“If We Were Villains” is a novel by M. L. Rio explores the dynamic relationships and intense rivalries among a group of actors in a prestigious acting conservatory. The book delves into the motivations and secrets behind the actions of the characters.

Plot Summary

The story follows the seven members of an acting troupe, who are all studying at the Dellecher Classical Conservatory. The group is comprised of Oliver, the charismatic leader of the group; Richard, the reserved and brooding second-in-command; Meredith, the beautiful and talented actress; Davis, the charming and flamboyant performer; Juliet, the enigmatic and intense actress; Filippa, the quiet and reserved playwright; and James, the enthusiastic and optimistic actor. The group is brought together by their shared love for Shakespeare and their passion for acting, but as their final year of conservatory draws to a close, tensions rise and rivalries intensify, leading to a shocking and deadly event.

Character Development

The characters in “If We Were Villains” are complex and multilayered, with each one having their own motivations and secrets. Oliver is the glue that holds the group together, but he is also the one who is hiding the most. Richard is torn between his loyalty to Oliver and his own desires, while Meredith is driven by her ambition and her need for recognition. Davis is a mystery, always hiding behind a mask of humor and charm, while Juliet is the most unpredictable of them all, her intensity and unpredictability adding to the tension in the group. Filippa and James are the outsiders, but they too have their own secrets and motivations that are slowly revealed throughout the novel.


“If We Were Villains” explores themes of loyalty, ambition, and the blurred line between truth and fiction. The characters in the novel are constantly trying to outdo each other and prove their worth, both to themselves and to the others in the group. The line between what is real and what is just an act becomes blurred, with each character constantly trying to manipulate and deceive the others. The theme of loyalty is also explored, with the characters torn between their love for each other and their desire for success.

Writing Style

The writing style in “If We Were Villains” is fluid and immersive, drawing the reader into the world of the actors and the conservatory. The dialogue is sharp and witty, and the descriptions of the performances and the rehearsals are vivid and intense. The use of Shakespearean quotes and references adds depth and nuance to the story, and the shifting perspectives of the characters add to the tension and the mystery.

“If We Were Villains” is a thrilling and thought-provoking novel that explores the complex relationships and intense rivalries among a group of actors. The characters are richly drawn, and the themes of loyalty, ambition, and the blurred line between truth and fiction are expertly explored. With its immersive writing style, shifting perspectives, and shocking twists, “If We Were Villains” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good mystery or is fascinated by the dynamics of relationships and rivalries. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or just a lover of intense and thought-provoking fiction, “If We Were Villains” is sure to captivate and entertain you.