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When He Was Wicked [Mass Market Paperback]

Julia Quinn
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 8 2004 Bridgerton Family Series (Book 6)
Everything was so much simpler…
When he was wicked.

In every life there is a turning point.

A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one's life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London's most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca's surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer -- the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin.

But that was then…Now Michael is the earl and Francesca is free, but still she thinks of him as nothing other than her dear friend and confidant. Michael dares not speak to her of his love…until one dangerous night, when she steps innocently into his arms, and passion proves stronger than even the most wicked of secrets…


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Unlike the hero of Quinn's newest Regency-era romance, who falls in love with his cousin's wife upon first sight, readers won't be swept off their feet by the protagonists of this tale. Indeed, while Michael Stirling, dubbed the Merry Rake, is charming enough, subdued Francesca Bridgerton rarely seems worthy of his pursuit. All is well at the novel's outset, aside from the fact that Michael covets his cousin, the Earl of Kilmartin's, wife. Then, barely two chapters into the book, his cousin suffers an aneurysm and dies. Devastated and unable to cope with his new position as earl and his feelings for Francesca, Michael flees to India for four years, only to return still very much in love and suffering from malaria. In London, the two attend social events, trade quips and try to restore their friendship, but the more intimate they become, the more their feelings of guilt gnaw at them. Guilt is the only thing that stands in the way of the couple's happiness, and it's often frustrating to witness their slow, overwrought progression from denial to acceptance. While this book possesses some of the qualities that Quinn's fans have come to expect—sprightly prose, feverish love scenes and well-developed secondary characters—it is weighed down by the sheer intensity of the protagonists' grief.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

smart, funny ... Reminiscent of Bridget Jones --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Molds/ Remaking masterpieces Jan. 11 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julia Quinn is brilliant. She breaks the received romance molds and reshapes stories that are absolutely unforgettable. Michael Stirling is one of my favourite heroes of ALL TIMES. He's Mr. Darcy without pride and prejudice. He's just too delicious. He's everything a hero should be. I LOVE him! Which is why Francesca is secondary for me and I accept her as a Bridgerton because JQ says so. This is one of my top 3 favourite Bridgerton books (the irony). It's unusual also because the book opens with Michael's pov and often reverts to it. Francesca's pov is quantitatively less than Michael's I think, but I wouldn't have it any other way. And that scene in the library...so HOT! Must-read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good. -- ** Grade: A ** Feb. 10 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Oh, Julia! In my opinion, in my mind, and in my heart, this is your finest. WHEN HE WAS WICKED is everything a romance book should be: wanting desire, total obsession, and cherished love.
Michael Stirling fell in love the moment he met her, but she was forbidden. She belonged to someone else - his cousin. A cousin they raised him with, a cousin he respected, a cousin he loved. And then the inconceivable happened: his cousin died and she was free.
Francesca Bridgerton was beautiful and lovely. She adored and loved her husband, John Stirling. They were happy; they had a marriage made in heaven - a marriage the angels kissed. And then John died and she was alone. But she had Michael, she was not alone, she had her best friend.
Truly, Julia Quinn writes this story from her heart.
Of course, this is Book 6 in the 'Bridgerton series'. Shamefully, this novel sat on my 'To Read Shelf' for several months, continually being shoved aside. Why? I was SO disappointed in Quinn's last entry: TO SIR PHILLIP, WITH LOVE, I did not want to experience another letdown. I felt the 'Bridgerton series' had run out of steam. I was wrong!
This time Ms. Quinn delivered. This time Ms. Quinn abandoned the COMPLETE history of the Bridgerton clan. This time the author chose to whisper the family through the pages. Here big brother Colin Bridgerton is a crucial character, yet his presence does not take over. For this I thank you, Julia. We fans know the Bridgerton history. Thank you for simply writing Francesca's story! A story that is romantic, beautiful and sensual. WHEN HE WAS WICKED is pure 'Keeper Shelf'.
Grade: A
MaryGrace Meloche
Reviewer for: [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching July 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This one is different than the others and I really enjoyed it. JQ has added more depth to her characters and it shows in her writing. Michael and Francesca are wonderful characters, even though I felt Francesca was a little too stubborn. Michael's character was touching and portrayed appropriately. I did not think this was book was depressing at all because it was written very well. The respect JQ displayed for the grieving period was superb and timely...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this book. I've read the other reviews and can definitely understand if people were expecting a book that copied the other Bridgerton books, they might be disappointed.
Instead of the light-hearted banter, she has told a very moving story of what it's like to lose a loved one and find love again. Francesca and Michael were the closest people in her husband, John's life, and I thought Julia did a wonderful job of showing their grief and how they worked through their individual fears to find each other.
Francesca is not like the other Bridgertons, as she herself states in the book on occasion. What she IS is a grieving widow, who loved her husband, mourned him for four years, and is beginning to feel things for his cousin that scare her.
Michael Stirling was a wonderfully sweet, passionate man who lives with incredible guilt for all he gained at his cousin's death. And the one thing he loves above all is the one thing he feels he has no right to ever have - Francesca.
I was impressed by the manner Ms. Quinn did this story. She didn't skirt the issue of their grief and mourning. Instead, she embraced it in a way that makes you feel for both Francesca and Michael. She developed their relationship from the friendship it had been in a careful, understandably slow way...all in all, I felt it was a very rich, very fulfilling story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars S'good Stuff! July 13 2004
By Hillary
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read a few reviews that said this book was less charming than previous Quinn books, and I couldn't disagree more!
I think Julia Quinn wrote a much more mature story this time. Francesca Bridgerton Sterling is robbed of her young husband, John; he dies unexpectedly of an aneurism two years into their marriage. Francesca is distraught, so is Michael Sterling, John's cousin and best friend. Michael is doubly plagued by the death because he lusts after John's widow . . . in fact, has always lusted after her. Now that she's attainable, he has to find a happy medium between loving her and wrestling with the guilt of knowing that he covets John's wife.
Quinn does a great job of spanning the emotional gauntlet with this one. It's poignant in some parts, sad in others. The subject matter is not as 'fluffy' as other tales, but it's well done all the same. The humor is toned down, but the sex is tuned up. What you lack in one you make up for in another.
End result . . . buy it. It's great. I think Julia's growing with her writing, getting better at her trade - and more willing to experiment. I think I would have been disappointed with another cookie cutter romance in the Bridgerton line. The others books are great - don't get me wrong - but this one deviated from the formula in a big way, and I enjoyed it tremendously because of it.
Happy reading.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow & Boring
This book is soooo boring and slow I don't even want to finish it. I am disappointed b/c I really like this series. The last book was also not up to par, but this one is worse. Read more
Published on July 17 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Review
This book is not one that I would recommend to read. It was incredibly slow and depressing!! I was very disappointed with this book. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by S. Wertelka
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worthy of the Bridgerton name
If there is one problem I have with Julia Quinn, it is that she is milking the Bridgerton series for all that it is worth. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by Ms. Sixty
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last two in the series
Let me preface this review by saying Julia Quinn is not only my favorite romance writer, but actually one of my favorite writers period. Read more
Published on July 13 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised!
I bought this book at the store instead of online like usual. When i got home I immediately went to Amazon to see what my fellow readers had to say about it. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Cynthia L Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!
I enjoy it completely. Hot and very touching at times.
Published on July 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised!
I bought this book at the store instead of online like usual. When i got home I immediately went to Amazon to see what my fellow readers had to say about it. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by Cynthia L Boyce
5.0 out of 5 stars Another feather in JQ's cap
I thought Michael was wonderful. And it was such a a different approach to make the man the one who loved in silence. What a sweet man! Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by S. Reader
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