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A Touch of Darkness

(Hades x Persephone #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  155,158 ratings  ·  16,517 reviews
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 encounte
Paperback, 353 pages
Published April 2020 by Scarlett St. Clair (first published May 23rd 2019)
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Allie In my opinion, the book is good. I found it super easy to read and I enjoyed the plot. I think it gets better as you read because you get to know the …moreIn my opinion, the book is good. I found it super easy to read and I enjoyed the plot. I think it gets better as you read because you get to know the characters and the world they live in better. It's not my favorite book, but this is also not my favorite genre. It is an enemies to lovers book, but (in my opinion) the enemies part is pretty one-sided and Persephone's attraction to Hades is focused on much more than her dislike of him. Hope that helps!(less)

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Arini ~ Miss Casually Reading
Readers are bound to get hyped because of the Hades & Persephone reference, and I feel like this updated cover might lead to false expectations cause it’s too pretty and not enough risqué. Therefore, you should be informed that this book is a smutty urban fantasy loose retelling of the King and Queen of Hell. In other words, it’s the perfect escape for a mindless guilty pleasure read should you ever need one. I mean, who doesn’t?

Hades was delicious. It’s Persephone I had a problem with, or rathe
Jul 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
uh oh. someone please admit me into rehab because i am A D D I C T E D.

i started this last night, just wanting to read a couple of chapters before bed. and the next thing i knew, it was 2.30am and my eyes were glued to each page. i swear this book is a drug, with each chapter feeling like taking hit. i just couldnt put it down.

this is far from perfect. the writing is nothing too special and the world building is a little lacking, but goodness me. this story is exactly what i needed. fellow moo
I’m very sad to say I’m pretty disappointed with this book.

I feel like the problem is that it lures you in with the premise of an unique and creative modern day retelling of Persephone and Hades (which sounds amazing btw if there actually is a good version of this please let me know) but it really just is a cliche billionaire romance with Greek god characters.

*the following is very spoiler heavy*

Everything that I deeply deeply disliked:

A Too-Stupid-To-Live heroine
- Persephone is mind-blowingly
Laura Thalassa
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So for months I've seen this book alongside Rhapsodic, and idiot that I am, it took me all the way until now to be like, "Hey, maybe I should read this one!" 😂

Well, I read it. And I freaking LOVED IT!!! The world is so unique, and while it's a "retelling" it's more like all the ancient Olympians living amongst mortals in a modern day world with lots of classical Greek influence. The whole thing was just magical and Hades is freaking HOT as SIN. I mean, the god of the underworld can entrap my @ss
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
This was a huge miss for me. From the start, the writing felt very unpolished and I wasn't a fan of the writing style. The way things were explained felt very choppy and I could not ignore how badly things were explained or characters were developed. As far as the characters go, Persephone was so infuriating. She would make very stupid decisions just for the plot's sake and I was annoyed with her pretty much the whole book. I really did like Hades, but he fell flat for me in his development. We ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
TW: sexual harassment

This is a pretty popular Hades and Persephone retelling, so I decided to give it a try. It sadly falls into the trap of many of the retellings I’ve read that feature these characters - the characters end up feeling a little flat. The Persephone character had the spunk and fire that I like seeing, but she almost seemed to purposely misunderstand things to add to the miscommunication plot line. The Hades here wasn’t my favorite since he was more of a bad boy and that’s not ho
Aliyah 🤍
I’m incapable of writing this review without a few minor spoilers. Not a lot, just enough to (hopefully) make you not want to read this book.
Also big thanks to Aliyah
for reading this with me. This book was terrible, but our collective rants made it worth it 😩

Subjective grade- 30%
Plot - 15%
Writing & dialogue- 60%
Worldbuilding - 40%
Character development - 20%
Character relationships - 5%

🌶🌶🌶 /5

Ahh, don't we love books that step outside the norms with their characters?

➻ The I don’t go to parties be
S.J. Hartsfield
Aug 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I was excited to read "A Touch of Darkness" based on the synopsis I was given. A modern retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth? Great!

