Monday 10 April 2023

Book Review | When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn | prettylittlewriter

'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...’

This is probably my second favourite of the Bridgerton novels so far! (#3 Benedict is still my fav).

It starts with Michael Stirling pining over his cousin’s wife, whom he’s been in love with since her first met her, and his internal monologue is showcasing his turmoil about how he can’t have her.


Then pretty soon after (maybe even the first chapter?!) his cousin John dies, and Francesca is left widowed.


Michael, ever the gentleman, still refuses to consider that he could now be with Frannie; it would be disrespectful towards John and Frannie didn’t feel that way about him, did she?


Francesca doesn’t consider Michael as a romantic prospect for quite a while throughout the novel, talking about him as her best friend, and like a brother to her. The relationship between them was quite special, and I loved seeing how close they were without any romance involved at the start, and it was quite apparent to me that John would definitely have approved of them together after his death (he even comments upon how Michael looks after her when he’s not around, before his death).


We skip ahead 4 years after John’s death, and Michael has been in India for the last 4 years, unable to cope being around Francesca knowing his feelings towards her.


Upon his return, he meets Francesca in London unexpectedly (she is ready to find a new husband), and it soon transpires that he has caught malaria on his travels.


This is the first time they both have some intimate relations, as Francesca takes care of him during his fever spells.


As the story progresses, Francesca starts to realise that she is beginning to have feelings for him, but is determined not to act on them to honour John’s name.


The one thing that infuriated me a little bit was how much they both refused to give in to their feelings. It took them nearly ¾ of the novel before they started having any romantic/intimate encounters, as they were both being incredibly stubborn that it wasn’t the ‘done’ thing.


I will say however, that once the spicy scenes started, they were brilliant. I would even go as far as to say that this is the spiciest of the first 6 books! The scene where Francesca is taking charge over Michael was *chefs kiss*.


I also really liked how much Michael considered Francesca’s feelings throughout, even though he knew she wanted him after their first encounter, he would always wait for her consent before doing anything.


Overall, I really enjoyed this one, and it’s definitely one that I look forward to seeing play out on the TV show!


4/5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment