Thursday, November 30

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

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…

My first JQ book. And what a great one it was. It might have been more expensive than the usual used book but it was well worth it. Her writing style is amazing--almost like a historical version of the tone you get when reading an SB. I read it all in one sitting and I will probably have more one-sitting reading sessions with JQ books. No doubt about that. I have become the latest Quinn convert.

I'm more than ready to sell my soul to bag myself a Michael Stirling. What a hero! (Okay, I'm grinning here like an idiot but so what?! LOL!) His whole character was abso-freakin'-lutely wonderful. He might have been a rake but he didn't shy away from the word love as if it's an infectious disease. He admitted right when he saw Francesca that he had fallen in love with her. And he really was a man of principles as he did his best to hide his feelings from Francesca, for not begrudging his cousin John the earldom and all the things that come with it, for feeling guilty when everything suddenly became his after John's untimely death. And even when he was already married to Francesca, he never forgot to remember his cousin.

I gathered from other reviews that a number of people didn't really like this book because they felt that they didn't know Francesca well enough. Seeing as this was a part of series, I see how that would matter. So I'm actually glad I got to read this first out of all the books in the series because I was able to form an unbiased opinion of her and her story. And I found myself really liking her (when I was supposed to hate her because I want Michael for myself). The best thing about her was that she didn't need to be seduced by him so she'd fall in love with him. She felt the spark before there was anything physical between them.

And Michael being Michael (did I say I WANT him, yet?), he did seduce her. But only because he couldn't make her say yes to his marriage proposal right away. A tactic I wouldn't mind being turned on me, that's for sure. Their love scenes were so sexy. Oh la la! And added with:

And he, who had slept with countless women, suddenly realized that he'd been nothing but a green boy.
Because it had never been like this.
That had been his body. This was his soul.

...made everything just about perfect.

And for Francesca and John to have had a good marriage didn't take anything from Francesca and Michael's story. If anything, it was good for their storyline. Because had she had a bad first marriage, it would be a given that whatever she'd have with Michael would be better, however mediocre it might've been. It was wonderful knowing it was a great love after another great love and that Michael wasn't second best. And the best thing about it was that he didn't have to be someone else:
"You didn't have to do anything," she whispered. "You just had to be."

Final verdict: 9/10. Must-read, must-have.


Marg said...

I'm about to read this myself! I hope that I enjoy it as much as you did!

Holly said...

Oh snap, this was your first JQ? I didn't really care for it too much when I read it, but only because it's part of the Bridgerton series and I didn't think it belonged.

Glad you liked it. ;)

Kookie said...

Hey, Marg--
Welcome to my little book blog! I hope you do enjoy the book and don't get disappointed by it.

I know...I was living under a rock! Nah, I just got back to reading historicals 'cause I've been into contemporary novels for the last two years. I think. Now, I'm looking for historicals and medievals.

Hmm, now I have some very big expectations for the other books in the Bridgerton series 'cause if I liked this one, then the others ought to max out my Final Verdict meter. :o)

Devonna said...

Oh just wait ~ I love the Bridgertons! My favorites are Romancing Mr. Bridgerton (Colin & Penelope), The Viscount Who Loved Me (Anthony & Kate), and The Duke and I (Simon & Daphne). You are in for some real treats.

Kookie said...

I have been bookhunting for more JQ books and unfortunately, they're oh so hard to find. But I definitely will be on the lookout for those other titles. Thanks, Dev.

Dylan said...

Oh goodness you have to read the rest of the series...starting with:

-The Duke and I
-The Viscount Who Loved Me
-Benedicts Book, I forgot what it's called though
-Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
-To Sir Phillip with Love
-When He Was Wicked
-It's In His Kiss
-On Your Way to the Wedding

This is a great series and I thought that WHWW was a great addition to the Benedict series because the darkness of the book reflected Francesca's personality and she was a very dark and mysterious member of the quirky and bright Bridgertons so I thought it worked out well.

Kookie said...

I definitely am going to look for those books when I go bookhunting...I just hope I'd be so lucky as to find even a couple in the list. Thanks, Dee! ;o)

Liz said...

WHWW is one of my favorites in the series, primarily because of Michael's character. He's hot! This is one I wish could be made into a movie... and then Orlando Bloom could star as Michael!

Chantal said...

Of the books I have read from the BRidgerton series, this is my favourite.

Kat O+ said...

I stumbled upon this series a little late, too. But that's OK - it meant I didn't have to wait ages for every book to come out. :-)

I agree with Devonna's top 3 - in the same order! But I admit to liking frivolity and farce and having Enchanting Pleasures by Eloisa James on my keeper list so I don't know how much credibility I deserve.

mingtsai said...

Oh, the woes of unspoken and unrequited love. What I loved about this book was how well written Michael was. I could feel his emotions throughout the book. Out of the whole Bridgerton series, I think this is the one with the heaviest theme and tone. But I really enjoyed reading it.

Kookie said...

What! I just noticed this comment. SMH.

I agree with you. It's how different this book was from the other Bridgerton books in the series that made it stand out from the rest. And Michael?...swoon.

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