Then I started the audiobook and it all went downhill from there. The only way to properly address my feelings about this book is to organize things in a list, so here we go:

1. Persephone as a heroine.

Persephone barely functions as a protagonist, let alone a heroine. Her motivations are all over the place: does she want adventure, a life outside her mother's g

Ali Goodwin
Oct 09, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow wow okay so I LOVED this book. I read it almost entirely in one sitting because I could not. put. it. down. I loved learning about all the different gods and following hades and persephone's story. Going to be reading the second book asap. Such a unique read for me! ...more
Jessi ❤️ H. Vojsk [if villain, why hot?]

”They say Hades is protective of his realm, and while that is true, it isn’t about power.
He cares for his people, protects them, and he takes it personally if anyone is harmed.
If you belong to him, he will tear the world apart to save you.”

Story 🌟🌟
-A Hades and Persephone retelling with a modern touch

While reading the book I was
- really bored
- and sad because I love Persephone and Hades story but this isn’t what i expected.
- realized that I definitely had too high expectations, sh*t

Zoe (Marauders version)
I hate Persephone
I hate her one brain cell
I hate how selfish and stupid she is
I hate that Hades chose Persephone when he could have had someone so much better ✨me✨
I hate the lack of chemistry there was
I hate how I felt nothing

But most of all I hate how much I hated it

{previous review}

I hated the start
loved the end
its complicated

Alsoooo, the entire reason I read this book was for the smut and hades and neither of them delivered

dont get me wrong im only going to read this for the smut and ha
Mar 10, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was... addictive, but also in need of some serious editing.
Claude's Bookzone (semi hiatus)
DNF at 8%

"The force of what she'd done hit her. She'd allowed Hades, the God of the Underworld, to instruct her, to touch her, to play her and question her. And he had won. But that wasn't the worst part. No. The worst part was that there was a side of her, a side that she'd never known existed until tonight, that wanted to run back inside, find him, and demand a lesson in the anatomy of his body."

Bryce Rocks My Socks
i have a lot of problems with this book:

problem #1: they're not real
problem #2: I'm not fictional

hades is so soft ahadsgfjadgsj here are some things to soften your beautiful black little hearts. you are not prepared.
- hades throwing around a ball for his dogs
- hades getting competitive playing rock paper scissors
- hades folding her clothes for her when she woke up
- him dressing her


u were not ready
ale ‧ ₊˚୨୧ ₊˚
2.5 stars.

my review on tumblr.

"You wish to fuck me with this crown, I wish to fuck a god."


Welcome once more to my favorite and most hated section: BIG HYPE, BIG LIE. In this episode, we will discuss the book "A Touch of Darkness" and how disappointing it was. Please, take a seat and remember: my review contains spoilers, so watch ahead! You've been warned!


Said that, let's start.

Y'all probably know that I love Hades and Persephone retelling, so, I was excited for read this book. Also, the hyp
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

...So I will.
Mar 31, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First, I just want to give a shout-out to Bookstagram and BookTok for really doing me dirty on this one. Y’all got me good. With that said... I did not enjoy this book. Now, don’t get me wrong, for the first half, I was having fun with the story. But past that point, I very quickly realized that this just wasn’t it.

I’m going to have to break down my critiques here because, honestly, my thoughts are just all over the place and I need to be organized about this. Profanity, spoilers, and general f
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
DNF 100 pages in. I’ve never known a main character make so many stupid decisions so quickly, and simply being told repeatedly by other characters that there’s “sexual tension” between Hades and Persephone doesn’t make me believe it.
Apr 04, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is basically an unedited, underdeveloped greek mythology smut. This book is if the worst parts of Fifty Shades and Lore Olympus had a baby. It was just terrible in every aspect and I will never understand how this even got published in the first place.

Insta-love? Check.
Cringey dialogue? Check.
Really dry plot? Check. (What plot?)
Bad writing? Check.
One-dimensional characters? Check.

PLSSS I didn’t even expect much from this book. All I wanted was to read some trashy romance story with decent
DNF. This was a very unsatisfying retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. Too much instalove and not enough chemistry between the two romantic leads.
ah, screw it. i'll do my homework in the morning. or in the middle of the night.


