The best book by Julia Quinn,
This review is from: When He Was Wicked: Number 6 in series (Bridgerton Family) (Paperback)
Julia Quinn writes funny, quirky and engaging stories. Her trademark must be that the heroes and heroines are intelligent, strong-willed and not shy to speak their minds (and boy do they talk!). This invariably lead to many and long dialogues where characters indulge in wit-bantering and battle of wills. This is Ms Quinn's signature. The result are often very cute and endearing love scenes. However, the bantering often time become super indulgent - they are often overly long and unnecessary. Which is why I find most of her books although funny and refreshing, are on the whole tiresome and irritating. The worst example must be "Minx" (1 star). A majority of her books fair only slightly better. 2 stars for "Dancing at Midnight", "Brighter Than the Sun", "Everything and the Moon", To Catch an Heiress", "To Marry a Marquis", "An Offer from a Gentleman", "It's In His Kiss" and "On the Way to the Wedding" - all of them start promisingly enough but they are eclipsed unfortunately by too many noisy chatters - two people, it seems, just can't have a decent conversation without endless interruptions from other minor characters! Many a times, dialogues just seem forced and reads like a formula: I am intelligent therefor I will argue to within an inch of my life. Reading can indeed become laborious! The overwhelming impression of these books are that they are tedious, tiresome and irritating!
Which is why I was extremely pleased with "When He Was Wicked" (6th book of the Bridgerton Series). This must be because the characters are so very different from her usual ones. For a start, Francesca Bridgerton is not a opinionated young virgin (like her sisters Daphne, Eloise and Hyacinth) but a subdued and restrained widow. The hero, Michael, is equally refreshing - he is deep, brooding and very intense! There is an intensity and maturity about this book that is sadly not present in other Quinn's books. The only other book that I found to be as appealing is "To Sir Philip With Love"(4 stars). In this story, Eloise Bridgerton becomes involved with another deep, brooding and intense man. She may be the most opinionated of all Bridgerton but she is tempered by Sir Philip's maturity. I love that she learns to be a better person!
I would also recommend "Splendid", "The Duke and I" and "The Viscount who Loved Me" (3 stars). The novels start in typical Quinn: light and funny (more banterings than I would like). The second halves though are beautifully serious and intense.
Excerpt from the back cover of "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 be 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 thrity-six hours longer - the ocassion 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."