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M.L. Rio

Author of If We Were Villains

4 Works 3,097 Members 88 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Author M.L. Rio with her book If We Were Villains

Works by M.L. Rio

If We Were Villains (2017) 3,020 copies
In These Hallowed Halls: A Dark Academia anthology (2023) — Contributor — 75 copies
Hot Wax 1 copy


2017 (10) 2019 (8) 21st century (9) academia (14) actors (11) adult (12) adult fiction (8) audiobook (9) college (22) contemporary (19) contemporary fiction (8) crime (35) dark academia (37) dark-academia (9) ebook (13) favorites (13) female author (8) fiction (130) friendship (16) goodreads (12) hardcover (10) Kindle (8) lgbt (14) LGBTQ (15) library (9) murder (30) mystery (117) mystery-thriller (11) novel (11) own (13) owned (8) read (15) standalone (8) suspense (11) theatre (34) thriller (65) to-read (454) university (11) unread (11) William Shakespeare (53)

Common Knowledge

Other names
Rio, Mel
1980s or 1990s
Miami, Florida, USA
Places of residence
North Carolina, USA
Washington DC, USA
University of Maryland



Fucking hell this will be on my mind for a while.
Oliver and James bro tho WTF
I honestly don’t care that it’s taken me just less than a month to read bc I can say I was INVESTED

Oliver was in love with James so much he took the blame, hoping he’d be with him when he’s out of prison just to find out James killed himself FOUR YEARS EARLIER.
HSDCAce | 85 other reviews | Apr 2, 2024 |
sashaxoxo | 85 other reviews | Apr 1, 2024 |
Serious “The Secret History” by Tartt vibes going on here. Instead of so much booze and drugs, it’s too much Shakespeare. Seriously though, it really is too much Shakespeare. To the point that I just skipped through the endless dialogues that involved it. And who speaks amongst each other like that? No one, that’s who.
Now that I have gotten that out of the way, the book is pretty good. Story is about a group of theatre students (obsessed with Shakespeare, of course) that are good friends until they are not. One of them gets murdered, and it all unravels pretty quick. Lies, betrayal, jealousy, treachery… you name it.
Ending is fab, with a great twist that you kinda see it coming, and are pleased to confirm after the last page.
Definitely read it, and be patient with the endless Bard situation going on in there.
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AleAleta | 85 other reviews | Mar 28, 2024 |
For seven acting students of a famed theatre college a life of hedonist debauchery comes full circle when the Shakespearean troupe is caught within the nightmare of their own real-life Shakespearean tragedy. In a case of profound irony the excesses, jealousies, insecurities and fears that dwell within human nature, chronicled and portrayed so well by their playwright idol and mentor, become the mirror held up to them. They are now the villains and heroes, seducers and conspirators in a play that writes its lines according to their own actions. Caught in a spiderweb of betrayal and disloyalty, without realizing it, they are fated to play their roles once more - with no less than their own fates in jeopardy. Hamlet's resignation as he spoke "There is nothing left for me than blame it all on fate" sets the tone for the last act.

"If we were Villains" is eloquent and entertaining. Intermittent quotes from Shakespeare's plays are well-placed. Solidly above average fiction fare, providing an intriguing mystery, this novel also educates us with less well known fact about Shakespeares plays. This deserves 4 stars.
Small caveat: In recent years there are more and more gay/lesbian characters included in mainstream fiction. Although there is in principle nothing wrong with that, it does make me wonder if this is done for socio-political reasons. The proportion of readers that call themselves gay/lesbian I'd reckon to be rather tiny. What is more important is that the main character in "Villains" being gay just doesn't fit all too well within the plot and background. Naturally, this is just my humble opinion and I stand corrected on both counts, anytime.
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nitrolpost | 85 other reviews | Mar 19, 2024 |


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