Adult review for erotic content. Trigger Warning : Dubious Consent.
"Aidon, are you trying to recapture your youth with nubile young virgins? What's next, a new red chariot?"
The first thing you should know : Surrender of Persephone is PwP (Porn Without Plot) erotica. Here's where I pull out my apples-to-apples genre rating comparison because I'm only rating this compared to other PwP, not other "stories" in general. Now, PwP doesn't necessarily mean that there is no plot at all; what it generally means is that there is a higher ratio of sex to plot than a normal romance or mainstream erotica. In the case of Surrender, I consider the book to be one long rolling sex scene with some cool mythology references thrown in. Even though the story itself is sparse, the author still brought her own unique spin on the Hades/Persephone tale. If you've read into the darker tones of the myth involving the kidnap and conquering of Persephone, then you might understand why the author chose to take her story down the BDSM path.
His eyes glowed in the dimness, and he had a small, satisfied smile on his face. "You like the struggle, don't you?"
Now, as far as PwP goes, it's no secret that if I'm in the mood for it, I'll generally pick up Selena Kitt. Why? Because I like the way she writes sex. This woman writes sex how it feels, smells, sounds, etc. taking the reader to a place where it's not hard to imagine being there in the story.
In true Kitt fashion, there's always going to be a scene or two that runs over-the-top. In this case, the story's very first sex scene starts with spoiled little Persephone frolicking and engaging in a very giggly threesome with Artemis and Athena, sure to please any man's barely legal lesbian fantasies.
They roll, tumble, twist their bodies in every position imaginable as three young, nubile young ladies get each other off over...and over...and over...
Yeah. I smile with amusement because it's kind of hot, in spite of how the girl-on-girl scenes in Kitt's books tend to run toward "oops, did I spill something on my see-through shirt?" kind of a blatant hook.
So I read through the "come on in!" intro and waited for the main event to happen - the appearance of Hades (translated to Aidon here) and his kidnapping of Persephone. Because that's when everything is going to change from giggly play to dark and dirty deeds.
"I will be the instrument of your greatest pain and pleasure."
Yep. That's where we're going. And clothing isn't optional - it's completely forbidden.
BECAUSE IT'S EASIER TO HAVE NON-STOP SEX IF YOU ARE NAKED ALL OF THE TIME.
The sound of his palm biting her flesh made a resounding slap and she bit her lip, trying not to cry out.
"I will be your sun...your moon...
Your day...your night..."
Persephone felt the impact vibrating through her.
"Your heaven...your hell..."
Sure, there were cheesy sex terms aplenty. But I forgive some of it with Kitt's writing because I like the overall result.
And for the glaring lack of plot, the mythology was surprisingly well-done. Each character's position and how they related to the Underworld was tied back to the actual mythology. The names weren't just thrown out there; each character was a fleshed-out representation of the god or being they were named after (well except for Athena and Artemis because they were just the barely-legal candy to get the party started).
And I LOVED that Hephastus was put to good use making epic sex toys. This was never covered during my read of Percy Jackson (it was a joke, people - don't freak out).
Do I have any Complaints? It's probably the usual one for books like these. I prefer my PwP to be shorter in length, if I'm going to read simply for titillation's (I can't even write this word without laughing) sake. It's always sort of strange to start a steamy read before bed, then find that you need to break and pick up the second half the next night. It's much more enjoyable if you can tackle the entire thing in one shot before drifting off to sleep and possibly some interesting dreams.