"Wonderful Regency romance"
In 1818, the first time ever Michael "The Merry Rake"
Stirling saw Francesca Bridgerton he knows he is in love
although he never experienced that feeling before.
However, he can not act on his emotion because Francesca
is to wed his best friend, his cousin John in less than
two days. Michael ironically thinks that he now has two
new feelings: love and for the first time envy.
Ironically, he never coveted the earldom or the wealth of
the man he considers his "brother".
Two years later, Michael hides his love for Francesca from
her and his cousin. John complains of headache and soon
afterward he, not quite thirty and in seemingly perfect
health, is dead. At twenty-two, Francesca is a widow and
Michael is the earl. He still hides his feelings while
they mourn their loss until one innocent night he offers
simple solace that turns into heated lovemaking. The
aftermath is that both feel guilty as if they let down
John. As they evade one another so as not to explore
their feelings, Francesca begins to wonder if John
arranged the whole thing as a heavenly matchmaker.
Title aside as no one is "wicked" in a nasty sense; fans
will appreciate this wonderful Regency romance starring a
loving relationship triangle between three wonderful
protagonists. John was a nice respected person loved by
his wife and his cousin so that his memory serves as a
ghostly barrier to Michael and Francesca following up on
their feelings. The two illnesses that John and Michael
respectfully suffered from provide a feel for the era as
Julia Quinn uses that to anchor her sixth fabulous
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 12, 2004
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…
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency