A Touch of Darkness
by Scarlett St. Clair
Book 1 in the Hades + Persephone Series
A Modern Hades and Persephone Retelling
Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.
Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.
After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.
The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.
A Touch of Darkness is the first book in Scarlett St. Clair's Hades x Persephone series. In this retelling of the Greek pair, we are brought to modern times. After the Great War, after the Gods came down to Earth, they brought all continents together and created New Greece, and ruled once again. Persephone, the unknown Goddess of Spring, is living amongst mortals, and is enrolled in university, with the goal to become a journalist, despite her mother Demeter's objections. When Persephone has a chance to rebel against her mother's many rules, she takes it, and goes to Nevernight, the ultra-exclusive nightclub owned by Hades - and where mortals go to for the chance to make a deal with him. A game of poker with a handsome man turns dangerous, when she finds out that the man she lost to is the God of the Underworld himself. A contract is made, and she is given a task: create life in the underworld in six months time, or forever be bound to the underworld. Can Persephone, with no magic of her own, figure out a way out of contract, and can she resist the undeniable pull Hades has on her?
This is another book that has been CONSTANTLY raved about on #booktok, so I decided to try it out. I love Greek Mythology (always have), and I enjoy retellings. I have to admit, for as much as this book is hyped up, I was left a bit disappointed. I liked the idea. It was neat bringing Hades and Persephone into the modern era, and creating a world where the Gods and Goddesses roamed amongst mortals. The writing was good for the most part. Sometimes the banter was a little cliché and stale. The thing that bothered me the most, though, was how rushed everything was. Their relationship was too fast, and I would have liked more seduction - more burning intensity. That being said, the steam in this book hasn't been downplayed, and Hades and Persephone is HOT on the page. I just don't think that a series can be sustained with sex alone.
Will I DNF the series? I've been doing that a lot lately, as nothing is living up to its hype, and its seriously bumming me out. I think, since I did like the book, I will continue it. I just didn't love it. But maybe it gets better?
Hades and Persephone meeting for the first time
Hades dropping Persephone in the Underworld and her yelling upwards Ass! had me cackling
Persephone teasing Hades after he picks her up from La Rose
Their first time
Persephone turning Minthe into a mint plant
Hades: "Do you play?"
Persephone: "I'm willing to play if you're willing to teach."
His lips quirked, and he raised a dark brow. He took another drink, then approached the table, taking a seat beside her.
Hades: "It's brave to sit down at a able without knowing the game."
Persephone: "How else would I learn?"
Hade: "Hmm. Clever."
Persephone: "I don't understand why people do this."
He tilted his head
Hades: "You are not enjoying our game?"
Persephone: "I am. But ... I don't understand why people play Hades. Why do they want to sell their soul to him?"
Hades: "They don't agree to a game because they want to see their soul. They do it because they think they can win."
Persephone: "Do they? Win?"
Persephone: "Does that anger him, you think?"
He smirked, and she could feel it deep in her gut.
Hades: "Darling, I win either way."
Hermes: "Shall I guess who you are?"
Persephone: "Oh yes. Entertain yourself."
Hermes: "Hmm. I think you are the Goddess of Sexual Frustration."
Persephone barked laughter
Persephone: "I think that's Aphrodite."
Hermes: "Did I say sexual frustration? I meant Hade's sexual frustration."
Hades: "You don't listen to orders."
Persephone: "I don't take orders from you, Hades."
He raised a brow
Hades: "Trust me, darling. I'm aware."
Persephone: "I'm not yours and I'm not your darling."
Hades: "We've been through this, haven't we? You are mine. I think you know that just as well as I do."
Persephone: "Have you ever thought that maybe you're mine instead?"
His lips twitched and his eyes fell to her wrist.
Hades: "It is my mark upon your skin."
Maybe the alcohol made her brave. She shifted, sliding her leg across Hade's lap so that she straddled him. Her dress rose, and she could feel him against her, hard and aroused. She smiled and his gaze returned to hers instantly; this time, it was like fire scorching her skin.
Persephone: "Should I leave a mark?"
Hades: "I don't think, Goddess. I know. I could make you worship me."
Persephone: "You will worship me."
Persephone: "I want you. Be my first. Be my everything."
Persephone: "Drop your glamour."
He looked at her curiously.
She shrugged a shoulder.
Persephone: 'You want to fuck me with this crown. I want to fuck a god."
Hades: 'You're saying that"
-Hades pointed to the mint plant -
Hades: "is my assistant?"
He didn't look at the plant but at her.
Hades: "And why is my assistant a plant, Persephone?"
Persephone: "Because ... she upset me."