The 25 most compelling Persephone and Hades romance book retellings

Written by Silke, updated 19 Jan 2023

Be it in contemporary romance or a medieval fantasy setting, Hades and Persephone reimaginations are certainly having a moment right now. There are quite a few romance books out there featuring the trope, and we have compiled the best 'Lord of the Underworld kidnaps girl to bring into his world' stories out there for you.

  • #1 Bow Before the Elf Queen - J.M. Kearl

    Bow Before the Elf Queen - J.M. Kearl

    fae enemies to lovers forced proximity

    In hiding all her life, Layala prepares for the day the wicked High Elf King Thane will come to steal her— his powerful mate. She trains to take her revenge for the wrongful execution of her parents, who died for her freedom.

    Now that day has come, forcing her to come face-to-face with what she’s hidden from: a dangerous, dark-haired, warrior king determined to marry her. After she’s shoved into a black carriage pulled by six ominous steeds, Layala makes plans to take her captors’ lives and free herself...

    ...but Thane has a secret that makes it impossible for Layala to slay him. She has an even darker truth that makes loving her forbidden, no matter how much Thane wants to touch.. more

  • #2 River of Shadows - Karina Halle

    River of Shadows - Karina Halle

    abduction enemies to lovers age gap forced proximity high fantasy

    When 24-year old Hanna Heikkinen's estranged father dies, she reluctantly makes the trip to Northern Finland for his funeral. Being in the enchanting land of ice and snow feels miles away from Hanna's busy life back in Los Angeles, especially under the complicated circumstances.

    But when Hanna discovers that her father's body is missing, that's when things really get weird. A mysterious man, Rasmus, tells Hanna the truth: her father was a powerful shaman who went into Tuonela, the Realm of the Dead, in order to barter for more life, and has been held captive by Tuoni, the God of Death. The only way her father can be freed is if she travels with Rasmus into the mythical underworld to rescue him... more

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  • #3 Neon Gods - Katee Robert

    Neon Gods - Katee Robert

    funny enemies to lovers erotic romance dark romance fantasy

    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.

    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. more

  • #4 Abducted - Bella Klaus

    Abducted - Bella Klaus

    dark romance enemies to lovers fantasy ancient times

    I had a one-night stand with the devil. Now he thinks I’m his wife... I snuck into a masquerade ball and did something reckless with a man dressed as Hades. How was I supposed to know it wasn’t a costume?

    When I ran off, I thought that was the end of it. But he’s abducted me to a beautiful palace in hell.

    Hades claims we were once married. He wants me to help him win a civil war in hell and rule as his queen. But I’m just a gardener. I don’t have any magic and I know nothing about warfare or diplomacy.

    I said no, but he’s given me three tasks to earn my freedom, each of them more sinful and impossible than the other. If I fail, I must stay with him forever... more

  • #5 King of Shadows - Amelia Wilde

    King of Shadows - Amelia Wilde

    fantasy new adult contemporary dark romance erotic romance

    Luther Hades has always been my family’s sworn enemy. He’s the opposite of everything we stand for—ruthless to the core.

    I want my freedom, but Hades wants me. And I’ve walked straight into his trap.

    There has to be a way out of his fortress of a mansion. I’ll get away—I have to. Even if it costs me everything.

    And it will cost me everything: my body, my soul...and my heart. more

  • #6 Court of Asphodels - Elisa E. Enzo

    Court of Asphodels - Elisa E. Enzo

    ancient times fantasy historical

    Persephone has been hiding herself since she was born. Shielded by her mother’s embrace, she doesn’t know who she is, but she knows this isn’t the life she wanted.
    She is stronger than her mother’s fears, stronger than the maiden Olympus thinks her to be. She was chosen by Gaia herself, and deep inside of her she knows it.
    Maybe the grieving king of the Underworld can be her chance to prove her value.

