A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair Book Review


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

  Content Warning: Sexual Content, Drugging, Gambling, Drinking, Non-Consensual Touching


A Touch of Darkness is a beautiful and modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s love story. I adore these two, along with most of the characters around them. They have a chemistry that I could get drunk on. The world Scarlett St. Clair created is an intriguing mixture of modern-day life and what it would be like to have gods and goddesses intermingled in society. 


  • Girl power/Girl boss vibes from Persephone
  • Lexa
  • Captivating world
  • Mother-Daughter dynamic
  • Hades’s soft side
  • Solid plot


  • No map
  • Hard to tell how much time had passed
  • Skimmed over details




The plot was nicely set up for us; Persephone unknowingly enters into a contract with Hades: to create life in the Underworld. She must fulfill her contract by the end of 6 months or she is forever kept in the Underworld. Along the way, Persephone deals with Adonis, who submitted her article (and changed it) without her consent; confronting her conflicting emotions about writing articles on Hades for her internship and staying in good graces with her mother.

However, she ends up falling in love with Hades, but it’s complicated and her emotions are conflicted. It’s only when her 6 months are about to be up that Aphrodite reveals hers and Hades’s contract: Hades must find convince someone to love him in 6 months.

With betrayal in her heart, Persephone attempts to complete her contract with Hades by watering her garden with water from the Well of Reincarnation. This doesn’t quite work out, but during her confrontation with Hades, Persephone creates life by summoning vines to bind Hades. In the end, Hades and Persephone make up and agree for her to live in both the Underworld and Upperworld, thus allowing Persephone to have the best of both worlds and Hades. 


Starting off, this is definitely a case of instant-lust between Hades and Persephone. Up until this point, Persephone hadn’t been with anyone else, nor had she really ever had sexual urges. It wasn’t until meeting Hades that this was awakened in her. This is honestly kind of refreshing to see instead of instant-love. Persephone is able to explore her sexuality without strings attached, or so she thought. But that’s beside the point. Throughout half the book Hades and Persephone’s relationship is almost exclusively physical, and it’s nice to read about the main character not instantly falling head over heels for the main love interest. Persephone fought herself (and Hades) while trying to untangle her emotions, and it was such a fun ride. 

I loved the plot twist that revealed all Persephone needed to gain her powers was worshippers, people who believed in her as a goddess. It was heart-wrenching knowing what Demeter had done by keeping Persephone locked away and without access to her powers. It doesn’t make sense to be a goddess or a Goddess of Spring without some type of powers, right? This particular point had stumped me throughout the book on what could awaken her powers, and to have it revealed to us in such a devastating and heart-breaking way was *chef’s kiss.*

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the solid plot it had, I had a few issues/questions. The book was pretty fast-paced. We had moments to breath before the action picked back up again, but descriptions were lacking or a loose end wasn’t addressed. So, let’s get into it. 

  • I got major Lore Olympus (a Webtoon comic) vibes from this book. Which I looked into and Lore Olympus started in 2018 and A Touch of Darkness came out in 2019. So, to me, St. Clair was heavily inspired by the Webtoon.
  • Once we find out Demeter was tracking Persephone via her cellphone, Persephone doesn’t really do anything about it. At least not that we know about. Does she stop taking her phone to the Underworld? Did she get a new phone? Did she do anything at all?
  • After the La Rosa incident, Persephone didn’t ask Hades about Lexa. Granted, she was concerned for her friend while at the club and tried to go back and find her, but she didn’t ask about her condition the next day, nor were we told. Was Lexa drugged as well? Did anything happen to her? This part is just skimmed over and not addressed, but I feel it vital to do so.
  • I would have loved to see some type of interaction with Demeter at the Gala event. I mean, Persephone had her mask/crown enchanted so Demeter couldn’t see her, but what did Demeter see what Hades teleported out of the event with a woman? 
  • Where was Demeter when news outlets were posting pictures and information about Persephone and Hades being together? I feel like that would have brought out the wrath in the woman just knowing that her daughter was perceived that way by others. I felt like she was forgotten for a while until Demeter intruded on Persephone and Hades in her apartment. 
  • The girl-on-girl hate. It’s so immature and unnecessary. I would just leave at man if this was the case


With all the characters, I was instantly drawn into their quirks and personalities. Non of the characters felt flat, but instead well rounded and believable. Persephone’s and Hades’s relationship is a bit too fast for me. I need more of a build up, like soft moments and lingering touches. I mean insta-lust is fine, but if I’m supposed to believe they’re in love, I’ll need a bit more than just sex scenes. 


