The Male Lead’s Villainess Stepmother


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Yan Shuyu, a big fan of all sorts of cliche CEO novels, had transmigrated into a book —

In the novel, the wealthy CEO male lead has a villainous stepmother. She put up a front of being nice and tender to him, when in fact she was bullying the male lead with her son. After she had successfully driven the male lead and his father apart, her ambition continued to grow as she attempted to take away the inheritance from the male lead. In the second half of the book, the truth came out — that the father had no feelings for her whatsoever but was merely using the two of them to hone his son’s character. In the end, both the stepmom and her son were sent to jail by the male lead after he took over the family business.

Yan Shuyu transmigrated and became the well-hated villainous stepmother, but she had transmigrated to the time before everything happened, and the male lead was still a foolish child. Only a fool would want to become the stepmother of a foolish child. Yan Shuyu took a longing look at her “assigned husband”, who was pretty much like the Sleeping Beauty, before she quickly packed up and made a run for it.

After that, Yan Shuyu checked out her $250 remaining on her card. She turned to look at her son, who was clinging onto her leg and asking for milk. She wanted to look up at the sky and howl. Is it too late to go back to become the male lead’s whetstone?

Associated Names
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Related Series
Apollo’s Heart (11)
Transmigration: Raising the Child of the Male Lead Boss (10)
I Raised A Black Dragon (9)
Under the Oak Tree (7)
My Son Might Be A Villain (5)
The Male Lead’s Substitute Wife (5)
Recommendation Lists
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104 Reviews

New Skite
Jul 14, 2021
Status: --
I'm sorry, but the ML is a f****** monster for what he did to his son and step son. I feel sick thinking about how he spent decades making a little boy think he loved him, when really, he was just ruining the child and twisting him to be a tool intended to benefit his "real" son, whom he also left messed up and twisted. The kid was 6 and just wanted a dad! Of course he'd be jealous of the super rich kid with the great dad and pick... more>> fights, he's 6! That is not an excuse to ruin a child.

ML does not deserve a happy ending, and I hate him. <<less
6 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Nov 13, 2019
Status: c19
Sighed. I thought this story was interesting but after I read a few chapters of this novel, I find it annoying to read because of the FMC's personality.

  • It's really unbelievable to see someone like the FMC who could adapt so quickly.
  • She's an ungrateful person. After she transmigrated she seems to not care about her parents.
    • She's lazywoman, after she graduate from college she still plan to leeching her family (they are not rich but can only considered okay since shes the only child of her parent I think).
    • s*upid and superficial.
    • Irresponsible--oh wait, let's just put it a careless woman. Why? After she took over the original owners body, she really seems not care about the safety of her instant son at all. Here's the example; she went out with her friend and have fun leaving only her 4yr old instant son alone in the house. Even if it's said that the little boy is a little matured for his age, as a child who is less than five is not safe being alone y'know!
79 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jan 13, 2020
Status: c42
I just cant stand the MC, she is so silly, superficial, narcissist and obsessed with beauty that it hurts to keep reading, I guess the author aimed for a comic effect, but I find it only annoying. I'll give you some examples. She cant stop admiring herself in the mirror or taking selfies for so long she forgets to check what her child is doing. One time, she looks at the photo of her deceased husband and what she thinks? She regrets he didn't die after her transmigration as she... more>> didn't have the chance to ogle him, a pity as he was so handsome. WTF?

She is an adult but acts as a teenager living in her bubble. In this kind of novel where a person transmigrates as a villain, the fun part is watching him or her trying to stay away from his predestinated fate living as independently as possible. In this novel, it's clear that without the support of the ML, the MC would probably end up without money living under a bridge. She is not able to plan or think rationally and, as she says, she has no problem leeching off a rich man or waiting for her smart kid to grow up so she can depend on him.

I am not interested in reading about the life of this kind of shallow characters. <<less
72 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Apr 22, 2020
Status: c89
Whoa! So I gave up reading this multiple times based on other reviews, but now that I've read it and found it quite enjoyable I think others are definitely way too harsh.

For our MC, in the beginning, I really disliked her because she felt very shallow, lazy and face-loving. But as the story continued, although she kept her happy-go-lucky nature, she does work hard and see people beyond their appearances. Beauty might still be very important to her, but doesn't everyone appreciate some good genes&maintenance? It's not like she acts... more>> foolishly because of it. She is vain, but she doesn't treat others poorly or judge based on appearances; one day she woke up and found herself in her goddess' body, wouldn't anyone be appreciative????

On her childcare strategies, I don't think the other reviewers read the story properly. She's a single mother that lives paycheck to paycheck in an expensive city, I personally think it's admirable how she made ends meet. In the beginning, it was the OG body that left the child at home alone. After she came in, she mostly took him to her workplace to wait in the lounge with no other options. However, she knows the maturity level of her child and his track record of being responsible at home, and rather than have him be bored and tired waiting for her she decided he's able to stay at home alone. Even when she went out to play for the day; since she went into the body, she was basically working almost two jobs and taking care of her child every single day. She more than deserves the break, and already arranged a responsible guardian & playdate for her child anyway. The people criticizing her as a mother have no idea how hard it is. Mothers shouldn't be expected to be superwoman every single waking moment, especially for her since she is a single mother and didn't even sign up for this child! He's truly her INSTANT son that effectively fell out of the sky, but she bore the responsibility fully!

Also, her buying all the meals only happened at the beginning of the story. She wasn't adjusted at all to her new life yet at all, she didn't know how to cook, and food is actually very cheap purchased outside in China. Sure it might not be as clean or nutritious, but this only occurred a few days anyway. Right afterward she got a tiring job, but it covered the meals. Even if she had the time, I don't blame her for being too physically or mentally exhausted already! Keep in mind, before this she was totally living a spoiled lifestyle. Why should she force herself to spend a lot of energy doing a task she doesn't enjoy when there is entirely no benefit to doing so???

I was going to rate this 4stars, but because of how harsh everyone else is I rated it 5. I don't want other people to miss out on this story like I almost did because of other reviews; it's not spectacular or particularly memorable, but it's a fluffy sweet story about their family. I also like that she doesn't reach some apex of success, even as beautiful as she is, and the story doesn't just immediately forget her son exists after she starts working like many other stories do. That said, she is quite annoying in the beginning, but it gets significantly better. <<less
52 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Dec 17, 2019
Status: Completed
This is by far the cutest story I've read! There are a few (IMO) unfairly low ratings that need some justification. I don't normally write reviews, but I hope that this can sway the people who would have loved this novel but were turned off by the previous reviews to give it a chance.

I love the family dynamics. She's not an exemplary mother by any means, but her son is turning out just fine (which is ultimately what matters right?). In this imaginary novel world, her son responds well to... more>> her style of parenting. I imagine that if he had a different personality, she would treat him differently as well (I remember the author addressing this in the novel). The book is not advertised as a parenting guide... (so don't try this at home) I don't know why there are so many people offended by her parenting.

She doesn't live and breathe for her son, but he's pretty high up on her priorities. She takes care of his safety and needs (to the person who said that he would have died in real life: my mom used to leave me at home alone when I was 5 and tell me to stay away from the windows in case the neighbors got suspicious. I'm obviously a little bitter about it but still alive enough to write this review)... I'd say she's doing well with what she's got. And frankly, I work in childcare and I've seen much worse IRL and from really well off folks too... Sure her intentions are not the purest...

(she wants her son to be successful so she can mooch off of him in the future),

but she's not causing any detriment to her son with her expectations (tiger moms I am looking at you).

