About Bridgerton & Romance Novels

Where do you get exactly what you want, all of the time, without being made to feel badly about it?

Ronna Detrick
4 min readMay 25, 2022

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A couple years back I devoured every novel in Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series within a matter of weeks — far before I had any inkling a Netflix version was on the way. (You can only imagine how I responded when that news arrived!)

I’ll admit that I felt a flutter of shame (maybe “embarrassment” is a better word) for pouring through those books in record time, for enjoying them as much as I did, for getting sucked into a romantic trope that is (or at least was), in my opinion, completely unrealistic, nothing more than fantasy, and only enticing because of the steamy sex.

Harsh, I know.

(That inner dialogue and critique did not keep me from reading more — or from binging on both seasons.)

What is it about these stories that draws us in?

I have a few ideas…

So do others:

As early as 2013, an article in The Atlantic endeavored to show “how romance novels came to embrace feminism.” A few years later, the author of an article on the genre in the online women’s magazine Bustle characterized romance novels as some of the perhaps “most rebellious books you can read right now.” Romance novels, she affirmed, are “practically the only books in which women get exactly what they want, all of the time, and aren’t asked to feel bad about it.(source.)

‘Might be worth reading that last sentence one more time…

Where do you get exactly what you want, all of the time, without being made to feel badly about it?

Where do you know this to be true for yourself? An even better question: DO you know this to be true for yourself?

Go ahead, think about it for a bit. I’ll wait for you. Where do you get exactly what you want, all of the time, without being made to feel badly about it?
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Ronna Detrick

I work and write on behalf of women and their re-visioned stories. These days you can find me on Substack.