Book Review: A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair – One Word: S M U T

A Touch of Darkness

Author: Scarlett St. Clair

Series: A Touch of Darkness #1

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Mythology, Retellings, NA

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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.

Um…I’m a bit conflicted about what I think about this book.

Because depending on what you are looking for, this can determine whether you rate this book a 4 – 5 stars or 1 – 3 stars.

The book started off really well for me. I am a reader who always gets bored in the first few chapters of the books, but this one interested me immediately from the very first chapter, which is uncommon for me when reading other series. I also adore the immaculate chemistry between Persephone and Hades alongside these two character’s characteristics. Although Hades has the more stereotypical misunderstood villain blueprint, I love Persephone’s youthful yet ambitious attitudes toward her career and her desire to keep her way of life, no matter how “unusual” it is for someone like her and her mother’s disapproval. I especially appreciate her character development throughout the book and how she grew to stand up for herself, growing out of “her prison” (you’ll know what I’m referencing when you read the book).

As a Greek Mythology geek myself, it’s enjoyable for me to recognize all the mythological references I already know and see how the authors interpret all these already present legends into her own story. This book did a phenomenal job at “retelling” in my opinion because of how well she incorporated the original mythological aspects with her twists. Both the author’s own story and the mythology fit together almost perfectly and it was very satisfying to read.

However, where my problem began was the deterioration of the quality of the story. First off, I came here for the enemies to lovers’ angst. I did get this in the first half of the book, but they got together…pretty quickly, especially by my standards. This initially shouldn’t be a problem because I remember how pissed I got when Hades’s assistant interrupted them (I tried to flip my table in a rage and ended up chipping my fingernail, ignore my stupidity). So obviously I wanted them to get together. But my problem is that marked as the point where the story just went completely downhill. There was…the storyline is still there, but it almost all turned into…smut. Like it used to be 60% story 40% smut, it flipped to become like 70-85% smut to 40% and below storyline. That was very disappointing because a) I want my slow-burn. But also b) it felt like Wattpad at that point, to be honest. It was really sad. I remember reading the first half of the book in the book store and I loved it so much I bought it to continue reading. But once I finished the second half…my interest completely depleted.

Would I continue the series? Most likely not. It lost my interest after it turned into Wattpad. Would I recommend it? Um…if you want smut oh yeah you would enjoy it alright. But if you want an enemy to love slow-burn with an enticing storyline…you may want to try another book.

Rating: 2.5/5

Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies. She is obsessed with Greek Mythology, murder mysteries, love, and the afterlife. If you are obsessed with these things, then you’ll like her books.

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