The MC is a little low EQ, but it definitely creates some hilarious situations. As the readers, we obviously see the entire story context, so her narrow view can be frustrating. I like that it builds their relationship slowly and steadily as opposed to having the usual love-at-first-sight, then cat-fight-political-cliche stories. Personally, I find those novels a little tiresome and painful to read, but I can see how some people may find this a little bland or boring if they prefer those high-drama, intensely-emotional-rollercoaster-rides. This book is a funny, cute, light-hearted read for anyone who is into that. <<less
43 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Oct 24, 2019
Status: c54
Please refrain from writing review before you get the grasp of the story...
The story is awesome, the MC is not useless whatsoever.

She's quite adept in playing piano and cello and later become a music teacher.


She seemed indecisive at times but I love how it's the ML who chase her and there's no unnecessary drama in this story
38 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Mar 04, 2020
Status: Completed
The MC is vain. So?

As for her being irresponsible, as someone who suddenly becomes a mother, without background of childrearing whatsoever, she's trying her best. She might be immature and a bit irresponsible but she did try to feed both of their mouths.

Someone pointed out that she left her son alone. No, she didn't. She brings her son to work. She left him to her friends if she can't bring him with her. She even said in her monologue that she doesn't think it's safe to leave her son alone.... more>> Pretty normal.

Overall :

It was an enjoyable read for me but the novel itself is forgettable. <<less
33 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Apr 12, 2020
Status: c75
I really have to agree with some of the previous reviews calling the FL annoying. It’s on the level of MAJOR personality flaws. Even though she’s young, grew up moderately spoiled (ok quite spoiled), and without much responsibilities in the past, she completely fails to adapt well to her new responsibility - her “instant son”. I thought, why not give this novel a try cause she’ll probably grow up and learn to become a great mother. But 71 chapters in, still no sign of that. Time for me to drop.... more>> Such people (even fictional) shouldn’t be responsible for other living beings. Or at least they should acknowledge their shortcomings and get the necessary help if they’re not willing to change. She seems to do neither, and maintains a rather cavalier attitude about it.

Leaving aside

her vanity over her appearance (she’s quite narcissistic), her unprofessionalism towards her boss (ok, maybe she’s lucky to have a nice boss, but to treat him as a babysitter and after getting all those free meals? Ugh), her lack of financial management (spending last savings on clothes, not securing the basic necessities of life and for her 4 YEAR OLD son), she feels at ease to leave him at home alone, forgets that she has a son when she goes out shopping, just dumps him to anyone to babysit without asking his opinion, and completely prioritizes shopping over him. No matter how the author tries to justify it because the son is “sensible” or “smart”, the truth is she’s completely negligent and irresponsible. Giving hugs and kisses is no substitute for maturity and taking responsibility. If the son were older, then maybe I’d understand, but this is just crazy.

The other thing is, the plot is predictable. We all expect the ML and MC to end up together eventually and for MC to defy the original villainess’s fate. The fun was supposed to be in how she inadvertently attracts the ML while trying to avoid messing up like the original. I was glad that in the beginning MC had a backbone and avoided the ML, but then all of a sudden she just gives up her conviction all of a sudden for short-term gains - “free movie, free popcorn, free fancy French dinner” while ignoring the long-term consequences of deepening her relationship with ML (marriage—>tragic fate).

At times, MC acts like a spoiled teenager without any responsibility. Which I’d be fine with if there was growth. /RANT

I initially was drawn in by the premise of the novel. There were parts I liked and I thought I should give it a fair chance (I’d say 75 chaps is quite an investment). But I’m sad cause ultimately I have to drop it due to the FL’s personality settings, her s*upidity, and most of all unwillingness to demonstrate growth. This novel killed too many of my brain cells. Don’t waste your time! <<less
26 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Oct 20, 2019
Status: --
Why is useless MC keep getting transmigrated into novel.... Can't they make it so that someone who was a manager, or even a shop assistant is also OK, I think it would have been interesting. Instead it's this talent less, jobless or boring MC getting crossed over. This MC is the same with that MC in substitute wife novel. =_=

