• A Touch of Darkness

  • Hades & Persephone Series, Book 1
  • By: Scarlett St. Clair
  • Narrated by: Meg Sylvan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (2,401 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $17.49

Buy for $17.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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.  

Contains mature themes.

©2019 Scarlett St. Clair (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about A Touch of Darkness

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,705
  • 4 Stars
    436
  • 3 Stars
    182
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    22
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,679
  • 4 Stars
    288
  • 3 Stars
    105
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,482
  • 4 Stars
    370
  • 3 Stars
    181
  • 2 Stars
    51
  • 1 Stars
    41

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Some people really will romanticize anything, huh?

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 grasp? Does she want passion and/or love (two things that are alternately conflated and differentiated, as the situation dictates)? Does she want to trust Hades and challenge her preconceived notions of him? Or does she want those notions confirmed, despite his words and actions?

She seems ready to believe the worst of Hades at all times, no matter what he does. She tells him he should send struggling mortals to rehab? He does so, and she accuses him of doing it to "make fun of" her. If she's so eager to get out from under her mother's thumb, and her mother hates and mistrusts Hades, you'd think Persephone would take any and every opportunity to see the best in him, specifically to spite her mother.

She also just plain doesn't listen when Hades speaks (when he bothers to explain himself at all, see below). He'll tell her, "I don't have full control over my contracts and have to consult with the Fates", and she'll continue to berate him for his "unfair" contracts that "ask the impossible".

Lastly, she spends a lot of time thinking Independent Woman thoughts, but all of those seem to fly out the window the second she gets in the presence of Hades and his magical dick.

2. Persephone as a goddess.

Persephone is, nominally, the goddess of spring. If she was, as the story implies, born 20-some actual years ago, how has spring happened before her birth? Since she can't make her powers manifest, how does spring happen at all? Who gave her the title of "goddess of spring", if a) none of the other gods knew about her (as is implied) and b) she shows no gift for anything springtime-related?

3. Hades as a hero.

So Hades has a reputation as a cold, heartless, ruthless tyrant who challenges mortals to games of cards in order to trick them into "impossible" contracts. (His terms include things like challenging alcoholics to give up drinking. You might recognize that as something that's certainly difficult, but not impossible.)

Anyway, Persephone buys into this reputation and often accuses him of this and worse, and Hades hardly ever stands up for himself. At worst he stays silent, and at best he'll say something along the lines of, "It's not like that," but doesn't follow up with an explanation. He allows Persephone to continue thinking ill of him, then gets irritated when she thinks ill of him. If he truly didn't care about anyone's opinion this would make sense, but he tells Persephone more than once that HER opinion matters. He just doesn't seem willing to do much to change it.

The only time he makes an effort to alter her perception of him is when he starts a rehab charity for mortals, at Persephone's suggestion, but--as mentioned--she only takes that as an offense.

4. Lack of logic.

I don't just mean that characters make illogical choices (although there's plenty of that, too). I mean that conversations/sequences of events don't seem to follow any sort of logical pattern. For instance:

"No, Lady Persephone. Trust me, when we fuck, you'll remember."

WHEN? "Your arrogance is alarming."

His eyes flashed. "Is that a challenge?"

A challenge to what? If Persephone had followed the statement about arrogance with something like, "We will NEVER have sex," his response might make sense. It would be disgusting, but it would make sense. But exchanges like this happen all the time. It's like the author wrote from sentence to sentence, picking what she wanted to say in any given moment, regardless of what had just been said/done or what was about to be said/done.

5. A tired dynamic.

Can we move past the dynamic of "virginal college-aged woman" and "brooding worldly billionaire", please? It was uncomfortable in Fifty Shades of Grey and it was uncomfortable here. Persephone is in her 20s, and we're supposed to believe that not only is she a virgin, she's never even masturbated. Is she okay?

It's also time to retire a dynamic where one party (usually the woman) says something that implies she isn't interested, and the other party (usually the man) "sees past" her protests to what she "really wants" and informs her of her own desires. It's gross and problematic. It gets a SLIGHT pass in this story, since Hades is literally a god and can literally see into people's souls, but it's still pretty skeevy.

Not to mention that if Persephone is college-aged and Hades is millennia old, the age difference is far beyond anything even Twilight could throw at us.

6. Implementation of mythology.

It was really difficult to get a handle on the way in which mythological characters were employed in this story. Which gods had been around since antiquity, like Hades, and which were new, like Persephone? Was the Adonis we meet bound to be the same mortal that Aphrodite falls for in the myth, or was he a modern man with the same name? Was Sibyl the Oracle of Delphi, or was she a modern woman who just happened to also be an oracle? Was Orpheus the guy with the lyre we know, or just a bereft widower denied the opportunity to exchange his soul for his wife’s?

It seemed that the author cherry-picked images/names/themes from mythology without taking the time to construct a cohesive universe with them.

7. Lack of proofreading.

Look, I’m not here to rag on self-publication as an industry. I think it’s a great way for new authors to get their work out to an audience, especially an audience that might be smaller than a publisher wants to bet on. My problem isn’t that St. Clair “independently published” this book.

My issue is that she clearly didn’t employ ANY sort of editor in the process. I can’t speak on the textual version, but even the audiobook was rife with awkward word choice and sentence structure, not to mention moments like this:

"Oh no," Persephone said.
Hades raised a brow. "What?"
"I know that look."
He raised a curious brow. "What look?"

Freelance editors are readily available online. Employ them.

8. The terms of bets and contracts.

Early in the story, Hades offers to teach Persephone to play poker. They wager questions: whoever wins a hand gets to ask the other a question, which must be answered. However, once they’ve finished, Hades is able to mark Persephone, indicating that she is now under contract with him. The terms of that contract are decided after the fact. This makes zero sense. If questions and answers were the wagers, how can she then owe him a contract fulfilled? How can you possibly be beholden to a contract without its terms being defined first?

9. The audiobook narrator.

This is something that Scarlett St. Clair can't be blamed for, but bears mentioning: the narrator of this audiobook has three major flaws, as far as I'm concerned. A) Her male voices all sound the same: gravelly and molasses-slow. Hades sounds like Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith. B) She over-enunciates almost everything. C) She gets into the sex scenes. Like. REALLY gets into the sex scenes.

I’m sure there’s a lot more to talk about but this review is already 1300 words and I’m so tired.

202 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Tiktok told me 5/5 but no, its a 3.25/5

After rading SJM & The Bargainer series this was ok. I liked it but it seemed like something id read before unfortunately. Smutty but I pictured my boyfriend instead of Hades so, ya know. I didn't like Persephone as a journalist and some of the dialog was tough to believe but all in all 3.25/ 5

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Possibly some spoilers

Technically haven’t finished this yet, but a few thoughts right out the gate. 1) the narrator really can’t do a male voice and it’s really awkward; 2) the whole second half of this story is just a series of sex scenes

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok, to similar to L.O.S for me though .

I don’t like to compare but and I know most of this is base on the mythology of this two gods/goddess but a lot of the story had a lot of similarities to the comic book found in WEBTOON / coming to Nexflix soon (Lore Of Olympus by Rachel smythe ), it just had huge similarities. And I’m aware of the myth and authors will put there spin on the myth of there choosing on gods and goddesses but when both sound so much alike I don’t know if that’s my cup of tea . Don’t get me wrong I like touch of darkness and will continue to read on but I’m stinking with lore of Olympus this one for me . P.s not hatting on this book.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Eh.... it may be for some people

I don't want to be mean about this book, but honestly it wasn't for me. The characters seemed underdeveloped and mostly 2 dimensional, while also being inconsistent. If sentences along the line of "wanted him to fill the emptiness inside her" and almost exclusively referring to male genitalia as "his arousal" and female genitalia as "her core" are for you then you would probably like the sex scenes in this book if that type of phrasing makes you cringe, I recommend reading a different book.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Gag

I was so excited for this book. The MOMENT I Heard- the narrator’s voice I knew it was going to be a long, hard road. Narrator is just noooooot good.

Story makes no sense, full of major loopholes. Tropes are boring. Creepy right billionaire “preys” on virginal college woman. Blah. This book could have been AMAZING and it was NOT, save your credit and don’t get this one!!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

wow. just wow

I've been looking for a fiction book about the gods for a long time so when I found this I jumped at it without really looking into it and I regret it. I used to like Kenons Dark Hunter series but the romanticized sex bs got in the way. This book is worse in that theres no other story but that. not fights, no powers, no godly anything really. just love struggles and over the top sex. excuse me, "overly passionate love making" THATS IT. nothing else.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Romantic book.

