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When He Was Wicked

(Bridgertons #6)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  33,764 ratings  ·  1,734 reviews
Everything was so much simpler... 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
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 29th 2004 by Avon
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Gloria Yes :) It will make references to family members (previous stories) but it doesn't add/take away from the story. If anything you'll just be curious ab…moreYes :) It will make references to family members (previous stories) but it doesn't add/take away from the story. If anything you'll just be curious about the other stories and want to read them as well. Happy Reading! (less)

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Average rating 4.03  · 
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5 stars – Historical/Regency Romance

I’ll be honest, this is the book that attracted me to Julia Quinn’s Bridgertons to begin with and the story that I was most looking forward to reading in the series. I mean, with a title like “When He Was Wicked”? Well, I knew I simply couldn’t pass it up. Although I really liked this, surprisingly, it’s not my favorite of the series. That honor is still tied between the breathtaking, fairy tale romance An Offer From a Gentleman and the sweet, whimsical Romanc
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
This book recounts the age-old tale of falling in love with your best friend's girl...but what happens when you get your chance at her hand, albeit at the loss of your best friend through his untimely death?

This is a beautiful Regency romance on grief, loss, and moving on. I've read and mostly loved all the books featuring the Bridgerton family, and this is the book I return to time after time because I think it is the best in the series. It is written in your typical inestimable Julia Quinn sty
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
My Review:

This, the 6th installment of the Bridgerton series, is so different from the rest of the stories that it took me by surprise – a pleasant surprise. Having read and found the previous books lighter, funnier reads, I hadn’t expected to find this one much different. If there was ever any question as to Ms. Quinn’s ability to write a more intense, deeper story, When He Was Wicked has answered it with a resounding yes!

When He Was Wicked is the story of Michael Stirling, Rake Extraordinaire
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

In every life there is a turning point.
A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one's been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one's life will never be the same.

I was all over the place in my mind trying to rate this one. I did really enjoy it, despite my updates suggesting otherwise. The hero Michael Stirling was a fabulous character. He totally made up for
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
Book 6 and it is Francesca's turn. But she is already married you say? Yes indeed she is but life has a funny way of turning things upside down when you least expect it.

This was not my favourite book of the series so far. Basically I felt it was too long because the focus couple came together too soon and the rest of the book seemed very forced. There were some very long and very steamy sex scenes too which added little to the actual story.

Colin and Violet were the best characters in my opinio
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Francesca has been hovering in the background throughout the previous books. Did we ever even meet her ... she married and moved to Scotland but tragic circumstances rendered her "free" and Michael, who has loved her forever, is in a position to declare his love ... Michael, who "took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing." But guilt and society expectations are things that stand in the way of true happiness ...

Jacob Proffitt
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, steamy, audiobook
This is sixth in a series, but the characters in this one are almost determinedly independent and isolated. Further, this happens pretty much simultaneous with both book 4 and book 5. There's a scene with Colin (book 4) in this one that appears in both, but that doesn't mean you need to read in any particular order.

I really liked the premise of this story. And Quinn takes a chapter or two to establish the reality of the emotional stakes so we see Michael, John and Francesca interacting and can s

I loved this. I haven't read this series in order, I think I've read Sophie's story, but that's it. I've been told that the Bridgertons are entwined throughout the series so it's best read in order. But I gotta tell you, I loved this anyways and never felt I was lost or not privy to previous developments. I do plan on reading the rest of the series and only wish they're as good as this one.

So, Michael Stirling. The man had my attention from the first page. His forbidden love and acutely
Katrina Passick Lumsden
*Fanning myself*


This book should get two stars from me, but here's an interesting fact; Michael Stirling rates an entire star on his own. I found myself frustrated with Francesca's behavior. It's not that I couldn't understand it, just that it dragged on for far too long. I've noticed that a propensity to draw out a story is one of the weaknesses in Quinn's writing. This isn't the only book of hers I've read that had me heaving a sigh, rolling my eyes, and uttering -

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But if you can
Book Wonderland
*2.5 stars

This book is my least favorite of the series.
Francesca is the worst Bridgerton for sure. She was really annoying in this book. I really hated how she was fooling Michael, because she couldn't made up her mind! She was constantly running away (literally!) from her feelings.