I think this woman will probably kill her kid if the kid (the villain-to-be) was like a normal 4 y.o. kid. Instead to enable her acting clueless and cute, the author... more>> made the kid to be 'sensible'. This troupe feels refreshing once or twice now it's just boring and down right annoying ┐ (´д`) ┌ <<less
24 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jan 26, 2021
Status: c66
I usually gives every novel a chance if I found the synopsis interesting, regardless the reviews. But I must say, the reviews did justice. I had no problem with ML and his son, but I can't continue reading about this foolish and vain FL. Seriously, just the fact that the ML is interested at her for being a weirdo made me question his IQ.

Throughout the chapters, my stomach kept churning from nausea whenever the FL appeared. Mostly because I pitied his son who had her as a mother. I understand... more>> that

she is spoiled brat who leeches off her parents whom she had conveniently forgot after transmigrating

, but if the author wants a spoiled brat as a FL, why harm a child and make her his mother???

This is a legit green tea b FL, guys.


She kept repeating 'not to blame the original character but...' and think that she is a good mother since she fetch her son from kindergarten on time, but I think the previous villainous mother is a better mother than her. At least she's doing all she can for her son. The FL only think of herself and I suspect she secretly view her instant son as a moral baggage.

She somehow thinks she has better moral and optimism compared to her 4 years old son, whom she had labeled as having inferiority complex and a manipulative nature, thinking that she needs to change his views on life. Way to put herself on a high pedestal. A bratty airhead, thinking like that? What a joke.

She only cares about her appearance (unhealthily so) and took her son for granted since he had a precocious mind. Once she was too absorbed in taking selfies of her pretty face to realized that her son was missing (although it was a scene of her son acting out of character and suddenly latching to the ML, but still).

She went shopping and had fun for a day after making her boss (who had been very considerate to a single mother like her) a nanny for her son (without asking his opinion). There are also instances where she splurged on money and only remembering the cost of her son's basic needs when she ran low on money is just unforgiveable.

What I can't stand the most is her planning to be an innocent and unpretentious one-night stand, but acting all sweet and close to the ML's son (just because she can't help it) - she's not even that sweet and attentive to her own son, alright!


I can't help rambling and venting my frustration because I pitied her son. Seriously, don't harm a child like that then justify it, even in writings.

P/S: If you don't mind a brainless FL and like some fluff, go ahead and read. I tried reading twice but my appetite is done here. The two stars are only because I like and pitied the children. <<less
19 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jul 29, 2020
Status: c130
MC is s*upid. That's it, she's just plain s*upid. She has no backbone and seemingly no will of her own.

Not sure if these parts are spoilers so I'll include a spoiler tag.

She's hellbent on not marrying the ML, which is logical because the ML is originally the reason why both she and her son die in the book. But wtf is with her wishy washy attitude towards him? If you want to cut someone off, do it properly. The ML is not some kind of god. She should've known better than staying nearby her old workplace, and instead booked it tf out to another city or something. Don't claim to care about your child, but then not do what's best for him - which is clearly being far away from this guy in the first place. In recent chapters, the ML and MC have been performing this tiring back-and-forth of "I don't like you" (MC) and "I'm interested in you" (ML). I don't care if he's just interested because she's being a weirdo. The fact is that this trope of ~all powerful ML~ is SO overused, and on top of that the author doesn't know how to make it a good story despite that.

Bakarina was a s*upid MC but she was still fun to read. Either give the MC some common f*cking sense or don't write her to have an IQ of negative 3.
19 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Dec 07, 2019
Status: --
There are several reviews that has me asking, did they actually read the story?

The FL is not a virgin. She is not shy. She is a bit naive and a bit lazy.
But, she knows what to do and make decisions quickly while acting on them.
note: FL does not have a degree so it does not matter how smart the FL is, they will not give management job to a middle school graduate. Also, why are people looking for Mary Sue?

