> Skip to content
  • Published: 19 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781804993385
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $22.99

Assistant to the Villain

No.1 New York Times bestseller from a TikTok sensation! The most hilarious grumpy sunshine romantasy book of 2023


There were severed heads hanging from the ceiling again.

Evie sighed, waving to Marvin as she shut the heavy castle door behind her and strode across the main hall, her low heels echoing off the stone floor in tandem with her fast-beating heart.

The Villain was in a mood.

One severed head was par for the course. A regularity that Evie had grown alarmingly accustomed to in the time she had been working here. But three male heads dangled there now, their mouths open in a silent scream, like they’d left this life in abject terror. And if she looked close enough…

Ugh, one of them was missing an eyeball.

Evie scanned the floor before taking another step, hoping desperately to avoid crushing the eyeball under her heel like she had a few weeks ago when she’d ventured into the boss’s torture chamber to relay a message. The scream she’d let out then was no more than a peep, but if it happened again, she wasn’t sure she could maintain such composure. She could handle a stray finger or even a toe, but eyeballs popped when they were stuck under one’s foot, and that seemed to be the line Evie’s mind had drawn in the sand.

She sniffed, walking forward. A fair one, if anyone asked me.

But it was neither here nor there. The brand of horror she came across on the day-to-day didn’t ruffle her the way it should have. Her need for normalcy had whittled away, bit by bit, since her employment began, but she didn’t mind. “Normal” was for those who didn’t have the ability to stretch their minds past the unreachable end. It was something her mother had said throughout her childhood, and for some reason, it was the one piece of advice Evie could not ignore.

It really couldn’t be helped in any case. She was the personal assistant to The Villain, after all. She chuckled at the job title, imagining the ridiculous way the employment posting would appear in a news pamphlet.



In the boss’s defense, he’d only done that last one once since she’d begun working here. After arriving at work at her usual punctual time, she’d crossed the office, immediately spying the corpse of a burly man sprawled across her desk. Slashings all over his body, chunks of flesh missing.

He’d been tortured before being killed, that much was clear, and the boss had thought to dump the man on her very organized and shiny white desk, which was set up just outside his very large, disorganized office. She’d never forget the look on his face when she walked in, saw the body, and then found him leaning against his office entryway. He just stood there, arms crossed and sharp gaze focused on her.

Ah, yes, Evie had thought. He’s testing me.

Assistant to the Villain Hannah Nicole Maehrer

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.

Buy now
Buy now

More extracts

See all

I woke with his name on my lips and it burned.

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

There was no possibility of walking to the library that day. Morning rain had blanched the air, and Miss Darlington feared that if Cecilia ventured out she would develop a cough and be dead within the week.

Unholy Terrors

In the month before the gathering, the wall weeps blood.

The Familiar

If the bread hadn’t burned, this would be a very different story.

Ranger's Apprentice 2

Halt and Will had been trailing the Wargals for three days. The four heavy-bodied, brutish creatures, foot soldiers of the rebel warlord Morgarath, had been sighted passing through Redmont Fief, heading north.


The cold is cruel, but it is not alive.

Book of Night

Charlie’s ugly Crocs stuck to the mats on the floor behind the bar, making a sticky, squelching sound.

The Book of Sand

Here he is in the furthest corner of an antique desert, just one of a string of people who move silently across the sand.

Hollow Empire

You never get used to poisoning a child.

A Deadly Education

I decided that Orion needed to die after the second time he saved my life.

The Sisters Grimm

All souls are special. Son or daughter, Grimm or not, Life touches her spirit to every one of her creations.

The Starless Sea

Back in his den with the cocoa he settles into the beanbag chair bequeathed to him by a departing student the year before.