Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1) by Katee Robert


source: review copy via NetGalley/ Sourcebooks Casablanca
title: Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1)
author: Katee Robert
genre: erotic romance/fantasy/retelling
published: June 1, 2021
pages: 384
first line: “I really hate these parties.”
rated: 4 out of 5


blurb: He was supposed to be a myth.
But from the moment I crossed the River Styx and fell under his dark spell…he was, quite simply, mine.

*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Hades and Persephone that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade.

With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed.

Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her—for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…


My thoughts:
Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone starts off the Dark Olympus book series by Katee Robert.

This book is an erotic fantasy retelling of the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. In this story, Persephone is 24 and somewhat of a celebrity in Olympus. She is one of the daughters of the goddess Demeter and their family is usually making headlines in the tabloids. Persephone’s goal is to finish getting her Masters degree then leave to California for her PhD when she turns 25 in the Spring and her trust fund becomes available. However her mother has other plans and without consulting Persephone she betrotheds her to Zeus.

Rather than marry a man she doesn’t love who has a reputation of disposing of his wives, Persephone runs away and ends up in the lower city section of Olympus which is run by Hades. She meets Hades who helps her go into hiding for three months until the Spring arrives. By Olympus law Hades and Zeus cannot cross into each other’s territories so Persephone should be safe there. During this time the two will make it public knowledge that they’re intimate so Zeus will no longer want Persephone. Hades can exact revenge on his sworn enemy by sleeping with his betrothed and humiliating him.

Of course the chemistry is fire and these two start to wonder if this can be the real thing and not just sex.


The book is told in alternating chapters by Persephone and Hades you get to see the story from each of their perspectives.

“Hades is not safe. He’s so far from safe, I should be rethinking this bargain before it’s even begun. I can tell myself I have no choice, but it’s not the truth. I want this with every shadowy part of my soul that I work so hard to keep locked down. There’s no room in the public narrative of the sweet, sunny, biddable woman for the things I find myself craving in the dark of night. Things I’m suddenly sure Hades is capable of giving me.”– Neon Gods by Katee Robert, Kindle 22%

I’m not big on Alpha males in romance but I liked that Hades has a dark edge about him. Persephone is sassy and smart. While I didn’t particularly connect with either of these characters I was still interested in where the storyline was going. Much of the interactions between these two are about give and take, about compromise.

“He’s offering a strange sort of partnership, one I didn’t realize I desired. He might dominate. I might submit. But the power balance is startlingly equal. I didn’t know it could be like this.”– Neon Gods, Kindle 33%

Also in the mix are side characters such as Persephone’s sisters and others who live in Olympus and work for Zeus. I would love to read the second installment in this series, Electric Idol which is due out early 2022. Great cover!


Neon Gods was well-written, sexy romance with two sassy main characters. I recommend this if you enjoy steamy erotic fantasy.

“It was never meant to last forever.” -Neon Gods, Kindle 76%



About the author:
Katee Robert is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Entertainment Weekly calls her writing “unspeakably hot.” Her books have sold over a million copies. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, children, a cat who thinks he’s a dog, and two Great Danes who think they’re lap dogs.

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Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I received a free review copy of Neon Gods: A Scorchingly Hot Modern Retelling of Hades and Persephone (Dark Olympus Book 1) via Sourcebooks Casablanca. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The book photo here was provided by Sourcebooks Casablanca.

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

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source: free ARC via Amazon Vine
title: The Pisces
author: Melissa Broder (twitter)
published: May 1st 2018 by Hogarth Press
pages: 272
genre: fiction
first line: I was no longer lonely but I was.
rated:
4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika’s home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound’s easy affection.

Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

my thoughts: I honestly don’t know where to begin.
The Pisces by Melissa Broder was one of the most intriguing and shockingly brazen books I have ever read.
I feel as though I have found a hidden gem. I found this one on AmazonVine and the cover and blurb intrigued me. This is one of those books that begs to be discussed, I’ve been thinking about it long after turning the final page.

There are elements of erotica, magical realism, mental illness and women’s issues woven into the plot. Author Melissa Broder is a poet and columnist and she does not hold back, her writing is straightforward, shocking and poetic all at once. This is a story about love and loss and addiction. And sex with a mer-man. Is he real? Is he an illusion? Who knows. I still don’t know. I think he is a metaphor for addiction. Only Lucy ever sees him, only she knows he exists. I was shocked while reading. Often. And then I also felt creeped out and then also sad. I laughed out loud at times as well.

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The Siren (The Original Sinners) by Tiffany Reisz and thoughts on the rest of this series

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source: purchased
title: The Siren (The Original Sinners)
author: Tiffany Reisz
published: Harlequin MIRA; Original edition (July 31, 2012)
pages: 425
first line: There was no such thing as London fog-never had been.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Notorious Nora Sutherlin is famous for her delicious works of erotica, each one more popular with readers than the last. But her latest manuscript is different—more serious, more personal—and she’s sure it’ll be her breakout book…if it ever sees the light of day.

Zachary Easton holds Nora’s fate in his well-manicured hands. The demanding British editor agrees to handle the book on one condition: he wants complete control. Nora must rewrite the entire novel to his exacting standards—in six weeks—or it’s no deal.

Nora’s grueling writing sessions with Zach are draining…and shockingly arousing. And a dangerous former lover has her wondering which is more torturous—staying away from him…or returning to his bed?

Nora thought she knew everything about being pushed to your limits. But in a world where passion is pain, nothing is ever that simple.

 

I suppose doom and destiny are just two sides of the same coin.
p. 156 The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

My thoughts:
I have debated on how to post about my love of the Tiffany Reisz books because I’ve read four of the eight books in this series so far but series books can be difficult to review. I figured I would start with my review of the The Siren which is the first book in the series, then I’ll add a few thoughts on the other three books I’ve read. I will try my best not to rave on and on, but I cannot make any promises.

These books are sexy, edgy, well written and push all boundaries.

I devoured The Siren (The Original Sinners) one weekend, leaving my housework undone as I eagerly turned the pages, needing to know what came next, yet wishing the book would not end. Tiffany Reisz’s style of storytelling is fantastic and clever. How does she do that? I just do not know.

The Siren kicks the series off with a story about an erotic fiction writer and the men in her life, a dose of BDSM is added for good measure. As far as the BDSM aspect of this series, it is apparent the author knows what she is writing about. It is never sugar coated or romanticized, there are uncomfortable aspects of it, it’s not light and sweet. Reisz lays it all out on the table and explains it to the reader.

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