Persephone is probably 22 years old in this book and had only been living on her own for 4 years. Which is to say that she is emotionally volatile. Hades points out that she doesn’t know how to handle her emotions, and I couldn’t agree more. Her anger causes her to make poor decisions before thinking anything through. And I can relate. Up until recently in my life, I was the same. It took a lot of hard work and therapy to control my anger, and I feel like she’ll have to partake in something similar to rein in her emotions. 

With that being said, Persephone is also a strong-willed and up-front person. While she still does place her mother’s happiness above her own, she knows how she should be treated and has a strong moral compass. A lot of the language in the book described Persephone as demanding, which she can be, but she was more assertive and stood up for what she believed was right. 

I had fun reading how Persephone handled difficult situations and how she wanted to do things her way, or as she states “fight her own battles.” I love seeing that strong girl power or girl boss energy. Persephone dealt with her challenges her own way and didn’t rely on her mother or Hades to do it for her. This just shows how independent and intelligent she is.

Overall, I loved how Persephone was portrayed, her energy, and how passionate she was. She was quite relatable in many aspects (falling in love with a god is not one of them) and she strived to live a full life, which most of us take for granted. 


I enjoyed trying to figure Hades out. He is definitely good at keeping his facade of not caring/being a ruthless god. Or, as the book states it, he doesn’t care to change the minds of others on how they perceive him. Which I think is interesting. This thought process, along with what he says later about not being worthy of his people’s celebrations, tells us a lot about his character.

Hades doesn’t try to fight how the Upperworld sees him because that’s how he sees himself. It’s evident that he cares about the dead in his realm, he cares about his people, but he also has some compassion for the mortals making deals. I love that he challenges them to overcome their demons and better themselves. That is such an intriguing twist on the God of the Underworld taking mortal souls. 

In the end, Hades still feels like an enigma to me. I feel like I understand most of his motives and actions, but there’s something else there and I can’t place my finger on it. 

Side Characters

The side characters in this book were divine. Lexa is absolutely wonderful and the greatest best friend. She takes Persephone’s goddess admission in stride, pumps her up when she becomes famous off her article and is all-around super supportive of Persephone. And, in turn, Persephone is supportive of Lexa, so it’s not a one-way street here. But that’s all we get of Lexa. I get the sense that Lexa is fun and intelligent herself, but we aren’t really shown that. I want to see more of Lexa outside of being a supportive character to Persephone. 

Demeter was terrifying yet enchanting. The way St. Clair wrote about her was well done. She gave off Charlotte Pickle vibes, except Demeter wasn’t nearly as loving and supportive of her daughter as Charlotte Pickles was. Demeter is intimidating, independent, and knows exactly what she wants. Those goddess vibes were definitely coming through the book and I shrank away just reading about her. 


I loved the third-person POV of A Touch of Darkness. There aren’t many fantasy romances that aren’t first-person POV (that I’ve read, at least.) I think the character’s emotions and the internal conflicts were well-written, but I wish we got more about the surroundings and events happening after major plot points. I appreciated the lack of info-dumping, but there needed to be more atmosphere and descriptions. I found myself wondering what happened after events, what places looked like, etc. 

To piggyback off the lack of descriptions, the pace of the book was also quite fast, which is probably why we don’t have as much information. Major events would start and end within 2-3 pages; there needed to be more during those events. Not necessarily more action, but more exposition, more dialog, more something. 

Although I wish there was more care taken when describing events, places, etc., the lack of information didn’t deter me from the story. I was ultimately able to question a few things and then move on. Yes, this still bothers me a little bit, especially since the book was almost 400 pages, but it wasn’t a deal breaker on my enjoyment of the book. 

Another big thing, for me at least, was the lack of editing and proofreading. There were so many missing commas, weird conversations, and then the sense where Hade’s raises an eyebrow that is already raised. Like come’on. Any freelance editor/proofreader could have helped here! 

Due to the lack of descriptions and the lack of proofreading, I took off 1 star.


Overall, I loved A Touch of Darkness. It was a fun, fantastical journey on how Persephone and Hades came together. I adore them as a couple and how they balance each other out: Hades the hard ass but soft for Persephone, and Persephone the compassionate one with a hard head. 

I look forward to reading the next book of the series. I ordered books #2 and #3 before I even finished this one! I’m excited to see where Persephone and Hades end up and the challenges they’ll face. 

What did you think of the book? Did you like it or could you have done without it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Facebook Page  |  Goodreads TBR  |  Spicy Rating Scale | Scarlett St. Clair’s Website

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