Book Review: A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1)

Title: A Touch of Darkness

Author: Scarlett St. Clair

Pub. Date: May 23, 2019

Pages: 353

Pub: Scarlett St. Clair

Genre: NA Fantasy Romance

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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.

This will be a spoiler free review. I listened to the audiobook via Audible and really enjoyed it. I kind of fell down a Hades & Persephone rabbit hole, and I’m not mad about it. I’d seen this book recommended on TikTok (more specifically BookTok) and I’ve seen it on various other platforms as well. I was in the mood for H&P and something that would take my mind off real life and the stuff I didn’t want to emotionally deal with last week.

Well, it worked and now I just want to binge this whole series.

I should also mention that I wanted a little spice, a little steam – and this delivered pretty well in that regard. It wasn’t A Court of Silver Flames graphic, but I still probably shouldn’t have been listening to it while at work.

I will say that I wasn’t initially hooked or all that impressed. This book has a slow start – and to be fair, I just wanted to get to the part where Hades and Persephone were actively interacting. This book is a tad slow building up to it – so I was a little bored in the beginning. I was also wondering if all the recommendations were leading me wrong, but I didn’t have anything else downloaded to listen to, so I stuck with it.

Thank God I did.

This version of Hades…phew…like, if he were to show up and say to me “you’re my queen” I’d be gone in a heartbeat.

I love a tortured, moody and broody, in desperate need of a hug King of the Underworld.

I love when the “villain” is severely misunderstood and dons that cloak of evil to fit the worlds image of them.

When in reality – while they may be morally grey and not necessarily opposed to causing bodily harm to others – they’re pretty nice people.

I love that Hades isn’t the evil ruthless God that humanity makes him out to be. He has Standards – unlike another character in this book.

Tbh, if you’re named Adonis, I’m automatically not going to like you. It legit just gives off narcissistic asshole vibes. I hated that Persephone had to deal with his shit ass.

And speaking of Persephone – I loved her. I loved the undercurrent of darkness that seemed to simmer just below her surface. Her arc in this book is really satisfying – the sheer amount of growth is so good – especially when you consider where she started and how things end.

Or are just beginning – depending on how you want to look at it. She truly comes into her own and doesn’t apologize. That scene at the end between her and Demeter…yeah, that was amazing and so, so satisfying.

I wasn’t a fan of Demeter’s either.  

Persephone with Hades is addicting. The two of them together – is it weird to be jealous of a fictional character? Because I just might be.

Hades is yummy – for lack of a better word. And okay, this might be a tiny, miniscule spoiler – but the baking cookies scene…y’all read this book for that scene alone. Hell, I was watching a BookTok video where the person mentioned that scene, and that’s why I downloaded the audiobook. The King of Hell showing up in sweatpants to learn how to make cookies – legit I would just die right then and there.

And what follows…steamy.

I really ended up enjoying this, and I’ve already downloaded book 2 so I can start listening to it once I’m done these two other books. I can’t wait to get back to this world where the Gods have come down to Earth and are treated like celebrities. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next for Persephone and Hades and how it will affect their relationship. I can’t wait to see how Persephone’s powers grow and how the world views Hades. I’m just overall excited and so glad that this book ended up living up to the hype I saw surrounding it. It’s definitely an easy book to get lost in and will leave you wishing you had a Greek God to come worship you.

And I would be lying if I wasn’t thinking about that final scene between Hades and Persephone in the garden…if you know, you know – and I really shouldn’t have been listening to this book while at work.

I recommend picking up this book if you want to get lost in a Hades & Persephone retelling that will leave you wanting so much more.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1)

  1. I have this book in my tbr already (because Hades) but your review convinced me that I need to read it right now. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOOO! yes! then I’ve done my job properly! I hope you enjoy it – and if you end up reviewing it, feel free to link me your review so I can check it out! 🤗


  2. Great review!! I haven’t read many Hades & Persephone stories, and I think I need to. This sounds great!! I feel like I need to read it solely for the cookie baking scene – sounds yummy indeed!! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omfg, yes. They’re so much fun. All the ones I’ve read may be based on the same myth, but they never feel like the same book. This one was spicy and yummy and kind of the perfect fix after ACOSF. 🙈 I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

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