The Villain by LJ Shen Book Review

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Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.
Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.
To the media, he is The Villain. To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.
Now I need him to do me another, small solid. Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.
What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?
Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors. The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.
Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy. To play, to mold, to break.
Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.
Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.
He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.
He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest.


This book is what I would consider dark romance. If you aren’t a fan of the genre then this book might not appeal to you. I have included some of the content that I believe may be sensitive to some readers:

  • Abusive Relationship
  • Alcohol
  • Assault
  • Blood
  • Bones
  • Child Abuse
  • Childhood Trauma
  • Death of a family member
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Infertility (indirectly/mention of)
  • Misogyny
  • Pregnancy
  • Profanity
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Stalking (surveillance for “protection”)
  • Violence


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Let me start this review by saying that Cillian is not the MMC for everyone! Deemed “the Villian” by the media, Kill is someone who is easy to hate and even easier to root against. To save his reputation and the reputation of his family’s business, Kill desperately needs to change the narrative in the media about him. Persephone, or Persy, has been pining for Cillian since they first met and her affection for this man has only grown with time as their lives cross more and more. A patient, kind kindergarten teacher and recently abandoned wife, Persy finds herself responsible for her estranged husband’s debt and the collectors are breathing down her neck. Persy goes to Cillian for help with the debt collectors and he finally agrees to help her under one condition—they get married, publicly.

The unrequited love trope can be absolutely dreadful but when done right, I feel like it is even more powerful and touching than a traditional love story. Cillian is callous and cold, and vindictive. But don’t be confused, Persy is not the victim of this story when it comes to Cillian. I don’t think she considers herself that way either. Persy shows a different kind of strength. She fights for what she wants and what she believes is right.

Their connection and the journey of how they come to fall for each other is definitely unique but it’s also really sweet. Cillian is secretly funny and painfully observant which makes him perfect for someone like Persy who feels unseen and second best. He gives her an abundance of soemthing she has been severely lacking and it’s far more valuable than the money she receives. I nearly died when Kill says their fake vows at the wedding! And I was hooked from that point forward!

I would recommend this book to fans of bully romances or unrequited love. I loved the ending and their epilogue had me happy crying! Check my trigger warnings before reading this one as there is plenty of content that some may consider sensitive!

Spice Rating

3/5 🌶🌶🌶

These scenes are open door and somewhat frequent. There is innuendo throughout.

Genre & Tropes


Dark Romance


  • Age Gap Relationship
  • Unrequited Love
  • Marriage of Convenience
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Favorite Quotes

Welcome to the dark side, Persephone. Leave your heart at the door.

Love is a luxury not everyone can afford.

And when love feels far away… I will bring it right back to our doorstep.


Check out The Villain on Amazon here. This book is available on Kindle Unlimited! Try Kindle Unlimited with this link!

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