This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Readers old and young alike hunting for books like Assistant to the Villain may find their perfect read right here. Trust me, if you love secretly nice villains, secretly vicious personal assistants, and secretly magic frogs, you will love these books too.
Hannah Nicole Maehrer’s Assistant to the Villain is her debut fantasy romance book. Developed over the course of her TikTok sketch series of the same name, her book features a sunshine personal assistant aiding a grumpy, morally gray villain readers fall in love with.
When the recently unemployed Evie Sage accepted a job offer in the woods from the notorious Villain, she never expected to fall for him, too. Sure, the villain is wildly attractive, but it’s his secret soft side that really draws her in. A man can only gently protect his captive magical animals from the king and claim he’s just holding onto an investment so many times and get away with it. While working with the villain to keep his workplace in tip-top condition, they discover there is a leak within the walls of his castle. Now, the two have to ferret out the rat to ensure the Villain’s future success. All in all, Assistant to the Villain is one-part workplace comedy, one-part slow-burn romance, and one-part high fantasy, resulting in a wickedly funny reading experience.
The book has seen immediate success in 2023, debuting as a number one New York Times bestselling novel. Readers love the irreverent fantasy world and the witty characters trying to make a living in a villain’s evil lair. Sure, the villain equips the lair with a top-notch break room, HR, and healthcare, but there are still the trappings of a villain’s daily activities, reminding employees they work for a bad guy. If you, too, can’t get enough of this world, read on for eight funny, romantic, and fantastical books like Assistant to the Villain!
The Best Books Like Assistant to the Villain
The following books like Assistant to the Villain give readers who are eagerly awaiting book two something to read in the meantime. They are a combination of fantasy romance books that have a dash of action, romance, and comedy to keep any Hannah Nicole Maehrer fan happy. I am head over heels for the odd little subgenre myself, so I guarantee these books like Assistant to the Villain will hit the spot.
Bitter Medicine by Mia Tsai
Tsai’s xianxia-inspired paranormal romance has a fantastical workplace and a heart-achingly brilliant romance that will satiate any Maehrer fan. Elle is the descendent of the Chinese god of medicine on the run from her murderous brother. These days, she works as a magical calligrapher for the fairy temp agency. When her cute half-elf client Luc comes in with a big request, she can’t help but fulfill his request even though it reveals the true extent of her powers. Unsurprisingly, he asks for her help on his next mission, but this time, he is tasked with eliminating Elle’s younger brother. The two will grow closer even as the dangers of the outside world start encroaching on their relationship and their future lives together.
That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon by Kimberly Lemming
If you liked reading about a sunshiny character falling for a presumed villain, Kimberly Lemming has the short monster romance for you. When the spice farmer Cinnamon gets drunk and accidentally saves the demon Fallon from an evil witch’s mind control, she winds up with a scary dragon shifter set on courting her. To free all other Demons in the land from the witch’s thrall, Cinnamon and Fallon will travel across the kingdom and defeat the witch who convinced everyone she is their goddess. Cinnamon desperately wants to live a normal life, but Fallon might just convince her his love is worth a bit of adventure.
Elf Defence by Lisa Henry, Sarah Honey
There are only so many fantasy romance books that involve reorganizing corporate structures or discussing the larger implications of applying social welfare programs with a bit of humor thrown in. Elf Defence happens to fit the bill. The elves Calarian and Benji were acting as royal envoys on a trip to an unusual duchy when they accidentally led to the duke falling from a tower. To fix the power vacuum, they appoint Lars Melker, the nice human cowherd, to be in charge. Now, Calarian and Benji must work with Lars to keep the duchy running while navigating their new relationship. What more could you want from a polyamorous fantasy romance book that includes managing mountain trolls and the accidental implementation of a universal basic income?
A Rival Most Vial by R. K. Ashwick
Running a potion business in a high fantasy world where adventurers need supplies at a moment’s notice has always been straightforward for the best and only potion shop in town. But when a likable man like Eli opens a new potion shop across the street, Ambrose Beake has to change everything to keep up. Soon, the two become involved in a heated rivalry that only breaks when they start working on the mayor’s daughter’s birthday potion commission together. Readers who liked witty characters with slightly heartbreaking backstories in Assistant to the Villain will be equally enchanted by Eli and Ambrose’s rivals-to-lovers slow-burn romance.
Human Enough by E.S. Yu
If you think the Villain’s office was falling apart without Evie, you haven’t seen the dysfunctional Vampire Hunters Association (VHA). After his parents were killed by vampires, Noah Lau was set on joining to make the world safer for everyone. That is until he gets trapped in a vampire’s house on a mission and forms a bond with Jordan Cross, the vampire’s lover. When Noah escapes, he takes Jordan with him and hides their romantic relationship from his employer. Then, some of Jordan’s vampire friends start to go missing. Noah will have to investigate the VHA if he really wants to make his city safer for the good humans and vampires that call it home.
Walk Between Worlds by Samara Breger
Breger will satisfy your craving for a sapphic fantasy romance book following the slow-burn romance between an ex-royal sergeant and a rebel looking to usurp the king. The night the king denies Sergeant Major Scratch Keyes of the King’s Guard a promotion only gets worse when she and her best friend are accused of abducting the princess. With their execution around the corner, they are forced to accept two rebel siblings’ help when they come to break them out of jail. Now, they all must travel through an enchanted forest to survive and uncover the true reasons behind the rebellion. Even with the kingdom on the line, the most dangerous thing in store for them might just be their growing feelings.
Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn
Substitute Assistant to the Villain’s high fantasy setting for superheroes and demons in San Francisco, and you have Kuhn’s masterpiece of a series centering Asian American women. After dropping out of her graduate program, Evie Tanaka has found her place working as the personal assistant to her childhood best friend, Aveda Jupiter. Although Aveda’s requests frequently fray their friendship, nothing can match her most recent over-the-top request—pretending to be her until her recent injury heals. Now Evie must learn how to be the heroine the city needs while managing her growing feelings for their resident demon scientist. It might just be impossible, but somebody’s got to do it, and it might as well be Evie.
From the Dark We Came by J. Emery
Emery’s book will also have you rooting for a romance with the supposed bad guys. Half-fae demisexual music teacher Belar knows how to keep his monster-hunting work a secret. He always finishes a job, so when a vampire survives his hunt, he takes notice. Cassian claims he has done nothing wrong and wants to hire Belar to hunt down the person who framed him. Now, the vampire and his hunter will have to work together to uncover institutional corruption and resist becoming lovers in the process.
I hope you found these books like Assistant to the Villain were the perfect addition to your TBR. If you are looking for your next favorite book, try Book Riot’s Tailored Book Recommendation (TBR) service or gift it to the book lover in your life. Professional book nerds are just waiting to find you your next great read. If you are looking for villainous bookish musings or recommendations, try these best book villains, these books about villains who become heroes, and this look at the villain backstory.