This review contains spoilers ***
With modern Greek retellings on the rise, I was bound to pick A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. A book that threw booktok into overdrive, A Touch of Darkness is a tale in Persephone’s perspective, where she meets the king of the underworld for the first time. A Goddess of spring only by title, Persephone cannot grow life. 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 somehow, Persephone finds herself in a bargain with Hades where she has to grow life in the underworld. But unwillingly Persephone finds herself drawn sexy Lord Hades.
I felt that the characters were well written, no doubt, but some scenes were coinciding with that of cliched romance. Going to Nevernight, the club owned by Hades, and worrying he won’t recognize your divinity? Surprise, this is romance, and that will definitely happen. Plotwise, there weren’t many curveballs, but I expected some mystery, especially with the title foreshadowing some darkness onto the story but instead got subplot of blackmail which didn’t make sense overall in the story.
The good thing about this story was the slow burn. As Hades and Persephone’s relationship unfolded, I liked how slowly they developed feelings for each other. One incident after another, they became closer. Even when there was promise of hot and gritty sex, it didn’t happen, making the reader dive more into the story, the delayed gratification worked well for this book. And not only that, in the world of New Athens, we also meet the other Greek gods, goddesses and popular Greek figures, playing as side characters. It is always fun to read authors interpretation of Greek gods, and my favorite was definitely Hermes.
Although, I like the book, I still have a few complaints about it. It targets Urban fantasy world with Gods and Goddesses involved with mortals, yet how the modern technology is weaved into the story, doesn’t feel too natural. Worldbuilding lacked some key elements as the story kept of focusing how divine the gods are and how sexy, beautiful and perfect they are instead of incorporating the Greek culture and exploring its modernity. The original point was how Scarlett gave the gods and goddesses horns on their head, which I admit is unique and also appeals a lot to erotica readers. Lastly, this is a Hades & Persephone retelling, which is certain to make readers excited, but when you look at the cover of this book, it doesn’t target the genre well. It is gorgeous but not risqué enough for dark romance.
The romance was average, but the sex scenes were forced and sometimes even felt misplaced. As a result, you readers should be aware that this book is a raunchy urban fantasy loosely based on the King and Queen of Hell, but perfect for those who love mindless guilty pleasure.
I rate this book, 3.8/5 stars.