Book Review: The Villain by L.J. Shen

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The Villain  by L.J. Shen is her latest contemporary romance release that romance book fans will find worth reading.Read the full book review by popular romance book blogger, She Reads Romance Books.

The Villain
by L.J. Shen

Series: Boston Belles
Contemporary Romance
Billionaire, Marriage of Convenience, Tortured Hero
December 2020

Rating: ★★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

Time and time again L.J. Shen makes me fall for cold-hearted bastards and she does it again with one Cillian Fitzpatrick!

Oh, how I loved a tortured hero who’s soul finally finds a mate in the most unlikely of heroines, and boy do we find a tortured soul in Cillian.

Cillian is a CEO whose business moves have earned him the nickname The Villain. Mother Earth would agree with that moniker. Even those closest to him would agree that the man is stone cold heartless and without feelings.

But Persephone sees right through the man, instantly falling for him the moment she sees him. It’s not until years later that she finds herself on his doorstep in need a favor that he ultimately fulfills for a price.

A Hero to Fall For

I have become such a fan of L.J. Shen’s books because I just know that she is going to give me amazing characters that will cast a spell on me. I’ll love them and probably loathe them at the same time but always continue wanting more.

Cillian was definitely a fascinating character and like Persephone, I just wanted to peel back his layers one by one.

He may be known as The Villain, but he’s a product of his neglectful upbringing, his familial pressures and his drive for control.

I loved how Persephone chipped away at his control and hard exterior from the start despite being his complete opposite. She’s loving, romantic and gentle but not to be mistaken for as weak.

Being complete opposites made their chemistry sizzle and made a fantastic marriage of convenience love story.

Not only does Shen create fantastic characters, but she crafts a great story. I love how her words paint such vivid scenes which I can see and feel. The opening sequence is magnificent and sets the perfect stage for what follows.

I also love how she crafted a modern interpretation of the Hades and Persephone love story in this novel. Cillian definitely personified a man who seems dead inside and who tricked a beautiful woman to be by his side in his underworld. But Persephone was no wallflower who just wilted in his darkness.

I definitely thought he had an intriguing back story once it came to light, giving a glimpse into why he was the way he was.

My only wish is that we had a few more glimpses at how Persephone was breeching his walls. I expected a few more bedroom scenes to see him come undone but alas there really weren’t. You just have to take his word for it that he was becoming a changed man.

I’ve come to expect a great romantic story with fantastic writing from Shen and this one is no different.

If you love romance books with tortured heroes or marriages of convenience, you’ll enjoy this one. Plus, this cover! Who can resist this man? It fits Cillian perfectly.

*Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for the advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

Do you love cold-hearted heroes? Share in the comments below who your favorite is!

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Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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