Monday, December 21, 2020

REVIEW: The Villain by LJ Shen

"A love story with teeth and claws. I dare you not to fall in love with Cillian Fitzpatrick." - USA Today bestselling author, Parker S. Huntington

The Villain, an all-new twisted modern day Greek tragedy from USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!


Shel: The Villain is one of those novels that practically reads itself. I opened the first page out of a desire to lose myself in a fictional world and I don't think I moved from my spot for hours. I was completely enthralled with the story of Persephone and Cillian--our next couple in the Boston Belles series. Court: SAME GIRL< SAME! I think that happens to me every time I open an LJ Shen book though, so I was very excited to read this! 

Shel: This couple was just as exasperating and fun to read as I hoped they would be. Cillian was the most perfectly delicious jerk--exactly as I remembered from Hunter and Sailor's novel. Reading his transformation from icy prick to the perfect fit for Persephone was at times infuriating, at times completely satisfying, and at all times absorbing. Getting to the bottom of who he really was/is was 100% worth the wait. Meanwhile, Persephone was adorable and principled and fantastically stubborn and her heart was just so huge. She was the partner Kill needed and the balance and steadiness and steely backbone she continued to show just really made me adore her. Court: THANK GOODNESS we have both of their point of view! I really enjoyed reading from Cillian's point of view, and realllllly enjoyed the insight into his friends with their poker games and we get their conversations and thoughts, and just how all of the friends continually have each other's back. No matter what. I cannot wait to see who falls next, and how, but I am definitely enjoying this ride! 

Shel: While I suspect that not all of the other heroines in this series will be as much of a steel magnolia as Persephone, and I'll love the fire and sass that the others will bring, I really appreciate how much of a fairy tale princess she seemed to be. Taking a step back, this whole novel seems like a really modern fairy tale--a villain and a down on her luck princess strike up a deal, drama ensues, and then we all live happily ever after. Court: Absolutely. It was a lot of fun, definitely escapist with how much of a you know what he is for a good bit there (sorry, I'm not normally so light on what I'm thinking, but I'm tired and not really feeling editing for the Zon tonight...!) 

Shel: So.Much.Fun. Court: Yes. The writing is really great, and I love when Hunter says it'll be fun watching him get his heart stolen by this girl, and boy, what a wild and lovely ride it was. I read this so fast. It makes me so happy, even though at times I wished I could slow down and savor it a little more. But, I am happy to report I could not, and I hope you can't put it down either! 

Shel: Loved it!

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.

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I leaned against the doorframe, hands tucked in my front pockets, and observed. It took her three minutes to notice me. Another two to lift her jaw off the floor, straighten her spine, and turn scarlet. Our eyes met across the room, and that nagging murmur in my chest happened again.

Get that checked. If you drop dead from a heart attack at forty, you’ll have no one else to blame. She winced, looking like I physically slapped her. 

“Mr. Fitzpatrick.” 

“Miss Penrose.” 

“Veitch,” she corrected, just to spite me. 

“Not for long,” I noted dryly. “A word?” 

“I know many. My favorite one right now is—leave.”

“You want to hear me out.” I cracked my knuckles. “Now say goodbye to your little friends.” 

She looked back and forth between the kids and me, then turned and murmured something to the teacher next to her, and hurried my way, dunking her head down. “What are you doing here?” 

She closed the door behind her, whisper-shouting. 

I’ve been asking myself the same question since bailing on Keith and his snooze-fest speech. What the hell was I doing here?

About L.J. Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to twenty different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

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