Audiobook Review: Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

Posted March 26, 2024 by Lucy D in Audiobook, Book Reviews, Contemporary / 1 Comment

Audiobook Review:  Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole MaehrerAssistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer
Published by Tantor Audio on August 29, 2023
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Em Eldridge
Length: 13 hrs 54 min
Source: Tantor Audio
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I received this book for free from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

12 hours, 30 minutes
Once Upon a Time meets The Office in Hannah Maehrer’s laugh-out-loud viral TikTok series turned novel, about the sunshine assistant to an Evil Villain…and their unexpected romance.
ASSISTANT WANTED: Notorious, high-ranking villain seeks loyal, levelheaded assistant for unspecified office duties, supporting staff for random mayhem, terror, and other Dark Things In General. Discretion a must. Excellent benefits.
With ailing family to support, Evie Sage's employment status isn't just important, it's vital. So when a mishap with Rennedawn’s most infamous Villain results in a job offer—naturally, she says yes. No job is perfect, of course, but even less so when you develop a teeny crush on your terrifying, temperamental, and undeniably hot boss. Don’t find evil so attractive, Evie.
But just when she’s getting used to severed heads suspended from the ceiling and the odd squish of an errant eyeball beneath her heel, Evie suspects this dungeon has a huge rat…and not just the literal kind. Because something rotten is growing in the kingdom of Rennedawn, and someone wants to take the Villain—and his entire nefarious empire—out.
Now Evie must not only resist drooling over her boss but also figure out exactly who is sabotaging his work…and ensure he makes them pay.
After all, a good job is hard to find.


I have mixed feelings about this book but am I going to be reading the next book?  Yes. Yes, I am.

Evangeline “Evie” Sage is forced to find work after her father comes down with “the illness” and she needs to support him and her little sister.   Returning from Town, Evie comes upon a man hiding in the woods and she goes to investigate and ends up running with him from the King’s valiant guards.   Evie is surprised that the handsome man she is running away with is wanted criminal known as “The Villain” since the wanted posters all show a decrepit old man with a long beard.  Once they get away, he offers her a job as his assistant since the pay is good and there isn’t much work out there, Evie accepts.

This sold as a romantacy blend of The Office and The Princess Bride.  I liked it because it did have some fun moments and some great secondary characters.    It is also marketed as a sunshine/grumpy trope.  I liked Evie as our unflappable, sunny assistant who sneaks sugar into her boss’s morning brew so everyone thinks the Villain would drink his brew black and bitter.  For all his villainess, Trystan gives the impression that he is a reasonable, level-headed leader,  regardless of the heads of his enemy hanging the hallway and shooting arrows at the interns to blow off steam.

With a title like Assistant to the Villain, this story could have gone either way:  either as it is — a silly story which includes cursed talking frogs wearing crowns, untrainable dragons named Fluffy and a villain who only have moments of evil are raged responses to attacks and who is very skittish about his own feelings toward his assistant.  (It is a very PG story)  It could have also been written as a dark romance with a true villain hurting people as a power play and seducing his innocent assistant.  Either way works but if you are expecting the second option, you will be disappointed here.

I would have liked to see Trystan be a bit more of a bad boy than just off page torturing and the hanging heads in the hallway.  But in the end we do learn that sometimes we don’t see the real evil hiding next to us and how well some people can hide their evil behind a kind smile, while Trystan’s moniker of The Villain was the worse thing about him.

I have some issues about the end and not only because it leaves us at a cliffhanger.  View Spoiler »

In the end, I was entertained by this story.  It lacks depth and I really would have liked to see our villain be a little more evil, even if it was a silly evil like Austin Power’s Dr. Evil.  If you remember that this  is a light-hearted, comedy, you might enjoy Assistant to the Villain.    Apparently the rights to this series have been purchased for a TV series.  We shall wait to see if it comes to fruition but definitely not before Book 2, Apprentice to the Villain, comes out.

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One response to “Audiobook Review: Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer

  1. Anna Xu

    I’ve wanted to read this book for a while now. It sounds like an entertaining read. I’m glad you enjoyed it!