are also fun, and one of them, “The Girl With the Make Belief Husband,” even mentions the Touro Synagogue.

Get the books on Amazon /

The OG Jewish #OwnVoices historical novel: “The Fictitious Marquis” by Alina Adams

We’ll let Kveller contributor and author Alina Adams tell you the plot of this one, because, yes, she wrote it: “A lady of high birth who was hiding a secret about her mother’s religious background. She rescues a criminal from the gallows and passes him off as a member of the aristocracy. Their marriage is meant to be in name only. No spoilers here, but see if you can guess how it turns out…” Um, yes we can!

Adams wrote “The Fictitious Marquis” back in 1995, and it has now been re-released in ebook form. The book is considered by some to be the first historical Jewish romance novel written by a Jewish author. Considering the fact that classic Regency romance novelists like Georgette Heyer was antisemitic AF (I believe that is the scientific term?), it is nice to know that there’s great #OwnVoices Jewish regency.

Get it on Amazon

If you want even more Jewish regency: “The Couriers” series by Nita Abrams

If you’re going to take a romance rec, take it from the Jewish co-founder of The Ripped Bodice, the only exclusively romance book store in the West Coast, which is queer-owned, woman-owned, Jewish-owned and absolutely fabulous.

Bea Koch wrote about this Nita Abrams’ series on Hey Alma, recalling how reading it was the first time she saw herself represented as a main character in a Regency romance novel. This series, which is set in the background of the Napoleonic wars, is full of action, adventure and romance, and features Jewish characters. “What is really remarkable about ‘The Couriers’ is that the series deals with the reality of Judaism during the Regency, especially how it might affect a possible marriage between a Jew and a Christian. Abrams does not sugarcoat anything,” Koch writes.

Get it on Amazon

If you want even more Jewish regency with a brooding Anthony Bridgerton-like hottie: “True Pretenses” by Rose Lerner

Rose Lerner writes detailed, steamy, historical romances that are hard to put down. This book, the second in her Lively St. Lemeston series, gave me serious palpitations. It is the love story of Ash Cohen, a swindler, or a confidence man, and Lydia Reeve, an aging (I mean, she’s 30, but this is Regency!) spinster who needs to get a hold of her dowry to continue her philanthropic work in her village.

Ash is used to hiding his true identity — and especially his Judaism. When his brother Rafe wants to finally live an honest life, he tries to set him up with Lydia, but quite unexpectedly, the two fall in love with each other, instead. But will Ash’s many many secrets finally catch up with him?

Cohen’s relationship with his Jewish heritage is incredibly complex, and this book is such a poignant exploration of what it means to deal with the constant onslaught of antisemitism. For Ash, hiding his Jewish identity for perpetuity is not a problem, as long as the people who love him the most know who he is.

Get it on Amazon /

If you loved the Pall Mall scenes: “Unwritten Rules” by  KD Casey, “Head Over Heels” by Hannah Orenstein, “Imaginary Lines” by Allison Parr

Jewish sports romance? Yes, we want it, we want all of it. Here at 70 Faces Media, Kveller’s parent company, we love Jews in sports so much we have a Jewish Sports Report newsletter dedicated to them. So of course I have to share as many Jewish sports romances as I can.

“Unwritten Rules” by KD Casey is a gay baseball second-chance romance. I love the super Semitic (I know, there’s no one Jewish look, but also, yum) model on this cover. In “Unwritten Rules,” Jewish b-ball player Zach Glasser is reunited with Eugenio Morales, his former teammate and lover. This romance novel is steamy and dense, grappling with what it means to live with a hearing aid, intermarriage, the expectation of Jewish parents, coming out as a pro player, and it’s filled with lots and lots of baseball deets. KD Casey has written about how for her, Jewish romance novels come with a dose of tikkun olam, and honestly, I couldn’t agree more.

Get it on Amazon

“Head Over Heels” by Hannah Orenstein is one of my favorite Jewish romances of all time. If you’re an Aly Raisman fan, you absolutely need to read this book. Avery Abrams, the heroine of this book, is a retired gymnast whose Olympic career ended too soon after a tragic accident. After her boyfriend breaks up with her, Avery gets hired to coach a young aspiring Olympian and is reunited with Ryan, a former team USA co-competitor. In the meantime, a Larry Nassar-like scandal is finally brought to light. The romance between Ryan and Avery unfolds so beautifully, but the way this book grapples with the realities of the world of competitive gymnastics, body positivity and trauma are all so incredible. This is one you will be wanting to read over and over again.

