📖 Review: Gentlemen Prefer Villains – C. Rochelle

Series: Villainous Things

Pages: 448
Time to read: 2h12m
Pages/hour: 204

Date read: 11-12 July 2023 (re-read)

Rating: 🦹‍♂️🦹‍♂️🦹‍♂️🦹‍♂️🦹‍♂️

“I am dreadfully sorry for his behavior,” I muttered. “It’s like dealing with a feral animal who happens to know how to wear a suit.”

One unhinged human meets one supervillain whose touch will kill…

Gentlemen Prefer Villains, the wildly anticipated (at least by me!) sequel to Not All Himbos Wear Capes really lived up to the hype.

Well, for me at least.

Also – expect spoilers for Himbos even in the non-spoilery sections of this review. We’ve gotta get through some stuff.

Anyway, as soon as we got into that final act of Himbos, I knew I was going to love Wolfy’s story. I’m a sucker for a tragic villain who’s also a silent, powerful badass, so consider every box checked for this one!

And oh, he’s tragic. If Wolfy touches anyone, he’ll literally kill them, which means he’s holding out hope for an Inventus who’ll probably never appear. Add on the fact that his sister’s gone missing and he needs to track her down before anyone more villainous manages it, then Wolfy finds himself stretched to breaking point.

Except here comes Xander with a great idea: if Wolfgang hires an assistant, then he doesn’t have to go it alone.

Enter Simon. Simon is Dr Ownit’s (a.k.a. Xander’s therapist) son and he’s more than a little unhinged. He and Wolfy match each other beat for beat, and although Wolfgang should be happy about that, it just has him worried – after all, Simon’s human. One touch will kill him, but oh, how Wolfy is tempted to reach out.

Again, this is an incredible cast of characters, tied together with Rochelle’s imaginative wit and dirty mind. Simon’s definitely up there in terms of characters I love from this series, though I don’t think he quite kicks Xander off the top spot. He’s sassy and confident and willing to take charge if it gets him what he – and Wolfgang – want.

Obviously, I loved Wolfgang from day one, but it’s nice to see a more nuanced side of him, too. He’s carrying the weight of the Suarez clan, whether they know it or not, and wrestling with his own demons, which we learn are related to but also deeply distinct from those Xander struggles with.

Also, an honorary mention has to go to Bunny, Simon’s mother, who spends her time day drunk and/or spending all of her current husband’s money. I want to be her when I grow up.

There’s a lot more build-up to Wolfy and Simon’s physical relationship, what with that whole pesky I-touch-him-and-he-dies issue. But when that spark ignites, it’s a wildfire! Definitely read through the content warnings for this one – things are getting even kinkier – but there’s an element of mischief underlying all of it that makes Wolfgang and Simon such an endearing couple.

“Yes, you are quite adept at exploding heads and creeping around in the shadows like a sexy phantom, but I’ve seen the real you, and it’s not at all frightening.”

Threads weaving together

Spoilers ahead!

Three main threads bring this whole story together, and while I appreciated one or two of them on the first read, like with Himbos, I only appreciated the third on the second read-through.

One: Simon and Wolfy’s relationship. Great, I love it, absolutely no notes.

Two: Trying to find Violentia and solve the mystery of the Suarez family. Of course, this is what’s driving the relationship plot at first, as opposed to things being the other way around with Xander and Butch. It’s interesting, too. Wolfgang is much closer to his sister than Xander has been, so we get to see a different side of her, even without her being on the page all that much.

Three: The lore!

I wouldn’t say I didn’t care about the lore on my initial read of this book, because I definitely did – insomuch as it told me information about Simon and how Wolfy was able to touch him. Aside from that, I wasn’t all that fussed.

But it is important! And, again, I’m glad I did a full re-read before I got to Balty’s book because that’s where all these things are beginning to come together. Also, getting that initial giddiness of the relationship out of the way really makes the extra world-building and story-building stand out as being especially strong.

Also, not a plot thread as such, but I love Simon taking over the Suarez clan because he absolutely has done that by this point. I’d love to have had more of him adopting Wolfy’s powers for his own use, though I can see why it wouldn’t have worked so much within the confines of this story. Maybe in the future, though? 🥺

Bunny breezily laughed, effortlessly transitioning back to idle chatter. “I never take my husband’s name. And you should know, I’ve taught my son that most men are easily replaced.”

It’s all about family

While these are a series of seriously kinky superhero MM books, they’re really all about family and identity at their heart. The Suarez clan are learning how to come together in a much more real way because that will make them stronger in the long run and because, despite it all, they do love each other.

And it might seem like a surprise if you’ve only read Himbos, but I think Wolfy is the softie of the family. He’s the one looking out for the others even when they’ve all given up on one another. He knows what they can become, sure, but he’d probably still be making moves even if not because he loves his family and he wants to keep them safe.

It’s nice to watch them all grow into this idea book after book, where they start to rely on each other’s strengths and reveal their weaknesses, even if that seems like a bad idea at the time. Unlike the other superhero/villain families we see, the Suarez clan have a true bond tying them together – which might be why they get so many Inventuses at all.

If my future boss thought he could send in his terrifying bodyguard and accomplish anything other than giving me a raging hard-on, he needed to reassess his methods. Since red flags are my love language.

Give it a read!

Read how the Mafia Queen gets his crown – then come back and let me know what you thought!

Check it out on Goodreads!
Find it on Amazon!

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