REVIEW: Vicious by L.J. Shen

Posted June 20th, 2024 by in Blog, Contemporary Romance, HJ Top Pick!, Review / 5 comments


Vicious by L.J. Shen: Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer runs the halls of All Saints High, along with his three best friends they are known as the HotHoles. Much like his name suggests Vicious can be rather cruel with his words and actions and no one knows this better than new comer Emilia LeBlanc. While the rest of Vicious’s victims get a break at the end of the day Emilia is not so lucky seeing as she shares a house with her very own tormentor. As the daughter of the hired help Vicious makes it his mission to ensure that Emilia knows her place in his world, so much so that he makes her life at school near impossible. The only thing that Emilia can do is keep her head down and hope that Vicious loses interest in her soon. Nearly a decade later their paths cross again, while both have grown up and changed in many ways the one thing that has not changed is the tension between them. With the walls caving in on her Emilia cant help but accept help from the one person that she had never wanted to see again, Vicious. The only difference this time she knows better than to allow her heart to get involved…or does she?

“Vicious was vicious. It was too bad that my hate for him was dipped in a thin shell of something that felt like love.”

In-freaking-credible! I loved this dark, bully romance by Shen. This was easily one of her best books ever. While there was so many dark and slightly deranged moments in this book it was hard not to just get consumed but the entirety of this twisted romance. Vicious truly packs an emotional punch, this book will have you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions but the ending makes it all worth it in the end. Truly I loved this book, it was hard to find a fault, I loved the alternating POVs and timelines so that we could truly understand this couple. Truly the character development in this book was incredible, we get taken on a full emotional journey with both Vic and Em as they find their way in life post All Saints High.

“I wanted to dissolve into smoke, to crawl into him and never leave. It was crazy, but that was how much I craved this man.”

I loved Emilia! She had so much of personality and our girl knew how to stand her ground. I loved getting to see her go toe to toe with Vicious and finally put him in his place. More than anything I loved her natural caregiver heart, she was such a selfless and kind heroine. She never once blamed anyone for her life going the way to did nor did she cry woe me, she knew she was dealt a though hand but she made the best of what she had and this only made me love her character all the more. Now while all signs should say that Vicious is the worst guy ever, I couldn’t help but love our hero. While he was an acquired taste, once you got to understand him, he was something rather special. This guy was broken beyond belief and once he opened up it was hard not to want to give him a hug and help mend his torn soul. Even though he came across as this harsh and unkind person for most of the book, once he loved you, he loved hard. I really loved getting to see him falling for Emilia and actually realising that he was capable of having these feelings. While I agree his actions were not great he sure did a great job at redeeming himself by being a totally devoted husband and father. One of the things that I loved the most about Vicious was the fact that even though we get to see a huge growth in his character, his personality stays the same right through the book, he is still silent and rude but only now he has a soft spot for the people that he loves.

“I loved you since you told me your friends called you Millie. Even then, when I caught you eavesdropping, I knew I wasn’t gonna call you that because you weren’t going to be my fucking friend. You were destined to be my wife.”

This was easily one of the hottest books that Shen has written, the sexual tension and chemistry between these two was of the charts HOT!! It was impossible not to blush at a few of these scenes. I loved the possessive nature of Vicious and how over the top dominate he was with Em. While he might have struggled to express his feelings with words, he more than made up for it with his actions and touch. Aside from some insanely steam moments I really liked the banter between Em and Vic. There was a constant push and pull between them. While he is so unbothered and abrupt she is so sweet and polite, they could not be more different but work so perfectly at the same time. I just loved them as a couple and getting to see the build up to them ultimately getting together.

Vicious was the prefect start to the Sinners of Saints series, this book was the perfect combination of broody, dark romance meets an all consuming forever kind of love. This book is a TOTAL MUST read!!

Book Info:

Publication: December 27, 2016 | L.J. Shen | Sinners of Saint #1


They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true. The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.


She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.



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