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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give this book 6 stars if I could.
You do not have to have read the other brigerton books to read this.
Francesca is married to John Earl of Kilmartin whom she loves(he loves her and is a good husband - there is nothing wrong with him unlike in some books!), she is freinds with his best friend and cousin Michael.
Michael has loved Francesca from the moment he saw her but has kept that fact hidden...
Published on 20 July 2004 by april-showers

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars It's awful.
An endless lump of pure tedium. An author who loves starting her staccato sentences with prepositions and the appearance of a first class howler ~ Michael answers Francesca "collegiately" ~ helped drive this reader away from this presentation.
Published 9 months ago by Queen Mab


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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would give this book 6 stars if I could., 20 July 2004
You do not have to have read the other brigerton books to read this.
Francesca is married to John Earl of Kilmartin whom she loves(he loves her and is a good husband - there is nothing wrong with him unlike in some books!), she is freinds with his best friend and cousin Michael.
Michael has loved Francesca from the moment he saw her but has kept that fact hidden from all.
The story starts with Johns death and deals with the horror of finding your husband dead, well, but with a light touch that stops it from being a depressing book.
From Michaels perspective it deals with the fact that he now inherits the title, land and money that was Johns. Whilst only ever wanting Francesca, it deals well with how he views/feels about all the changes.
So the book then becomes the journey of how they end up together, realising their emotions and accepting others. The 'romantic' scenes are hot but blend and feel very much a part of the story.
It is a beautifully writen book blending strong emotions with the lightest brush strokes of humour whilst keeping the feel of the regency time without the clichés of a lot of other regency romances.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bridgertons Are Back, 17 July 2004
By 
Farfalla (MA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
And this time, it is Francesca's turn. While many romance authors find a formula and stick with it, (and lets face it, there is a set form for all romance books, and it is the rare one that doesn't follow it.)JQ does a remarkably good job using humor, plot and most importantly of all character to keep her novels fresh, funny and not seemingly cookie cutter images of all her others. This is even more remarkable in that she has written a long stretch about a single family.
In this instalment of the Bridgerton family saga, Francesca is already married to a man she is in love with. WHAT? Obviously, this is the begining, and not the end of the book so something must go wrong, which it does, and she must find happiness again. Since this is JQ, there is a fair bit of humor involved, though not as much as most of the others, as a major theme in this novel is grief and berevement. But don't despair, Francesca wins out in the end, and now we all must wait for the next Bridgerton book to come down the pipe.
I highly recomend this to anyone, whether or not they have read the other books in this series. The autor kindly does not make having read her previous efforts a requirement of understanding the plot, although readers of the series will enjoy the other family member's appearances. If you are a stickler for historical accuracy, leave your quibbles at the door. This is a work of fiction, not a history essay.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Wicked, 16 May 2007
By 
Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
Francesca Bridgerton is not like the rest of her siblings - she's quiet where they're loud, sly where they're exuberant and generally a more private person. She is also a widow.

At the age of twenty she met and married John Stirling, Earl of Kilmartin, and even if she hadn't loved him so much she would have been grateful to him for rescuing her from her family. Not that she doesn't love them, she just prefers not to have to deal with them all the time. But in John she's found her match. They share everything - including their sense of humour - and as a bonus, marriage to John includes friendship with Michael, John's delightfully wicked cousin.

For two years Francesca's life is perfect, but then John is gone, and Michael - the one person who knew John as she knew him and can fully understand her loss - is avoiding her.

Michael Stirling has a secret: for all his wicked ways he's actually in love. The most wicked thing of all is that Francesca is the object of his affections. But he loved John as a brother and never wished him dead, not even for Francesca. Now the world expects him to take his cousin's place, but he doesn't want it. He doesn't want any of it. Except Francesca. And she is the one thing he can never, ever have. Tormented by grief and guilt, and unable to face her, he flees to India.

Four years on Francesca still misses John, but she knows it's time to stop mourning him. She wants children of her own, but the last thing she expects to find in London is Michael.

Ready to take up his responsibilities at last, Michael is home. The ton buzzes with joy over the return of the 'Merry Rake', now a highly eligible earl, but he's soon feeling far from merry. Francesca wants to marry, and since he can't have her for himself the last thing he wants to watch is some undeserving idiot court and win her.

Until a chat with Colin Bridgerton puts an idea into his head, one he has never permitted himself to even dream of before - what if he asks Francesca to marry him?

This tale is different from the rest of the Bridgertons, different, in fact, from JQ's usual style, but no less enjoyable. This is no lighthearted romp, full of sharp, witty scenes and farcical moments. Such things aren't in Francesca's nature and wouldn't suit. Instead we have a much more thoughtful, emotional tale of love, grief and coping with loss to the point of freeing oneself to love again.

Oh, and wickedness. Well, you can't have a hero known as the 'Merry Rake' without raising the temperature by a few saucy degrees.

But Michael's about more than seduction and sex, though things were much simpler when that's all he was. In order to win Francesca he first has to deal with his own doubts and demons, before tackling hers. Love is far from a sweet, gentle emotion for him.

