Series: Bridgerton #6
Genres: Historical Romance
Publication date: June 29, 2004
Publisher: Avon Books
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
How I got it: From the library
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
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...
After being mostly disappointed by S2 of Bridgerton on Netflix, I needed to heal my heart by reading one of Julia Quinn’s masterpieces. I was torn between rereading The Viscount Who Loved Me (for the second time this month) or picking up where I’d left off in the series. I decided as much as I wanted to get JQ’s version of Kanthony to rinse the bad taste of the adaptation out of my mouth, a new couple might be exactly what I needed. I think I was right. I loved it so, so much. In fact, it just might be my favorite in the series so far. Or, at the very least, tied for the top spot.
These days, it’s pretty rare for me to focus on a book long enough to read it in one sitting. Or nearly one sitting at any rate. I started When He Was Wicked on audio while I was out running errands. I continued with it while doing chores around my apartment. Chores I’ve been putting off for quite a while now, but this story was giving me life and I didn’t want to stop listening. I ended up reading nearly half of it on audio before finally deciding I couldn’t do any more chores and picked up the paperback to continue. I even read past my bedtime because I couldn’t get enough of Frannie and Michael.
Their story is a perfect mix of friends first, second chances, and unrequited (or is it?) love. I was a little nervous when I started because Frannie was married to Michael’s cousin and deeply in love with him. And Michael had very strong feelings for Frannie, but obviously wasn’t going to cross his cousin. I wasn’t sure how she was going to wind up with Michael and if it was going to be done in a way that didn’t disengage me from the story entirely. I had no reason to be worried. Julia Quinn wove a story of lost love and a slow and steady path to new love and told it in such a magical way that I literally couldn’t put it down.
The depth of Frannie and Michael’s feelings for each other was apparent to the reader long before Frannie figured it out. Michael might have been the Merry Rake, but he all but wore his heart on his sleeve when it came to Frannie. Their chemistry jumped off the page and they put me through all the emotions before it was all said and done. Their story was a slow burn with a delightfully steamy payoff. (Several, in fact.) It’s been a while since I read the other Bridgerton books, but this one seemed to be quite a bit hotter than I recall the others being. I was here for the mushy romantic feels, but the steam was a nice bonus.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the focus on family during this book, too. From Michael’s relationship with his cousin to the always strong Bridgerton crew, I relished in it all. The family ties in this series are what make it one of my favorites. I especially appreciated getting little glimpses into Violet’s head and the frank discussions she and Frannie had about love and loss. That, along with the romance, is what elevated this book for me.
Did you watch Bridgerton S2?
What’d you think?
Do you have a favorite Bridgerton book?