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Hades and Persephone Love Stories Like A Touch of Darkness

This classic romance goes all the way back to the Ancient Greeks, but the story of Hades and Persephone is still as relevant today as ever.

The collage of romantasy books featuring Hades and Persephone includes the cover of a touch of darkness by scarlett st. clair

Romantic fantasy, or romantasy as it’s more commonly called these days, is having a moment. Readers can’t get enough of these fantasy novels filled with romance and female-forward narratives. And while fairy tale and mythological retellings have always been popular, they’re finding new ground within this subgenre. But among all the possible reimaginings out there, none have been as enduring as the story of Hades and Persephone.

More recently, Scarlett St. Clair spun an erotically charged version in A Touch of Darkness where Persephone is a failed goddess whose touch causes flowers to die and Hades has built a gambling empire. Due to a wager between them, Persephone must bring life to the underworld—a challenge given her powers—but her burgeoning love for Hades may prove to be the biggest problem of all.

As previously mentioned, there are many romantasy versions of Hades and Persephone beyond A Touch of Darkness. Some stick closely to the original tale, while others add more modern flourishes. Other editions of the Hades and Persephone story feature the erotic charge of Scarlett St. Clair’s version, and a few delve into the emotional aspects. Given the diversity in approach, there’s bound to be something for every romantasy fan. Here are a few great Hades and Persephone stories to get you started.

Receiver of Many (Hades and Persephone Book 1)

Receiver of Many (Hades and Persephone Book 1)

By Rachel Alexander

The first in a trilogy, Receiver of Many presents a nuanced version of the relationships between Hades, Persephone, and Demeter. Here, Persephone teeters on the edge of womanhood. After spending a childhood protected by her mother’s power, she’s eager to embrace the freedom of adulthood. 

But when Hades comes to claim his promised bride, Demeter refuses to let her daughter go. While the conflict seems familiar, Alexander’s depiction portrays Demeter as a woman impacted by trauma who inadvertently perpetuates the cycle. It breathes fresh life into a goddess often painted an evil caricature in modern retellings.

The cover of The Maiden and the Unseen by Jeanette Rose and Alexis Rune depicts roses and their thorns

The Maiden & The Unseen

By Jeanette Rose and Alexis Rune

For readers wanting a more modern take on the Hades and Persephone myth, Rose and Rune follow St. Clair’s example and delivers that contemporary setting. Greek gods live among, yet separate from, humans. Unfortunately, financing this unique lifestyle falls upon Hades. He may not like this arrangement, but he’ll do it if his fellow gods follow a few rules. 

On the other hand, Persephone has enjoyed the past two years of hard-won freedom from her mother’s suffocating love. If she’s bending the rules laid down by Demeter, no one is the wiser. That is, until her mother comes for her semiannual visit.

Shadow and Ice

Shadow and Ice

By Gena Showalter

This one’s for readers who want something like Persephone’s struggle with situations unfamiliar and alien to her.

Earth has become a literal battleground. Thirty-nine other realms have sent champions to fight to the death until one warrior emerges the victor. Knox has won this interdimensional battle royale five times before and he intends to win it again—and then kill his king. Vale is a human woman who stumbles across the battle royale fought by godlike warriors and gets drawn into the conflict—a situation further complicated by her crackling chemistry with Knox. 

the cover ofinfernal by linsey hall depicts a woman in an open archway


By Linsey Hall

One of the key points of the Hades and Persephone myth is when the god kidnaps his bride and takes her to the underworld. That striking image launches the first book of Linsey Hall’s Shadow Guild trilogy. Seraphia is a librarian who lives and works in a secret city hidden within London

But this librarian has powers she barely understands and has been told to hide them, and for good reason. When she does use her plant-based abilities, she attracts the attention of Hades, who believes she is Persephone, his promised queen and the key to ruling both the underworld and earth.

Dead of Spring: A Hades and Persephone Retelling

Dead of Spring: A Hades and Persephone Retelling

By Colette Rhodes

Kore’s future has been mapped out by her mother, Demeter. To keep her safe from Olympus, Kore lives a life of chastity and hiding her powers. But while she’s escaped the notice of Olympus, Hades has long watched her from afar and fallen in love. Unable to bear how miserable her current existence makes her, he decides to take Kore away. 

Despite his good intentions however, Kore reacts how any woman would when a strange man kidnaps her: She fights him tooth and nail. The push and pull between Kore and Hades, as well as the way her attraction to him chips away at her resistance, will appeal to fans of A Touch of Darkness.

Goddess of Spring (Goddess Summoning Book 2)

Goddess of Spring (Goddess Summoning Book 2)

By P. C. Cast

Cast’s Goddess Summoning series revolve around mortal women who, through various circumstances, come to embody various goddesses. The second installment of the series opens with a bakery in financial trouble. Lina, the owner, is willing to give anything a try and ends up summoning a Greek goddess. 

Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and harvest, makes Lina an offer to exchange souls with her daughter, Persephone. Persephone will revive Lina’s faltering bakery, and Lina will bring spring to the underworld. A straightforward task, right? It would be except, like in St. Clair’s version, Hades is proving to be a major distraction.

God of Darkness

God of Darkness

By Aimee Carter

Aimee Carter’s Goddess Test books center on Kate Winters, a young woman who agrees to take seven tests in exchange for saving her dying mother. The tests are meant to find a candidate to assume the role of Hades’s wife and queen. There’s only one problem. Kate isn’t the first girl to take this test, and every single one before her has died. God of Darkness is a companion novella to the original series and tells the story of Henry, aka Hades, and the girls who took the test before Kate. 

The cover of River of Shadows depicts hands reaching toward the surface of the water from below

River of Shadows

By Karina Halle

Take the story of Hades and Persephone, mix it with its narrative descendent Beauty and the Beast, dip it in Nordic mythology, and you get Halle’s dark fantasy novel. When her father dies, Hanna travels from the sunny skies of Los Angeles to the chilly climes of Finland for his funeral. But then she discovers her father’s body is missing and uncovers a shocking truth. 

Her father was a shaman who travelled to the Realm of the Dead and is now being held captive by the God of Death. Now she must journey into the underworld to rescue him.

The cover of the judgment of persephone displays one ornate rose

The Judgment of Persephone

By Giulia Calligola

Originally written in Italian before being translated to English, Calligola sets the classic tale of Hades and Persephone in the current day. A child of the modern age, this version of Persephone attends college and, in a situation similar to St. Clair’s rendition, has no mortal worshippers … not that she minds. She has an uneasy relationship with her divine heritage, as well as with her fellow gods. Then, she meets Hades, the ancient god of the dead, and finds common ground in their shared interest in law.