For me one of the delights of this book comes from the chapter openers, which JQ has perfected throughout the Bridgerton novels. Here they're made up of extracts of letters between characters, some even to the deceased John. I think they're beautifully executed and add another dimension to the tale. And once more JQ delivers a gorgeous epilogue - the last line of which almost brings me to tears.

Hmm... perhaps I'm sentimental, but whether you are or not, this tale adds a new depth to the Bridgerton series, and is yet another winner from JQ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breaking Molds/ Remaking masterpieces, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (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 The Best Julia Quinn I've Read!, 5 July 2008
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
I want to start at the end, and agree with a fellow reviewer that the last line of this novel always brings tears to my eyes. It is quite possibly the most poignant and emotional last line I've ever read, and these themes resonate throughout this novel.

Michael and Francesca both share a common love - John Stirling, his brother and her husband. When John dies, these two are hit the hardest, and they have to find a way to deal with the loss of their beloved John. What makes it harder for Michael (not that Francesca knows this) is that he has always secretly loved Francesca, and has to struggle to keep his feelings hidden. Francesca, while she might not have been "in love" with Michael to begin with, nevertheless needs him in her life as much as he needs her, and the evidence for this is the immediate aftermath of John's death, when Francesca and Michael's relationship becomes strained and seemingly irrevocably changed.

What raises this novel above all of the others from this series is its serious contemplation of the idea of life after love, and also of second loves. Can one really fall in love twice? If so, can it ever be to the same degree as before, and will falling in love with someone new betray the memories of the previous love? These questions are raised throughout the novel and particularly in a wonderful exchange between Francesca and her mother Violet. To me, what the novel wants to tell us is that life provides us with many opportunities to love. They may not be to the same degree, or even of the same kind, but there is plenty of love to be found if only we could open our hearts a little more, and teach ourselves to ignore the guilt that our over-active minds can create, focusing on only what our hearts tell us. This is a beautiful love story, and even though it is set in the Regency period, it has a resonance for every generation and every period of time. I cannot say enough about this novel - if you read only one Julia Quinn novel, make it this one! And don't forget to check out the 2nd Epilogue that accompanies this novel (it can be found on Quinn's website) - it gives us more insight into Michael and Francesca's lives, and is as wonderfully written as this novel itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 Sep 2007
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
If you like humour in your romance books then look no further than Julia Quinn, she has some brilliant dialogue between the characters which will make you laugh your socks off. Loved the character Michael, he seems such a caring man, not the normal "love them and leave them" hero of so many romances. You can almost feel his pain and anguish at being in love with his cousin's wife, and then the guilt when his cousin dies but he is still here and STILL in love with his wife. Well worth reading; I have read one other in this series and hopefully will eventually read them all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent addition to the Bridgerton series, 10 Dec 2006
By 
Helen Hancox "Auntie Helen" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
"When He Was Wicked" is the story of Francesca Bridgerton and it comes chronologically after "An Offer For A Gentleman" and is the fifth book in the series although some of this book is contemporaneous with "Romancing Mr Bridgerton" and "From Sir Philip With Love".

If you like any of the other Bridgerton series you will of course enjoy this book - it contains Julia Quinn's trademark sparkling dialogue (although less humour in this instalment) and her good pacing and interesting characters. Like her other Regencies, historical accuracy isn't a major interest and so you'll find errors in speech and other things but it doesn't matter too much in this book as the rest of the story is so good.

Other reviewers have summarised it but basically Francesca Bridgerton is happily married to John Stirling, Earl Of Kilmartin, and is oblivious to the fact that John's cousin Michael is in love with her. When John dies unexpectedly Francesca turns to Michael for cousinly support but he can't deal with the guilt of his cousin's death and the fact that he has inherited the earldom and runs away to India. Francesca does a bit of running away in this novel too and it takes some time for the pair of them to get their heads straight and realise what other people do - that they would make a good marriage.

This book is rather more detailed in the bedroom than some of the others - it has several seduction scenes. These are actually done rather well and the romance is there in this book as the two protagonists dance around each other trying to make sense of their feelings. The dialogue is characterised by half-sentences and "I don't know what I feel" and stuff like that but I suppose that's more accurate in terms of real conversations than full sentences. The interactions with the other Bridgertons are also in this book although not as annoyingly as in some others and thank goodness the wretched Lady Whistledown isn't in this one!

All in all it was a good read and tackled the subject of bereavement and the feelings of guilt that those left behind may feel very well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very wicked!, 31 Dec 2013
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
This is definitely a bit different than the other books in the Bridgerton saga. Not just because it starts with Francesca already married. Also she is a little different from her sisters, much more serious. I loved Michael, as the hero, hiding his love by becoming the Merry Rake. The bedroom scenes really are more detailed in this one. Michael definitely is very wicked indeed, but also very loveable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It's awful., 22 Nov 2013
An endless lump of pure tedium. An author who loves starting her staccato sentences with prepositions and the appearance of a first class howler ~ Michael answers Francesca "collegiately" ~ helped drive this reader away from this presentation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 24 May 2013
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This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
great book, you just wish they would wake up and smell the coffee, a really great love story, great read
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When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family)
When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) by Julia Quinn (Paperback - 2 Nov 2006)
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