    «I was born the destroyer, not the destroyed. more

  • #7 Receiver of Many - Rachel Alexander

    Receiver of Many - Rachel Alexander

    dark romance historical fantasy alpha male magic

    Persephone's life has been one of leisure among the verdant fields: the maiden of flowers, sheltered by her mother, the Harvest Goddess Demeter. Now she is a woman, a goddess in her own right, yearning for freedom— even as the terms of an ancient pact are about to come due.

    Hades's life has been one of solitude in the somber land of the dead: the God of the Underworld, he lives without attachments, eternally governing the souls of mortals. But he dreams of the young goddess who was promised to be his wife, and knows it is time for his Kingdom to have a Queen. more

  • #8 Daughter of Earth and Sky - Kaitlin Bevis

    Daughter of Earth and Sky - Kaitlin Bevis

    young adult ancient times fantasy paranormal mystery

    Some vows can never be broken, especially with you've recently found out you're a goddess.

    In the flick of a eyelash Persephone has gone from being a high school junior in Athens, Georgia to the wife of Hades, god of the Underworld. Under his platonic protection, she's waiting for springtime, when Boreas, the sinister god of winter, will stop stalking her.

    But even Hades can't keep Boreas and his minions from threatening her. Finally she escaped back to the world of the living. Maybe she can just go back to normal--and forget that she's fallen in love with Hades.

    She's wrong.

    Thanatos--a friend from the Underworld, has betrayed her. more

  • #9 Sworn to the Shadow God - Ruby Dixon

    Sworn to the Shadow God - Ruby Dixon

    fantasy paranormal magic erotic romance curvy heroine

    Adventure. It's what my boring life is missing, so when I fall through a portal into another world, I'm excited. Here, I'm important. Here, I'm special.

    I find out just *how* special when I meet Death.

    Yup. That guy. He's been exiled to the mortal realm to work through his flaws, and he's just as spoiled and awful as you'd think. Rhagos, the Shadow Lord, is arrogant and rude and controlling and demands to get his way. He's selfish. He's impossible.

    He's also utterly gorgeous. Magnetic. Lonely. And strangely protective of me.

    Thanks to a magic bond, I now serve him as his anchor to the mortal realm. more

  • #10 The Power of Hades - Eliza Raine

    The Power of Hades - Eliza Raine

    science fiction ancient times demons historical fantasy

    I've been kidnapped by Zeus. Plucked from the streets of Manhattan and frightened half to death by a freaking Olympian god.
    And now I'm trapped in the Underworld, being forced to compete in a series of deadly trials for the position of Queen of the Underworld. Which would mean marrying Hades, the utterly terrifying Lord of the Dead. Who the hell wants a husband at all, let alone one made of smoke and riddled with death?

    I have to get back home, to New York and my brother. But I can't leave without completing the trials and they've been designed for a godly Queen, not Persephone - barista and botanical garden enthusiast.
    I'm surrounded by lethal, all-powerful maniacs. more

  • #11 Promise of Darkness - Bec McMaster

    Promise of Darkness - Bec McMaster

    science fiction steampunk young adult fantasy fae

    Princess. Tribute. Sacrifice. Is she the one prophesied to unite two warring Fae courts? Or the one bound to destroy them?

    In a realm ruled by magic, the ruthless Queen of Thorns is determined to destroy her nemesis, the cursed Prince of Evernight.

    With war brewing between the bitter enemies, the prince forces Queen Adaia to uphold an ancient treaty: she will send one of her daughters to his court as a political hostage for three months.

    The queen insists it’s the perfect opportunity for Princess Iskvien to end the war before it begins. But one look into Thiago’s smoldering eyes and Vi knows she’s no assassin. more

  • #12 A Touch of Darkness - Scarlett St. Clair

    A Touch of Darkness - Scarlett St. Clair

    erotic romance young adult fantasy new adult dark romance

    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. more

  • #13 A Deal with the Elf King - Elise Kova

    A Deal with the Elf King - Elise Kova

    fae enemies to lovers arranged/forced marriage tortured hero grumpy & sunshine

    The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death... Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella's village to be their Human Queen.