Get it on Amazon /

“Imaginary Lines” by Allison Parr is a football romance that grapples with the reality of the controversial but popular sport. Tamar Rosenfeld moves to New York to be a sports journalist and is reunited with the boy she’s loved since her bat mitzvah, Abraham Krasner, who is now a linebacker for a fictional team called The New York Leopards (this is the third book in the New York Leopards trilogy by Parr, and Abraham appears in previous books).

This book is not available through any online retailers — but I was able to get it at my local library and on the Libby app. Support your local libraries! It’s a mitzvah!

If you loved those “Bridgerton” dances: “The Matzah Ball” by Jean Meltzer

A ball, you say? I love a ball, but I love a matzah ball even more (OK I’ll stop). In “The Matzah Ball,” Rachel Rubinstein-Goldenblatt, a Christmas romance novel writer who has chronic fatigue syndrome, is commissioned to write a Hanukkah romance. The problem? Rachel, who grew up in a Modern Orthodox family, absolutely does not see the spark in Hanukkah. Enter Jacob Greenberg, a hottie millionaire, Rachel’s Camp Ahava (yes, camp love!) crush, and the guy who broke her heart. Jacob is throwing the Matzah Ball, the most prestigious Jewish event of the season, and Rachel needs an invite for some inspiration. Will the Hanukkah candles melt away Rachel’s hate for Hanukkah; will the light of the shamash steer them towards true love? *insert more candle puns here.*

“I wanted to write a book for Jews where the heroes were sexy, where the men were strong, where the women were beautiful, where they got their happy ending,” Meltzer, who is a rabbinical school dropout, told JTA. The book is full of references to the Talmud and great representation — what more can you ask for?

Get it on Amazon /

If you love the ✨ queen ✨  in “Bridgerton:” “Playing the Palace” by Paul Rudnick

When I tell you this book is an absolute gift, I really mean it. I love a romance novel that makes me laugh out loud. This book is about a NJB (that’s a Nice Jewish Boy) from New Jersey who falls in love with the Prince of England. There are sparks, there are visits to IHOP, there is a sassy Jewish great aunt and there are numerous mentions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — you can read my full glowing review of it here. This book truly has everything and if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to look at your life, look at your choices.

Get it on Amazon /

If you’re hungry like Colin Bridgerton: “Sadie on a Plate” by Amanda Elliot

Colin Bridgerton always wants a nosh, and honestly, who can’t relate? I definitely wanted all the noshes as I was reading “Sadie on a Plate” by Amanda Elliot, a romance novel that takes place in a reality TV cooking show. Sadie, the heroine of the book, was recently fired from her restaurant job, but gets scouted to join the cooking show “Chef Supreme.” On the plane there, she meets Luke, and the attraction is instantaneous. Before she has to seclude herself from the world for the shoot, Luke takes her on a whirlwind culinary adventure in Queens. She thinks it’s the last she’ll see of Luke for a while, except the next day, the two come face to face, because, yeah, you guessed it — they’re both competing in “Chef Supreme.”

Sadie’s culinary specialty is fancy (and yeah, non-kosher) takes on classic Jewish comfort food — which means this book will fill you with nostalgia and also make you drool. If you are a foodie and romantic, you absolutely need to read this one.

Get it on Amazon /

If you love a plus-sized hero like Penelope Featherington: “Weather Girl” by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rachel Lynn Solomon is the queen of the modern Jewish rom-com. Both her adult romance novels and YA books all feature Jewish protagonists, and they are all very much worth reading — addictive, bright and sex-positive, full of excellent mental health representation.

In “Weather Girl,” Ari Abrams and Russel Barringer, a weather girl and a sportscaster at a local Seattle station, are trying to “Parent Trap” their bosses, whose bitter divorce is making their workplace a toxic environment. Of course, because this is a romance novel, they end up inadvertently falling for each other. Russel is a Jewish dad, with a Jewish dad bod, about which he has complex feelings (but I don’t! please give me more dad bods in my romance novels). Also, his sassy teenage daughter is about to have a bat mitzvah (yes, a book with a bat mitzvah scene!). Ari, who makes her own weather-themed accessories, also struggles with depression. They may be my favorite book couple, ever.

