Book Review: When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

“And all she could think was that her life was passing her by, and if she didn’t do something soon, she’d die this way.

― Julia Quinn, When He Was Wicked

The sixth book in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series is titled When He Was Wicked. The third daughter and sixth child of the Bridgerton family, Francesca Bridgerton, is the main character in the book.

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Synopsis from Goodreads...

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 reaction to this novel...

Nothing is more important to Francesca Bridgerton than being herself. She is the only one of the eight siblings who has a romantic story that we don’t get to watch from the start. Eloise is mentioned a few times in the novel, but she never takes on a functioning role once we learn she was married and became a widow. She receives her second romance tale in this one, with her desire for a child taking precedence. She was having reproductive issues and desperately needed a child at the same time. Going through this myself made the story more personal for me, allowing me to understand her thoughts when she announced that she needed her own kids, and it gave me hope that she would find her own happy ending. I was pleased when she discovered her second chance love story at the time, and the later epilogue made me realize that it was probably better than the first.

In one statement, I can simply express why I felt this book was fantastic: I liked how Michael admired Francesca in this novel. It was distinct from the following Bridgerton books because of the depth of Michael’s adoration for her (from the beginning of the story), and it was an energizing break from the manner of previous books where the main character doesn’t realize he loves his partner till the finish of the book. In this novel, I admired Michael and had an affinity for both Michael and Francesca, which is unusual for characters in a book.

I also felt that “When He Was Wicked” was a lot steamier than the other five volumes, and I think it’s amazing how Ms. Julia Quinn manages to make each sibling’s story unique in so many ways. I didn’t find the narrative to be depressing or boring, as some of the reviews I read earlier suggested. It wasn’t as cheery or funny as some of the other Bridgerton stories, but that just served to highlight the protagonists’ love story even more.

I think Julia Quinn is an amazing, extraordinary writer to have the option to make characters that shock and excite the readers particularly in a series like this where she is composing a book about each Bridgerton siblings. In any case, above all her characters in her books, as of now, Michael and Francesca were to die for. They made me extremely upset a few times prior to sorting my broken heart at once and I adored each moment of it.

I highly recommend it to everyone out there and truly this book is a must read.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨(4.5/5)

Where to buy this book...


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