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When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons Book 6) by [Quinn, Julia]
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When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons Book 6) Kindle Edition

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Length: 390 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

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.
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"Smart, funny."
-- Time Magazine (Time Magazine )

Product Details

  • File Size: 941 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Publication Date: October 13, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1SC2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,715 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
To all those who gave this book a negative review because it wasn't all sweetness and light, I have to question your reading comprehension skills. If you knew from the other Bridgerton books that Frannie loved her husband very much, and you know (if you bothered to read the back of this one) that her beloved is now dead, how could you have not realized that this was going to be a darker novel? She is in mourning! She is not going to be boisterous and charming like her siblings. If she had been, you probably would have trashed Quinn for not making her somber enough. I haven't lost a spouse, but I imagine that falling in love again would be agonizing, and I think Quinn portrayed this brilliantly. As she did with Michael, who is struggling with his own guilt. But none of this should have been a surprise to anyone who took the time to figure out the plot ahead of time. If you were shocked by the more serious themes of this book, you have only yourselves to blame for not paying attention. Julia Quinn is an amazing writer, and I love that she used this book to show how broad her talent is. Not all of us want our authors pigeon-holed into writing the same book over and over again, only changing names and basic plot points. Brava, Ms. Quinn, and don't let a few folks who can't handle variety dampen your spirits.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Okay as you have probably already read this JQ book is a little different from Ms. Quinn's previous stories regardless of the series title. In this latest Bridgerton effort Ms. Quinn is short on humor and more focused on real emotion making this a much more emotional read then we are used to by this talented author. Does this make the read bad? Of course not. In fact it's nice to see Ms. Quinn stretch her talent by attempting to write a story that touches more on deep feelings regarding loss and confusion rather then wit and humor.

This story is actually suppose to take place simultaneously as "To Sir Phillip With Love" and "Romancing Mr. Bridgerton". Francesca Bridgerton is now a widow and is dealing with the death of her husband John. His cousin and good friend Michael has not known a time when he has not been in love with Francesca. For him it was love at first sight after their first meeting. His life is retched because he can't seem to find love anywhere except with the one that he can't have. After the death of John, Michael leaves for India and spends four years living away from Frannie with the hope that "out of sight, out of mind" will cure him of his love. This is not to be and when he returns he finds himself fighting his true desire once Francesca makes the announcement she wants a baby and is now willing to find another husband. Wish that it were him.

Francesca has mourned her sweet husband for four years and has decided she must join the ranks of the living. This means shedding her mourning and taking her place in society once again. While Michael has been abroad she has seen to his holdings and is happy to see his return.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
It seems to me that with each new novel Julia Quinn is trying to separate her stories more and more from the cookie cutter formula. In fact, she sets herself up for quite a big challenge with When He Was Wicked.
First of all Ms. Quinn defies convention by giving her heroine a husband with whom she is deeply in love--a husband who is not the hero of the story. Secondly, the hero of the story, Michael Stirling, is in love with our heroine before the story even begins.
Unlike many of Ms. Quinn's novels, this is no lighthearted read. The subjects of death and guilt play a major role in the lives of her characters. However, I disagree with the review. I do not believe the heavy subjects "weighed the book down," but rather fleshed it out instead. Had Ms. Quinn skimmed quickly through the grief, her characters would have lost much of their depth and a lot of my respect. Yes, there were moments when I felt a bit impatient. But the emotional build-up comes to such a splendid (and trust me, I mean splendid) climax when the hero and heroine come together, that I felt it was all worth the wait.
As to the characters, Michael Stirling ranks as my second favorite male right after Colin Bridgerton (who has a couple of lovely cameos in this one, by the way). He's the classic rake, only slightly altered by Ms. Quinn's lovely sense of character and honor. My biggest disappointment with this novel, however, was Francesca. She's much less quirky and a lot less interesting than her siblings, unfortunately. She troops through the novel like quite a martyr, which while I found admirable, it wasn't quite as endearing. However, the secondary characters are the typical Bridgerton fare, funny and entertaining as usual.
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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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