This book was absolutely trashy in the best way possible. There was literally no plot to speak of whatsoever, but I somehow found myself absolutely immersed and unable to tear myself away. (I sat and read for like 3 hours straight!!) There's nothing particularly special or nice about the writing, or the characters for that matter, but the way that St. Clair was able to write the slow burn was... *chef's kiss*

Review in one sentence:

ahahahaha they’re so horny bruh that’s literally the entire plot 💀💀🖐

Full review


I would just like to say, first and foremost, that this is not a good book. If you’re looking for a well-written, romantic, meaningful story, this is not the book for you. But.... if you want a smutty trash book? Yes. A thousand times, yes. This is pretty much the equivalent to reading a modern au fanfic. Which, let’s be honest, we’ve all been in the mood to read at one point or another.
chan ☆
on pause for now
This book had no substance and was kind of stupid, much like Persephone herself. But maybe I didn't hate it. Maybe I even enjoyed it a bit. Sue me. ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
(for now this is a 3.5 rounded down) i just want to make it clear that i really enjoyed this!!! i read it very quickly and found myself laughing out loud alongside the characters at certain points. even though some aspects were very cliche, i felt that it worked with the story and was still extremely enjoyable. however, i wish there were more in depth descriptions of the appearances of the characters and more elaboration on some of the side characters. although i liked reading this quite a bit, ...more
julia ♥
Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
That was .... Not Very Good.
• Lindsey Dahling •
Jan 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
I’ve read a lot of Hades/Persephone themed books, but never one with the actual god/goddess, so this was my first. I’m pleased with the result.

There are a few things you’re going to have to prepare yourself for:

1. The dialogue is weird when Persephone is interacting with anyone BUT Hades.
I don’t know why this is. It suddenly turns generic and wooden. I don’t get it.

2. Misspellings galore.
There’s also a lot of struggling with whether or not to use an apostrophe to show possession.

3. Hades and Pe
Jan 09, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2022
This not for me. I am not usually a fan of urban fantasy/paranormal and this book sadly was everything I do not like. Simply the tropes which were used in this novel was too much and not enough at the same time, the plot was very lackluster, the characters felt very flat and motivation they had made sense, but it wasn’t enough to actually carry the story. Scarlett St. Clair's writing style was not my cup of tea, it felt like I read not particularly good fanfiction. ...more
Lucy Tonks
This was actually way more enjoyable than I expected. I went into this book with fairly low expectations considering the things I've heard about it and whta I tend to enjoy in books, but this was really a surprise.

Persephone is the goddess of Spring only by title. All her life she has been hidden by her mother, but when she moves to New Athens, she hopes to leave a simple life disguised as a mortal journalist. But things don't go as plan as she ends up meeting Hades at his own club and struc
Paige ♠
This was enjoyable but didn't stick out from other books in the fantasy/romance genre.

THE MODERN SETTING WITH GREEK GODS was the most unique thing about the story. I thought it was interesting how the Gods were involved in the human world - owning clubs and handing out "favor", although I didn't really understand what favor was... 🤔

PERSEPHONE WAS AN ANNOYING CHARACTER and was very inconsistent. One moment she would be reflecting on how she had never been kissed and then two pages later she w
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International and USA Today Best Selling author Scarlett St. Clair is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation and the author of the HADES X PERSEPHONE SAGA, the HADES SAGA, KING OF BATTLE & BLOOD, and WHEN STARS COME OUT.

She has a Master's degree in Library Science and Information Studies and a Bachelors in English Writing. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, and the afterlife.

If you

Other books in the series

Hades x Persephone (4 books)
  • A Touch of Ruin (Hades & Persephone, #2)
  • A Touch of Malice (Hades & Persephone, #3)
  • A Touch of Chaos (Hades & Persephone, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Here at Goodreads World Headquarters, we're all about spotting trends, and we can confidently proclaim 2022 as the year of the "genre-bending"...
152 likes · 21 comments
“Respect could build an empire. Trust could make it unbreakable. Love could make it last forever.” 96 likes
“They say Hades is protective of his realm, and while that is true, it isn’t about power. He cares for his people, protects them, and he takes it personally if anyone is harmed. If you belong to him, he will tear the world apart to save you.” 38 likes
More quotes…