Sep 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
After four long years of mourning her beloved husband Francesca Bridgerton Stirling is finally going back into society. Still young, she feels the longing to be a mother, and has decided to find herself a husband. But when her husband’s cousin and once her close friend returns, her simple plan seems to fly out the window.
Michael Stirling has been in love with Francesca for many years, and after the sudden death of his cousin, his life was turned upside down. Feeling he was betraying his cous
hmmmm.... I'm very torn on the rating.

This is my first JQ novel and not sure if it was the novel I picked or JQ that is not my style.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying she's a bad writer. She has legions of fans. I'm just not quite sure she's for me. Perhaps I should try one of her more humorous novels before giving up.

The setup here was quite realistic in many ways and I was drawn into the first half. The loss of the heroine's first husband and hero's best friend/cousin was dealt with well. The
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Bridgerton series fans, readers who like regency with spice
Ahh Julia Quinn, the best comfort read out there. Not only is this an excellent comfort read but it’s comfort with a surprising twist. I had to check more than once that I was reading a Juia Quinn and not Lisa Kleypas whose steam scenes can be a whole lot steamier than Quinn’s. This book was fantastic!

Filled with emotion that starts out simmering and ends up ready to firecracker high in the sky, here’s the story of Francesca Bridgerton and Michael Stirling friends/cousins through Francesca’s hus
Fani *loves angst*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Preparations necessary when reading When He Was Wicked:

Materials needed:
bucket of ice -to douse the heat
handkerchief -to wipe off the sweat
blood pressure cuff and heart rate monitor -to monitor if your BP and pulse are still in safe levels
guardian angel -to prevent infection of wickedness
handcuffs -to prevent being wicked
sedative -to reduce excitement

Preferential reading temperature:
20° or lower -things can get hot

(1) Breathe slowly. (Especially when approaching Chapter 17)
This is definitely the most intense of the Bridgerton series that I've read so far.

Francesca Bridgerton is Michael's ultimate "Jessie's Girl." He has been completely in love with her since the first time he met her. She is his cousin's (who is like a brother to him) wife. He never tries to win her, or even wish for her, but has resigned himself to bitter acceptance and self hatred for secretly wanting his cousin's wife. He tamps all his feelings down and is ashamed of himself.

Well, the cousin d
This one is one of the very best in the series, surpassed only by Colin and Penelope's story in my opinion.

Francesca has always been strangely absent in this series. It's been four years since I read the first books but if I'm not mistaken she's only been mentioned but is never actually there until her own book. I see now that there is a reason for that. Francesca doesn't really fit in with the rest of the Bridgertons. Her personality is different, I would say she's more serious or at least more
Joanna Loves Reading
Different narrator for this one after listening to Rosalyn Landor for the previous books. It was somewhat jarring. I preferred Landor’s narration, and the emotional impact did not feel as strong here. That’s ok, because this story is an emotional roller coaster. It’s high angst, and I love it, which is a rare sentiment from me. Normally I prefer low angst stories. But it’s just done so well here. The emotional journey for both characters is potent and believable. The loves scenes are some of the ...more
Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
This is my least favourite book from the series not because I didn't like the chemistry between the characters or the characters. I struggled a lot with the forbidden couple who found love after her husband's death because it seemed that they never got over their grief before falling into a relationship which felt wrong in a way? It then kind of led into their romance and capped off in the end with them accepting their grief. For Francesca, she finally forgave herself for loving someone other th ...more
One of - if not THE - best of the Bridgerton series, this is a bit darker in tone than most of the others.

I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Simon Prebble, who does an absolutely wonderful job. I don't have time to write a full review at the moment, but perhaps one day...
Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW)
2.5 stars

This book...was slow.

I didn't really find it as exciting as the rest of the Bridgerton series (n i've read them all.)Even though it did have the family's trilling flavour, the book lacked JQ's usual sarcastic humour and chemistry...though I guess the treasure hunting was supposed to make up for it.