Get it on Amazon /

Also, If you love the whole enemies-to-lovers thing season two of “Bridgerton” is bringing, I recommend “The Ex Talk” by Rachel Lynn Solomon. It’s about two Seattle public radio rival producers forced to work together on a show called The Ex Talk. If you’ve got an NPR tote bag, you need to read this one.

Get it on Amazon /

If you want the steam, and the plot, a la “Bridgerton”: “The Intimacy Experiment” by Rosie Danan

I cannot say enough good things about “The Intimacy Experiment.” I don’t believe in the concept of a book boyfriend (unless we’re talking about a future Paul Rudd autobiography) but if I had to choose one, it would be Rabbi Ethan Cohen. Every book needs a hot rabbi, in my humble opinion, and a hot, sex-positive, charming, former teacher rabbi is even better.

In “The Intimacy Experiment,” Rabbi Ethan Cohen recruits sex entrepreneur and aspiring academic Naomi Grant to collaborate on a course on modern Jewish intimacy. Ethan is hoping to get more young members for his dwindling congregation; Naomi is hoping the course will help her get more academic experience and respect, something she struggles with as a former sex worker. What they aren’t hoping for is a romance to ignite between them like a pile of hametz before Passover, but obviously, it does. Also, unlike cleaning your house for hametz, it is very sexy.

This book is the second in Danan’s “Shameless” series, and she says she even got the green light for this plotline from her family’s rabbi.

Get it on Amazon /

Also if you’re into the idea of a hot rabbi? There’s literally a Jewish romance novel called “Hot Rabbi” by Aviva Blakeman. I love the genre of romance titles that tell you exactly what the book is, especially when that thing is really all you want in a book.

Get it on Amazon

If you want something British, diverse, historical, Jewish AND delicious: “My Fine Fellow” by Jennieke Cohen

Does YA fiction belong on a romance novel list? I say yes, and especially this book — a gender-bent retelling of “My Fair Lady” starring an adorable Jewish baker!

Get it on Amazon /

If you’re disappointed that none of the Brigertons are actually queer: ALL THE QUEER JEWISH ROMANCE YOU COULD ASK FOR

“Bridgerton” has been accused of what one calls queerbaiting — alluding to queer content without giving us much of it. There is a queer character in the first season of the show, and also one in the later books, but no, none of the Bridgerton siblings are canonically queer.

But plenty of Jewish romance novels are queer! Hurrah! There are incredible YA ones like “Camp” (queer summer camp that takes on toxic masculinity), “Cool for the Summer” (bi love triangle!), “The City Beautiful” (historical horror) and “What If It’s Us.” These are just the tip of the iceberg, but some good places to start!

Adult ones include: “I Kissed A Girl,” many of the books by Shira Glassman and Xan West, and quite a few more on this very list!

If you want yourself an American Jewish “Bridgerton” of sorts: “Appetites & Vices” and “Dalliances & Devotion” by Felicia Grossman

Like “Bridgerton,” this duology by Jewish author Felicia Grossman tells the story of a wealthy family, the Truitts. They are Jewish and live in 19th century America, which means they have a little more to worry about than just the papers of Lady Whistledown (yes, I’m talking about antisemitism, but not only). It’s such an interesting time period to explore from a Jewish perspective, and Grossman does it deftly — with compelling characters and entrancing storytelling.

“Appetites & Vices” tells the story of Sephardi banking heiress Ursula Nunes and Jay Truitt, who connive to fake an engagement for their own selfish purposes, only to find the connection between them is anything but fraudulent.

Get it on Amazon

“Dalliances & Devotion” is about twice-divorced Amalia Truitt and David Zisskind, a Jewish immigrant and Pinkerton whose heart was once broken by Amalia, and who is now tasked with protecting her on a journey to her family’s home in Delaware.

Get it on Amazon

The only thing I don’t like about this series is that there are only two books in it! Luckily, Grossman is working on a Cinderella-style of Regency Jewish romance. Truly a book I need yesterday.

If you liked Kate’s pet corgi, Newton: “Hearts of Alaska” trilogy by Allana Martin

Do the best romance novels feature dogs? Yes, yes, they do, and this romance series doesn’t feature just any dog — we’re talking about actual huskies here. Augh.

