Author Julia Quinn, best known for her smash hit series “Bridgerton,” stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to recommend some of her favorite recent reads and talk about her latest book.
Quinn’s latest novel, “Queen Charlotte,” accompanies the latest installment in the Bridgerton world. Whereas the Netflix season "Bridgerton" is based on Quinn's novels, this one is inspired by the original series “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” which is set to stream on Netflix May 4.
For fans who are craving another good romance or period piece, Quinn has love story recommendations galore. Keep reading for a list of recommendations straight from the brain behind “Bridgerton.”
Best regency romance
The fourth in a "Bridgerton"-esque series from Martha Waters, “To Swoon and to Spar” is the perfect read for those of you googling “period romances.”
Viscount Penvale has spent his life working toward one lofty goal: to regain ownership of his childhood home. When the opportunity to purchase the home from his uncle arises, Penvale knows this is a deal he can’t resist — even if it means taking his uncle’s ward, Jane Spencer, as his wife.
Jane isn’t thrilled by the prospect of marrying Penvale, either. Once married and relocated to the house, Jane sets out with the help of her housekeeper to convince Penvale the ancient property is haunted, hoping to quite literally scare her new husband away. But what happens when, halfway through her devious plan, Jane realizes she might not truly want her new husband gone? Is it too late?
"I simply could not put it down,” Julia Quinn told TODAY.
Best love story
As a personal assistant, Georgie Mulcahy doesn’t have much time for herself. In fact, she doesn’t really devote any time to herself at all. Georgie realizes she tends to put everyone and everything before her own wants and needs. Overwhelmed, she returns to her hometown and discovers a dream diary she wrote as a young girl about her desires for friendship. Georgie decides to take her teen self seriously and use the diary as a simple guide, a way to start prioritizing herself again.
Her simple plan is torn to shreds when she finds that teen rebel turned grumpy hermit Levi Fanning is staying at her childhood home thanks to her overly gracious parents. Levi offers to help Georgie on her quest to complete her diary checklist. The two grow closer, but both Georgie and Levi have complex pasts they have to confront.
“Perfect for Emily Henry fans,” Julia Quinn told TODAY. “It’s the love story that proves you can go home again.”
Best historical fiction
In “Beyond That, the Sea” by Laura Spence-Ash, young Beatrix is forced to leave her life in London behind when her parents decide to send her overseas to spare her from the dangers of 1940s wartime London. Bea meets the Gregorys in Boston, the new family with whom she’ll be living. Despite her initial anger at her parents for sending her away, and her fears of leaving her old life behind, Bea quickly finds herself fitting in with the Gregorys.
She enjoys their comfortable lifestyle, bonds with their two young sons and leaves behind her timid side as she entertains new friends with tales of life across the sea. When the war suddenly ends and Bea is called back to London, she struggles to part with her new American life.
“Spence-Ash has written the novel in eight points of view, but each character is utterly three-dimensional and distinct,” Julia Quinn told TODAY. “This debut novel captivated me from start to finish.”
Best women's history month story
Ann Shen’s “Revolutionary Women: 50 Women of Color Who Reinvented the Rules” is the perfect book for your coffee table. Flip open that cute, colorful book cover and you’ll find that Shen’s book is jam-packed with impressive women of color who have historically been overlooked by the mainstream media.
“The illustrations are darling, and [Shen’s books] can be shared with our daughters and sons,” Julia Quinn said.
What Julia's reading
“Now You See Us” by Balli Kaur Jaswal tells the story of three Filipina maids living and working in Singapore who are brought together on a mission to catch a killer. Corazon had already retired to the Philippines, but mysteriously returned to Singapore for work, hiding secrets from her wealthy employer who is too busy with her daughter’s lavish wedding plans to notice. Donita, meanwhile, is practically a teenager. She’s working in Singapore for the first time and stuck with the infamously difficult-to-deal-with Mrs. Fann. Angel is dealing with heartbreak after the end of a recent relationship, and now has to deal with the threat of a new caregiver who might be brought in to replace her.
When a Filipina maid is arrested for the murder of her employer, Corazon, Donita and Angel can’t help but think how easy it would be for them to be wrongly accused of the same crime. “Part social commentary and part murder mystery, it’s heart wrenching and wickedly funny,” Quinn told TODAY. “I also think it would make an amazing TV show, so I hope Hollywood is paying attention!”