FL uses her skills - piano and violin, to... more>> find a job and become good friends with the people there. This is far from useless so I’m scratching my head on some of the reviews.

There are no issues with the FL and sons interactions. They are cute and has potential for lots of fluff.

At this point, I will keep reading and give it a rating once the story is completed or closer to complete. It is interesting to read.
Had to post this after reading some reviews that are different from the story. <<less
18 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Sinking Ship
Sinking Ship
Jan 07, 2020
Status: c41
I'm surprised how much hate this novel is getting in the review section over the MC. Personally I like the MC a lot. She feels very much like a real human with the way she doesn't instantly and perfectly step into some other woman's life and flawlessly play out that woman's various roles. Like, who exactly is the person who could be magically transported into someone else's body and from there be able to act out the role of a perfect mother / daughter to a bunch of people she... more>> has literally never seen or met before? I feel like the transmigrated MC's who are always banging on about paying their filial piety to their "new" parents and relatives and whatnot are the real weird ones.

It's not like the MC of TMLVS ever does anything particularly heinous either. She just isn't an instantly subservient yes-man to some people who she's never met before who are also nominally her parents and she isn't instantly overflowing with tender motherly love for some brat she's never seen before.

All that aside the story itself is a pretty enjoyable read just for the running and chasing going on between the main couple, if you ask me. <<less
16 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Dec 22, 2019
Status: c33
I had expectations... Not too much, I didn't go in to this novel looking for the next holy grail, I was just in it for the fluff after reading some heavy stuff. But the FL ruined it for me. I think the story would have been better as a reincarnation into a white lotus than this transmigration plot it got going on. The FL has very little redeeming features and I dont think she cares about anyone but herself... Its a bit embarrassing really! For an eg, even knowing they... more>> are broke, she blew a $1000 on clothes and take out in a single weekend! Like brah... The 2 stars are for the translation and cute kid <<less
15 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jan 15, 2020
Status: c44
I've been getting into this particular sub-genre of transmigration stories with a female lead taking over the body of an original owner that either has children, or ends up in a situation with a single male lead who already has some. This just happens to be a combination of those two particular situations.

This one might be my current favorite, mostly because of the attitude of the female lead. While she is certainly good to her "instant son", she sees it as more of a relationship between an uncle/aunt to a... more>> niece/nephew rather than as a mother. It always struck me as odd in similar works where the female lead is instantly hit with this maternal instinct towards this kid they are faced with in their new reality. So it's nice to see what I assume will be a more gradual take on getting closer to both her own son as well as her future stepson.

Similarly I am liking her interactions with the boss, and figuring that her best option is to GTFO ASAP rather than sit around and wait for the inevitable retribution (as far as she is concerned) if she were to take it any further than she already has. Sure she is a bit zany and odd, as displayed when she first lays eyes on her former husband for the first time. But at the same time she does take a degree of responsibility for this instant son and herself in trying to improve their lives.

The male lead I am still unsure of. Not too much has been revealed of his inner thoughts, so for now it's a bit of a mystery why he interested in her (though I assume her flippant attitude and lack of "chase" considering his net worth is what provides the initial spark of interest for him). So far though, thankfully he is not the typical cold-hearted, forceful male lead that is the cause of Stockholm Syndrome in so many other Chinese "romance" stories. Knock on wood.

