I'm always looking for new authors, and when my friend Nicole recommended When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn I knew I just had to try her out! Nicole and I have very similar taste in books and I have to say I owe her b/c this book was SUPERB and any historical lover will NOT be disappointed! When He Was Wicked is the 6th book in the Bridgerton Series and takes place at the same time as both Romancing Mr. Bridgerton and To Sir Phillip, With Love.
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...
***Warning: This review contains SPOILERS!***
Monroe: So Nicole you recommended this book to me and it was my first time reading Julia Quinn...I was SO HAPPY I listened to you! :o) So what made you pick up this book?
Nicole: First off, I’m so glad you liked this book! It is one of my all time fav’s. Back in March (I think) I bought an assortment of books off eBay. This book was included. I hadn’t read any other books from the Bridgerton series. In fact I’d never even read a Julia Quinn book. I read it and fell in love with Michael and Francesca! Lol I’ve read it about 3 times since I think!! There is so much feeling in this book, I think that is what draws me too it.
Monroe: I really have to agree with you there! Ok so lets just jump right in!
This isnt your typical historical romance by far! Did you predict John dieing in the beginning? I KNEW he was when he complained of a headache! lol It was super sad when Frannie was telling Michael to wake him :*(
Nicole: I knew something was going to have to happen, because it was a romance novel and it opened with Michael so…..somehow he had to end up with her. It came quickly though, but yea…when he had a headache I saw the foreshadowing. It was heart wrenching when she discovered him. I agree, this wasn’t your typical romance and that is one of the things I love about it. She was in love with her husband. I do think she had somewhat of an odd infatuation with Michael, but I think had her husband lived she would have been very happy with him. I loved the deep emotion going on with Michael and his desire for her but his guilt. He was just such a good, good man! I also loved that John was so comfortable to let Michael and Frannie be close. He was so trusting of both of them, and I know John knew that Frannie loved Michael (not like that at the time). It was all so complex. I was so mad at him for leaving!!!! But, it made the story what it was…don’t you think?
Monroe: I really do! I loved that Michael loved Frannie BUT he kept everything aside b/c he loved John so much. And ya Frannie and Michaels relationship prior to Johns death was...somewhat odd. With her asking about his "Wicked" times but I think it was almost an innocent flirtation. Some gals are just like that...FLIRTS! lol Then after John died and Michael and Frannie had their fall out...when that damn book said 4 years later I about dropped outta my seat! lol 4 YEARS! JEEZ! But I love how you got connected by the notes at the beginning of each chapter. It filled in some gaps and feeling that you wondered about. But when they got back together...*sigh their love was just so different than hers and Johns...not better, not worse, just different!
So we gotta talk about the kiss that shook the world! lol Esp since it took over 200 pages to get to! BUT I have to give props to JQ b/c it didnt faze me one bit. And normally Im lookin for some lovin but I enjoyed the ride! The kiss just made it even sweeter!
Nicole: Yea, I felt the same way when it said 4 years later!!!!!!!! The letters at the beginning I absolutely loved. It made me sad that he tried to correspond with her but she didn’t respond, however that made their reunion that much sweeter and uncomfortable! (which makes for great reading!!) I agree, I was dying for them to have contact but she definitely did it right. I wouldn’t have loved their “love” as much had Frannie fallen for him too quickly. It was so interesting that it seemed soooo obvious that they should be together. He needed to marry…she wanted to marry and have children. I was so excited when they finally kissed! But, my favorite love scene by far was in the cottage!!! Whew! I love that she turned it around on him. Can you imagine what he was thinking…it was his ultimate dream come true! Usually it’s the guys that are hot in romance novels…but she made that scene sizzle!!
It broke my heart that he had malaria, but I loved that he allowed her to care for him and see him at his worst. At first I thought..”oh no you don’t Julia Quinn…you make this guy die and we are over!!!”
Monroe: YES omg the cottage scene...*sigh I about had an asthma attack! She was telling him to do things "her way" etc! BUT if you notice how the table turned when he finally got to touch her...oh but she didnt mind him being in control after that! Man this man knew when to slow it down and when to speed things up! WOOWEE!
When he made the proposition to her about getting married I was SO EXCITED! lol The thing is was that you know she was floored but in a way it HAD to make somewhat sense to her! They were both looking and he made a good point about saying she wouldnt know if she got with someone who would treat her badly. And when he said "I would give you children, or at least try" my heart squeezed for them! B/c you know he wanted that!
And omg when the cat is let out of the bag about his feeling the entire time he knew her didnt your jaw just drop! That fight they had broke my heart! But when she finally says yes and he says something about he would tie her to the bed until she is swollen with a babe (or whatever) and she said yes...omg!!! :*) OH and he asks why say yes and she said she wasnt sure but she just knew yes! OMG! EPP! See she knew it was right...she didnt know WHY it was right she just knew! Sometimes life is full of uncertainties, but we just feel its right! Yay!
Nicole: Michael could do no wrong for me in this book. I was so glad that he followed her out to the house when she left. He HAD too. (And you know she had to want him too also!!) The clincher for me was him finding her at the grave. Uh, my heart just swelled. I was SO GLAD that he got to hear her say the things she did. It could not have been more perfect……*tears*. Lol And of course the letter from Johns mother was amazing. I could just go on and on about how much I love this book…and…..to you I have!!
I just love that she (and Michael) could love John honestly and genuinely and then be given a second chance at love. And how amazing to have found that you have another man to love you, that has loved you all along…and…loved you enough to have done the right thing so selflessly. Ok, send the damn book back…I’m ready to read it again!!
It also doesn’t hurt that I love that inside flap cover art!! Whew! Hottie!
Monroe: WELL PUT! I love that they both without a doubt love John. And their love didn't get compared to John and Frannies. She even said herself that it was just a different kind of love. It was sweet that Michael got the love of his life and Frannie got a second chance at love. Finding two loves in one lifetime is a rare thing.
And the end of that book was superb! Her realizing her love for Michael was so strong and how she wanted to tell John! :*) omg! And her talking to his grave and Michael approaching...took my breath away! I loved how powerful all of that was. It wasn't quite a goodbye to John b/c no matter what he would always be in their lives. But it was an understanding between her and John...she understood that John would want this and she wanted to thank him and let him know she was moving forward. Oh dear im gonna cry!
I loved this book to pieces and am SO glad that you sent this book to me! Thanks for sharing! :o)
I give this book an A+. How could you not? It kept me on the edge of my seat and my little heart pitter pattering! How's about you Nic? Any last thoughts?
Nicole: Well it goes without saying that I give this book an A++. I'm so glad you enjoyed it also. I love historical romance, even the ones that follow the overused mold of "boy meets girl- lust - drama - misunderstanding - a big ton ball - marriage". However, I loved that this was different. It was emotional, tragic, and heartfelt. It will always be a favorite! (Don't forget the 2nd epilogue...it's available on Julia Quinn's site and it is totally the icing on the cake!!)
When He Was Wicked is the sixth book in the Bridgerton series. The rest are as follows:
#1: The Duke and I
#2: The Viscount Who Loved Me
#3: An Offer from a Gentleman
#4: Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
#5: To Sir Phillip, With Love
#7: It's In His Kiss
#8: On the Way to the Wedding
Again, I just want to thanks to Nicole for stopping by at Breezing Through and helping me find a wonderful book! I enjoyed doing this review with you and hope to share many more reviews with you later on! :o) HAPPY READING!