This is a deliciously romantic book, it’s about Hades and Persephone, theirs a back and forth, funny parts, and beautifully illustrated underworld.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

don't waste your time

this came highly recommend to me because I liked ACOTAR and I was highly disappointed

reads more like a fanfiction or an early first draft
predictable plot, flat characters, boring dialogue

if you're absolutely determined to purchase at least get the real book. the narrator is difficult to listen to. sharp whistles on every s, horrible male voices.

worst audiobook I've ever listened to for sure

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

It’s okay if you want smut

I started listening to this because I read Lore Olympus on WebToon and people on the group I’m in were suggesting this. I love Greek Mythology and specifically love Hades and Persephone. The story itself is okay but it honestly just seems like a Modernized Greek Mythology version of 50 Shade of Gray.

And don’t get me started on how the narrator sounds when she reads the sex scenes. I half expected her to have an orgasm after she read one and I’m just thinking “ma’am I’m trying to listen to the book, not you pleasure yourself.”

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Franklymydarling
  • Franklymydarling
  • 03-09-21

A drinking game in the making!

It’s a good book with interesting characters. Plus you could make a drinking game out of it. Let’s just say, that if you take a shot every time you hear the word ‘obsidian’, you’ll end up on the floor.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kim Bourke
  • Kim Bourke
  • 08-12-21

So-so.

The narration is fantastic. But honestly the story feels a little like a cringey teen romance novel. Hades is Edward Cullen and Persephone is Bella, just with a bit more sex involved. I would've liked to have heard more character development or backstory, but I suppose that's due in Scarlett's following novels. Her world feels like she stole a lot from Lore Olympus, The amazing and successful webcomic series which has been picked up by Netflix, to be produced by Jim Hensen studios.
I honestly feel this book was disappointing and not as I'd hoped. Is it only popular due to the amount of sex and sexual tension?

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rachel
  • Rachel
  • 07-28-21

oh my christ

nope, sorry I didnt enjoy that, I spent more time cringing than actually enjoying this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-15-20

Interesting story, not like anything i've heard

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It made my journey to work fly by as I was so wrapped up in it. I won't lie, I didn't realise the sexual content in this book before buying, but I feel it was old well.

The plot itself is an interesting concept, I think I may need to read more about Greek mythology.

Narrator was one of the best I've heard.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Zoe
  • Zoe
  • 05-20-21

Excellent book

I’m a huge fan of hades and persephonie as a Greek myth anyway and finding this book was a god send! Really enjoyed the extra Greek gods dropping in to ... just loved it!!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Zoe
  • Zoe
  • 06-18-22

Do yourself a favour and don't even bother

Great narration but a sorely underdeveloped and forced plot with an artificially naive/annoying main character - I had to stop listening around half way through as I couldn't stand to hear any more. The entire premise of this book is a shallow as a bird bath and definitely not worth the money - honestly just go buy yourself a pizza instead

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

Not for me

This book was quite boring. There didn't seem to be much of a plot and Persephone was actually very annoying and childish. I found myself much more interested in the side characters and their stories rather than the main story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-19-21

loved it but not enough for me

loved it. it was such an amazing book, a crave i couldn’t conquer, an addiction .
That i had to save my soul from Hades😫😫

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nicola
  • Nicola
  • 10-28-21

Not the best in terms of character development

Character development and wider story line are a but lackluster, not terrible by any stretch but a bit lacking, nit on a part with TA White for example. But an easy read and decent narrator.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Scur
  • Scur
  • 10-04-21

Average YA style writing, weak heroine and eh narr

I had to give up on the book about an hour in. It's very YA style writing and I couldn't handle the cliches anymore.
I got as far as her making out with Hades and then getting all "oh he's not actually interested, it was just to keep me away from him" before I gave up. Couldn't handle the lead female character having no freaking backbone.
It reminded me a lot of fanfiction style writing where the lead female seems to have no real flaws. Blonde, beautiful, well liked etc and the perfect situations just seem to happen despite her idiotic choices.
The narrator was okay, but I honestly couldn't tell the difference between some of the characters and I didn't get that far into it.
If you want something a little different, well read with a well developed storyline, I'd suggest Sarah J Maas' a court of thorns and roses series.
Even if you just want something spicy, Kresley Coles immortals after dark series are written well and the narrator does a great job of keeping the characters distinct. I returned this title and am going to find something else.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gemz16
  • Gemz16
  • 07-19-21

Meh

I really, really wanted to like this book but my god Persephone has got to be one of the most annoying characters there is. All she does is whine, demand and sulk, then demands some more. She's an immature brat, even when she knows she is in the wrong she still carries on sulking. This would be fine if the character was to say........ grow, but she carries this attitude the whole way through. Her "relationship" with Hades is ugh, booooring. No matter what he does, she always finds a way to turn it around so that he's the worst.
"Hey Hades, you should be sending people to rehab instead of giving them contracts."
He does.
"How dare you send them to rehab. You're only doing this to make fun of me"
ugh such a narcissist.

