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 cousin’s memory by loving Francesca, ran away to India for four years. Now that he has return, his mind has finally settle into his new role of Earl and his grief has passed, he’s not surprised he’s still deeply in love with Francesca, but when he finds out she wants to remarry he’s shocked, but when a plan starts to form in his head, he decides to finally risk it all on love and marry Francesca himself! When he was Wicked has a tragic tone throughout the book, starting with the sudden death of John Stirling, Francesca’s husband and Michael’s cousin. The tone and pace never faulted but did run into a few bumps in the road. Francesca is the lead whom changed the most, stuck in limbo after John’s death, she’s having to deal with life after a love one’s death. Turning to Michael the only other person whom loved John as much as she, was hurt when he just up and left. Not understanding that her words cut him deeply as he was to take over the role of his cousin whom he loved and seeing the woman he loved and now being to help her.. Through the book Francesca comes out from the shadows and starts to see life, but sees Michael as a man not as a friend but more. Francesca was said to be more of the loner from the Bridgerton’s with a cool head and calm persona. Sadly, she came across as more wishy-washy, always assuming she knew Michael and what he was thinking, then being hurt when she figured out she truly didn’t know the Michael now. I can fully understand her grief toward her husband, but I didn’t understand sometimes why she come across as spiteful, although she did eat crow a few times, I thought it was out of character. She did grow a see she her second chance at love with Michael and grabbed it with both hands. Michael was scared, thrown into a role, he always saw his cousin in, then having to deal with lost and feeling he was hurting his cousin’s memory by loving Francesca. It took a long time for Michael to come to terms with all the changes in his life. But when he returned, he was more stable, more mature and ready for the role he now held. Michael could be a butthead, but he was still trying to hide his love for Francesca, but when a idea is given to him, he can’t let it go and goes out to win Francesca hand in marriage. Michael was at times more open minded to things around him then Francesca, maybe because he loved her but I felt he moved on, where Francesca still needed that push in the right direction I liked Michael and how he kept that love close to his heart for so many years and was happy he finally was able to give that love and be loved in returned. If read as a stand alone, this book made great sense, but reading it in a series and order was kinda strange. In the time line this book takes place at the same time as Romancing Mister Bridgerton and To Sir Phillip, With Love. Luckily, they don’t dwell to much on those books, but it did feel odd to see a single Colin in the start (and half way through) the book then a sudden marriage from Eloise. The love scenes were pretty steamy for JQ, with a almost frenzy feel to them as Michael ignites the passion and love in Francesca, whom never felt that way before. It did take a little while for Francesca to see her love for Michael, but when she does it brings a tear to your eye as they exchange “I Love You.”Overall: a beautifully written story of second chances at love that don’t come everyday and to everybody, but when they do, one should grab them with both hands and hold them close to your heart.