DNF Review: Summer Maiden by Eva Darcy

Reviewed by Ronelle

Before she was Persephone, Dread Queen of the Underworld, Kore was an innocent maiden sequestered from the rest of the gods. All of that will change when she’s summoned to one of Zeus’ banquets. While there, she engages in innocent flirting with lighthearted gods like Apollo and Hermes and exploring her new powers of seduction. But a darker god catches her eye…and from there, a myth is born.

But it isn’t quite the tale we’ve all been told.


I was excited to review Summer Maiden because I’ve long been fascinated by both Greek Mythology and retellings of popular myths/stories (I loved Enchanted by Orson Scott Card and Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty.) Hades, in particular, has always been a favorite, and the idea of a romance involving the Lord of the Underworld and his stolen queen was intriguing. The blurb promised there’d be some BDSM action, so I was expecting a little spanking, maybe someone being tied to a bed, that sort of thing. Kinda kinky, right?

What I was NOT expecting—and the reason I ended up DNFing this book—was the straight-up physical abuse. What was likely meant to be S&M crossed a line into something ugly and, for me at least, unacceptable when Hades hit Persephone in anger…and not just with his hand, either. Spoiler alert: their first sexual encounter follows Hades ‘teaching a lesson’ to Persephone by caning her without restraint or reservation. He even went so far as to play the ages-old-abuser card of blaming her for his utter loss of control. I’m sorry, but there is nothing romantic about domestic abuse/violence, even if the woman gets turned on by it. I tried to keep reading, but it only got worse from there and I just couldn’t look at Hades as a hero or admirable character.

I will say that Ms. Darcy did a nice job setting the scene of Olympus and the Underworld, providing vivid descriptions of the characters and their surroundings. Persephone could have been a great character if not for her instant and over-the-top devotion to Hades, as well as her willingness to excuse his abuse of her. I just couldn’t like any of the men present in the part of the story I read, and Hades was my least favorite for obvious reasons.

Bottom line: Summer Maiden definitely wasn’t for me. It wasn’t a romance and it went beyond BDSM into abuse. Read at your own risk.

Rating: DNF

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.**

Click to purchase: Amazon

Summer Maiden
by Eva Darcy
Release Date: September 11, 2017

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