She also constantly blames Hades for everything, even though most times she's just as much at fault and refuses to listen to and understand his explanations on anything. He'll tell her, "I don't have full control over my contracts and have to consult with the Fates, or I can't just bring people back to life, it doesn't work like that" but does she ever listen? She also continues to berate him for his "unfair" contracts that "ask the impossible". The impossible being
H-"Hey you alcoholic person go get sober and I'll give you what you've demanded of me"
P - "That's so unfair, you're a monster for asking the impossible."
ahhhhhhhhh that seems like a pretty fair trade to me. He ain't giving away something for nothing.

Hades is meeeeeh, he just takes her whining and complaining because I don't know he's in love? Hades never corrects her for her wrong assumptions about him. The most he will say is "It's not like that," but won't say why. The only time he makes an effort to alter her perception of him is when he starts a rehab charity for humans, at Persephone's suggestion. (see above for how that turns out.)

Anyway give it a miss, unless you're into annoyingly childish characters.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alt
  • Alt
  • 07-11-21

I've read better.

Felt like the plot was purely written to support the sex scenes. Kinda lackluster.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kristie-Leigh
  • Kristie-Leigh
  • 04-06-21

Perfection!

I absolutely adored this book. It was interesting, easy to understand the world, super spicy & lots of passion. I loved how creative the writer was in the description of the underworld.

Hades was the perfect mix of dangerous & protective. He was so sweet & gentle to Persephone it made me swoon. At the same time he is very much the powerful alpha male. There’s so much more to Hades then what meets the eye and I can’t wait to read the next book to find out more about his past.

Although the story was angsty in the way that Persephone fought against her feelings, the romance & passion kicked off almost immediately in the book.

I really enjoyed the performance by the narrator. She really gave the characters & the story life.

Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Spice 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶
Narrator 🎤🎤🎤🎤🎤

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for lia
  • lia
  • 01-27-21

Loved it!

Fun, sexy, addictive. Loved this twist on the tale of Hades & Persephone. Definitely recommend for romance lovers.

Only thing I didn’t love was the narrator’s OTT sex voice when she was climaxing haha. Otherwise she was great.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 09-27-21

Interesting enough, but I'm slightly cringing

The storyline is interesting enough, some of the characters are likeable, a for effort when it comes to narration. However, I find myself cringing at awkward statements such as "my darling" and the excessive use of the phrase "my core", not to mention the outdated "te-he I'm a virgin, but please do ram into me full force on the first encounter, that's totally normal" attitude. Definitely think the story could benefit from a bit less thirsting and a bit more substance. I don't like how it feels like almost everything else is written to support the "bedroom" scenes, rather than them being a natural part of the story. On the other hand, if you're looking for pure smut, you'll probably be disappointed too.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-28-21

not what I was wanting

I wasn't wholly impressed by this book, the characters felt quite drab and all over the place. I was first under the impression that is was going to be an enemies to lovers story since that is what everyone had been saying when recommending this book, but that was not what this was, at best it was disgruntled to lovers.

the smutty scene's were so quick that if you weren't paying too much attention for a moment you would miss it, While not having too much passion in it.

over all I didn't hate it but I found myself thinking "gods, how can persephone be this stupid"

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ash
  • Ash
  • 06-01-21

Provocative with a new twist

The narration was well delivered and the story flowed well. Filled with many new dark ideas and a different twist on the Gods.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-19-21

best romance book ever

Ive never written a review before. what can I say this book was amazing it was well written and narrated. I loved the characters and the relationships development. There is plenty of spice and it isn't cringy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ellen Crossman
  • Ellen Crossman
  • 05-18-22

love must read!!!!

im in love with this book! so well written! sex scenes aren't cringy either which i was stoked about!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-22

Amazing

Scarlett St Claire is an Amazing writer and Meg Sylvan narration was mind blowing, there where parts that I literally stop the audio and wander how she does it to make it so perfect.