    To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she's dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town's only healer.

    That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives... for her.

    Everything Luella had thought she'd known about her life, and herself, was a lie... more

  • #14 The Dark Wife - Sarah Diemer

    The Dark Wife - Sarah Diemer

    young adult f-f (lesbian) fantasy historical paranormal

    Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth.

    Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want--except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice.

    Zeus calls Hades "lord" of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. more

  • #15 Hades And Persephone: Curse Of The Golden Arrow - Heidi Hastings,Erica Hastings

    Hades And Persephone: Curse Of The Golden Arrow - Heidi Hastings,Erica Hastings

    historical fantasy enemies to lovers

    A Cursed Love...When Persephone is forced into the Underworld, she fears the Dark Lord who rules the shadowed kingdom. A curse has brought them together, and the Goddess of Spring wars against Hades, the King of the Dead. But as time passes, she begins to wonder if he is truly the monster she fears or if he may be the very answer her soul calls out for. Lies, jealousy and betrayal combine to keep them apart. more

  • #16 A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

    A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas

    friends to lovers forbidden love bad boys demons mystery

    Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

    Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two. more

  • #17 For the Love of Hades - Sasha Summers

    For the Love of Hades - Sasha Summers

    contemporary paranormal fantasy young adult

    Hades, God of Death, has no heart. Persephone is determined to prove otherwise…

    Hades, the Lord of the Underworld, has no patience for living things or his Olympian brethren. His purpose is order, administering justice to those who enter his realm, and keeping the balance decreed by the Fates. Meeting Persephone sways his focus, her gentle sweetness threatening his control. But he will not be tempted.

    Poseidon’s scheming wreaks havoc upon Persephone. Hades has no choice – he must rescue her.

    Hades awakens something within the Goddess Persephone. She feels no fear from his brooding presence. In truth, she’s never felt so alive. more

  • #18 Goddess of Spring - P.C. Cast

    Goddess of Spring - P.C. Cast

    contemporary erotic romance urban fantasy magic paranormal

    Lina’s bakery in Tulsa is proving to be less than lucrative—and she needs a plan. When she stumbles upon an Italian Goddess cookbook, Lina can’t help but think she’s found her answer—even if it means summoning an ancient Goddess…

    Soon enough, Lina finds herself face-to-face with the goddess Demeter, who proposes that Lina exchange souls with Persephone, the Goddess of Spring, who’ll breathe new life into the bakery. In return, Lina, embodying the lovely Persephone, must bring Spring to a world of spirits. more

  • #19 Hades: The Court of the Underworld - Alessa Thorn

    Hades: The Court of the Underworld - Alessa Thorn

    paranormal ancient times fantasy demons historical

    A demigoddess with the power over life and death, the God of the Underworld burning for's a forbidden obsession waiting to happen.

    HADES is the third book of The Court of the Underworld, a new paranormal romance series, based in a dark dystopian future where Hades rules a court of gods and monsters in modern day Greece.

    There's nothing that Hades Acheron hates more than someone messing with his business. Two members of his Court have already been crossed by the shady and powerful gang Pithos, and the Lord of Styx is ready to take matters into his own hands. more

  • #20 Persephone - Kitty Thomas

    Persephone - Kitty Thomas

    fantasy paranormal erotic romance bdsm dark romance

    When Persephone was born, Zeus received a troubling prophecy. Some day his beautiful innocent daughter would be taken captive by Hades, the dark god of the underworld. Determined to protect her, her father hid her away in the human world where she would be shielded from her fate.

    Hades learned of this betrayal nine centuries ago. He’s been searching for his destined queen ever since. And when he finds her, no power on earth or below it will stop him.

    He will take her. He will corrupt her. And Zeus will suffer for daring to keep her from him. more