All in all an OK READ.
Sam (AMNReader)
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m not sure why I’m having such trouble reviewing these...I love reading them....

Will add....angsty.....and like, complicated...
When He Was Wicked is the sixth installment of the Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn. It is about Francesca Bridgerton, who had a love marriage, but her husband died two years ago. Her husband’s cousin, Michael, is in love with her since they first met, and slowly Francesca realizes that she feels the same for him.

There is a serious problem with Francesca's character: her grief is not real, and her dilemma is exaggerated. She's already decided to marry again, so I really don’t understand her hes
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the ninth Quinn I've read, and always after finishing one of her books I've thought, well, that was quite nice and clever and well-written. There have been some books of hers I've rated two stars. There were quite a few I thought were good, solid three star reads, and then there was Romancing Mister Bridgerton, which had many elements I loved. I consider it a favorite but not a five star read. All in all, while I've liked and enjoyed Julia Quinn's books, I never really got the hype unti ...more
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
This book!!! Absolutely amazing! My fave Julia Quinn.
I had two primary concerns going into When He Was Wicked: 1) I was curious to see what Quinn would do with a heroine who GASP isn't a virgin!!1 and 2) I was pretty sure she'd never given more than like five minutes thought to Francesca until it was time to write this book.

Francesca was (prior to this book and following it, honestly) the Invisible Bridgerton. I'm fairly certain that she's only ever present in a scene once in the previous five books, and that's a scene wherein Simon Bassett can't
Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου
Δεύτερη ανάγνωση και οφείλω να παραδεχτώ πως το λάτρεψα για ακόμα μια φορά!
(Η παρακάτω κριτική είναι από την πρώτη φορά που το διάβασα αλλά δε θα την αλλάξω)


That was a pleasant surprise for me! I loved it! But why this came as a surprise when it’s more than obvious that I love this series? Well, because although I love all the Bridgertons, Francesca wasn’t something special for me. She wasn’t as outgoing as the rest of her family. But after reading her story
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-2017-faves
This was by far my favorite book of this series, and it's not even close. Honestly, when I started these books, I was looking forward to this one so much...just based on the title. Yep. Because oh I do love the wicked ones. But, confession, I have yet to truly love and connect to any book in this series. There is something about the writing (the over use of certain words) and the pacing that has made these books ones I can set down for days before getting back to. And I can't read them back to b ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it did not like it
This romance just did not work for me, mainly because I found Francesca tiresome and because I couldn't help but think if her husband never died she'd have been blissfully happy without the hero. Not the stuff romances are made of.
Jacqueline's Reads
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
3.5 It was okay stars

When he was wicked was okay. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favorite. I found the storyline a little heart breaking, but really different.

Michael has been in love with Francesca since the first moment he saw her. The only thing is the first time he saw her was at his cousin’s wedding. She was the bride. Isn’t that so sad?! But kind of wonderful at the same time.

I love the Hero chasing after the Heroine, so that totally saved the book for me.

A few reviewers found the beginni
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and and if you watch reruns of the game show The Weakest Link you might just catch her winning the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, an ...more

Other books in the series

Bridgertons (8 books)
  • The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)
  • The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2)
  • An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3)
  • Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4)
  • To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons, #5)
  • It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7)
  • On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons, #8)

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“In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and clear that one feels as if one's been hit in the chest, all the breath knocked out, and one knows, absolutely knows without the merest hint of a shadow of a doubt that one's life will never be the same.” 161 likes
“Oh, God, Francesca,Now there’s a good one.Why?Why? Why?” He gave each one a different tenor, as if he were testing out the word, asking it to
different people.
“Why?” he asked again, this time with increased volume
as he turned around to face her.
“Why? It’s
because I love you, damn me to hell. Because I’ve always loved you. Because I loved you when you
were with John, and I loved you when I was in India, and God only knows I don’t deserve you, but I
love you, anyway.”
Francesca sagged against the door.
“How’s that for a witty little joke?” he mocked. “I loveyou. I loveyou, my cousin’s wife. I loveyou, the
one woman I can never have. I loveyou, Francesca Bridger-ton Stirling.”
More quotes…