There's definitely some issues, such as the story not truly being original in any way (but then I'd struggle to find much originality left to squeeze out of any established genre, but that is a discussion for a different place entirely) But it does however use those well-known tropes and features in an amusing and interesting way and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes next. <<less
13 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Aug 12, 2020
Status: --
FL is quite a bit like a lot of women I've dated in my youth to be honest. LV handbags with useless liberal arts degrees with no domestic skills and drowning in credit card debt. If they suddenly found themselves with a kid in tow, I imagine they'd fare no better. 80% of US households were living paycheck to paycheck *before* the pandemic. People do not have their sh-t together.
10 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Feb 29, 2020
Status: c26
I was looking forward to reading this series but goddamn the MC was so unlikable. Like I understand that she is suppose to be more relatable than the typical genius/ assassin/ boss female protagonist in transmigration stories but she really is SOOO irresponsible. She is so vain and shameless! I love my confident and shameless protagonists but she makes it so uncomfortable considering that she can't even take care of herself or the child that she keeps putting in the back of her mind!!! Other people try justify her negligence... more>> with the fact that she's young and it isn't even her child but SHE COULD HAVE AT LEAST SENT TO A FREAKING ORPHANAGE SO OTHERS COULD, YOU KNOW, NOT LET HIM STARVE! I really can't bring myself to sympathize with the MC... <<less
10 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Oct 11, 2020
Status: c183
I have no idea why this gets so much hate it seems like people forget this is supposed to be a light hearted comedy where the joke is the MC is a pretty, childish airhead and the resulting misunderstandings and her own shamelessness is what makes this funny.

I'm giving it 5 stars because reading this brightens my day and more people should experience the light hearted fun.
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Jan 06, 2020
Status: Completed
Personally, I really enjoyed this novel.

I read the comments that said the FL is childish, unintelligent and leeches off her parents. Howerver, I don't agree. First of all, at the beginning she is a girl who still hasn't graduated from school and experienced life. She can say whatever, but when she transmigrated, she worked hard to support herself and her child. It may not always be expressed, but if she didn't complain and remain cheerful despite having to go to work everyday with no breaks, then what's with the judgement?... more>> Anyway, I like reading stories where everything goes well for the mcs, rather than constant dogblood drama over nothing.

I also like how FL straightforwardly expresses her feelings. If she likes, she likes - if she doesn't, then she makes herself clear. She may give in to MLs tricks a lot, but when it really counts, she can stand up for herself (

she refuses to marry ML until she is sure that her child won't end up like in the novel despite her personal feelings and the pressure from ML; when given the chance to become a celebrity she feels tempted at first, but quickly realizes that it's not for her and isn't tangled over it for long


The ML is also quite good. I can't say that I totally understand him or that the author managed to completely convey his supposed shrewdness... but I really liked how he was willing for FL to have her own career, do small things for her and spoil her. He is also good with the children, and even gets jealous (but not over the top). An ideal guy!

Finally, the novel is very sweet, with some undramatic drama, which is told very warmly. The secondary characters are also interesting and even if they appear 'evil' at first, they have their reasons.

I recommend this novel for those, who like to eat sugar ^^ <<less
9 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Aug 22, 2020
Status: Completed
I do not like how this story progressed. I don't have a lot of complaints about her mothering because you can't expect everyone to be model women who only live for their children's lives. She muddles along a somewhat realistic path of a childish girl suddenly becoming a mother. What I have a beef with is the relationship between the ML & the FL. The number of times I felt like shaking her & asking where your brains at/where your spine at, are way too many. If you're going for... more>> 'oh, I'm scared of my fate & I have to run away from being a stepmother' then why does that fizzle out so early on? Also, the poor poor boss. He deserves better. Overall, it had potential. I didn't feel it delivered. Sigh. <<less
8 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
May 02, 2020
Status: --
Reading up to c94 was good, I read the comments before and I see no need for such negativity. Loving beauty is fine, normal Web romance novel have obsessive males thinking about beauty.. As a female loving it and as well herself this is refreshing.

The translations so far are extremely well done so full marks, the FL ML and children are decent as well.. The only dislike is her leaving the child alone... That I think is kind of disgusting but in her defense the child is a 'instant child'... more>> so she doesn't have that motherly bond of caring, birthing and raising it.

Anyway I hope that this translation does not get drop and that the plot continues smoothly.

All in all if you are willing to read a modern day book with a female lead who is basically a narcissistic woman and a sly ML with two sons please give it a try I doubt you would regret it for as a picky reader myself it's worth your time. <<less
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