It’s impossible to read the synopsis of the first book of this series, recounted in Hey Alma, and not want to read it: “Hearts on a Leash” is “about Taylor Lipin, a young woman from Helen, Alaska who did everything she could to leave her tiny town and the family feud her family has with the Porters, another large family in town. But when a family emergency brings her back home, she ends up falling for a newcomer, Dr. Josh Krane, and his adorable huskies. When she learns that he’s actually a Porter, they have to figure out if their relationship is worth kicking the hornet’s nest.”

Hunky Jewish doctors in Alaska?! Love those “Southern Exposure” vibes!

The other two books in this trilogy are “Paws and Prejudice” (I mean…) and “Love and Let Bark.” The love interests in the two first books of the series are both Jewish. Martin told Hey Alma that she “never really thought about religion at all in my writing until the 2016 election. Seeing the fallout from that and the rising antisemitism made me decide to make a conscious effort to make sure I identified my characters specifically as being Jewish, because that representation is important.”

Get it on Amazon /

If you’re disappointed with the disability representation from season one: “Matza Ball Surprise” by Laura Brown

Season one of “Bridgerton” featured a pretty annoying but fairly common trope when it comes to disability: a main character, the Duke of Hastings, overcoming their disability — in this case, a stutter — to earn love and acceptance. This messaging is usually unintentional but it’s still tired. Disabled characters are sexy and absolutely deserve to be in romance novels; in fact, many of the books above already feature great disability rep! But I must say I have a particular fondness for Levi Miller, the deaf hottie hero of “Matza Ball Surprise.”

This book is about Gaby, who recruits her gym crush, Levi, to come to her family’s seder and pretend to be her boyfriend. The sexual tension is off the hook and unfortunately, so is the miscommunication between these two. This book had me wondering why there aren’t more Passover-centered Jewish romances, because really, seder scenes can be so fun.

Laura Brown recently released a new Jewish romance, “The Un-Arranged Marriage,” that I can’t wait to delve into.

Get it on Amazon /

If you love the feeling of the ‘ton: the “Friendship and Festivals” series by Stacey Agdern

Another trilogy?! Heck yeah. Agdern, who wrote this excellent romance novel list for our sister site Hey Alma, which I can thank for introducing me to many of these books, has written this trilogy which all center around small New York towns. Two of these books, “Miracles and Menorahs” and “Love and Latkes,” are super-Hanukkah centric which I love (give me all the Hanukkah everything!), while “History of Us” tells the story of Anna Cohen, an assistant at a Manhattan Jewish museum who is reunited with her ex Jacob Horowitz-Margareten, a philanthropist and the Jewish scion of a famous Jewish legacy, as they work to curate a show in his family’s archive. The premises of all these books are just so great, and these are definitely some of the most Jewish books on this list!

Get it on Amazon /

If you want Jewish “Downton Abby” with spies: “Think of England” by K.J. Charles

Did I get confused about what show I was writing about again? Hahaha, I hate it when that happens. Anyway, author K.J. Charles often features Jewish characters in her romances, which are oh-so-steamy, but this is the only one with an actual Jewish (Sephardi!) love interest, Daniel da Silva, a queer poet who joins retired army Captain Archie Curtis at a house party that isn’t all that it seems.

Get it on Amazon /

If you love googling the personal lives of all the “Bridgerton” cast: “Funny You Should Ask” by Elissa Sussman

This book is coming out later this month and it is positively addictive.

Chani Horowitz is an aspiring writer and recent MFA graduate who feels like a bit of a failure. Gabe Parker is a movie star who was just cast as the new Bond. The two meet when Chani is tasked with writing a profile of the actor, who may or may not be her longtime celebrity crush. But in real life, Gabe turns out to be so much more than Chani ever imagined and the two are impossibly drawn to each other — impossibly being the imperative word, because just a short time after the interview, Gabe marries his Bond co-star.

Ten years later, they’re reunited to recreate the interview, which has now cemented Chani’s career as a celebrated journalist. Will they be able to make up for the mistakes of the past?

One of my favorite moments in this book is one where Gabe asks Chani how to pronounce her name, and as someone with a difficult-to-pronounce Jewish name, I don’t think I could imagine a sexier scene!

Get it on Amazon /

All of our recommendations are independently selected by Kveller’s editorial team. We may earn a commission if you buy something through one of our affiliate links.

Skip to Banner / Top Skip to Content