The Best Greek Mythology Romance Books

Tom Curley

The best Greek mythology romance books

Discover the best Greek mythology romance books, where ancient stories meet modern love. These books bring to life the captivating tales of gods, goddesses, and mythical heroes wrapped in the magic of romance.

Whether you’re new to these legendary stories or a seasoned fan, our selection will enchant and entertain. Our list starts with our favorite pick, perfect for those who can only choose one. Let’s dive into these timeless tales of love and myth.

This article is one in a series on the best Greek mythology books.

The Best Greek Mythology Romance Book – Metamorphoses, Ovid

Metamorphoses, Ovid book cover

If you’re a romance fan with a penchant for Greek mythology, Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” is the top choice, the book you must own. A masterpiece of antiquity, it stands tall among the great literary monuments. This work is not just a book; it’s an epic journey through the heart of ancient mythology.

In Metamorphoses, Ovid weaves a tapestry of stories, each brimming with romance, transformation, and passion. From the well-known tales of Narcissus, enamored with his reflection, to the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice, every story resonates with the themes of love and change. What makes this work particularly special is its depiction of love as a powerful force capable of transforming beings and fates.

Ovid’s narrative style is unique, playful, and emotional, making these ancient tales accessible and engaging for modern readers. The book’s theme of constant transmutation echoes a profound philosophical insight: everything in the universe, including love, is subject to change and evolution.

The brilliance of Metamorphoses lies in its enduring influence on Western culture, inspiring artists, writers, and even modern media. Its stories have shaped our understanding of love and romance through the ages.

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller book cover

“The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller is a poignant and beautifully crafted retelling of the story of Achilles, the greatest Greek hero, and his companion, Patroclus. This novel is a blend of mythological grandeur and a profoundly personal love story set against the backdrop of the Trojan War.

Achilles and Patroclus are at the heart of this story, two characters whose lives are intertwined by fate and choice. Achilles, known for his unmatched prowess in battle, is also depicted as irresistibly charming.

Patroclus, in contrast, is an exiled young prince whose initial awkwardness belies the depth and strength of his character. Their bond, formed in youth, grows into something profound and complex, defying the expectations of gods and men.

Madeline Miller’s writing is both lyrical and evocative, bringing a fresh, emotional depth to these legendary figures. The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is rendered with such subtlety and nuance that their love for each other is palpable in every interaction, every shared glance, and every unspoken word.

The backdrop of the Trojan War adds a layer of inevitable tragedy to their tale. As the war progresses, the tension and sense of foreboding build, culminating in a climax that is as devastating as it is inevitable. Miller’s skillful weaving of mythological facts with emotional storytelling makes the journey there both enchanting and heartbreaking.

The Song of Achilles is a tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved profoundly or faced the complexities of fate. This novel is a must-read, a beautifully tragic journey that leaves a lasting impression on the heart and mind.

Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis book cover

“Till We Have Faces,” a lesser-known yet profound work by C.S. Lewis, reimagines the classic myth of Cupid and Psyche with a contemporary twist. This story is not just a retelling; it’s a deep exploration of love, jealousy, and the quest for understanding the divine.

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Set in the barbaric, pre-Christian world of Glome, the novel focuses on Orual, the unattractive older sister of the beautiful Psyche. Orual’s possessive love for Psyche sets the stage for a complex emotional and moral development narrative. When Cupid, the god of love, loves Psyche, Orual’s jealousy and frustration lead her on a journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening.

Lewis’s narrative is rich with philosophical and theological undertones, yet it remains compelling. The book’s exploration of contrasts – between beauty and ugliness, sacred and profane love, and trust and jealousy – adds depth to the narrative, making it a thought-provoking read.

One of the novel’s strengths is its realistic portrayal of its characters. Orual, Psyche, and the other characters are not mere archetypes but fully realized individuals with complex emotions and motivations. This realism makes the mythic world of Glome believable and engaging.

Till We Have Faces is not light reading. While not overly dense, its language requires some attention to fully appreciate its themes’ depth. But this should not deter readers. The novel is accessible and immensely rewarding for those who engage with its rich narrative and underlying messages.

Gods Behaving badly, Marie Phillips

“Gods Behaving Badly” by Marie Phillips is a delightful and humorous novel that reimagines the Greek gods and goddesses living in the 21st century. Set in a cramped London townhouse, the twelve gods of Olympus struggle to adapt to modern life while their powers are on the wane.

Once revered and influential, the gods now find themselves in mundane, albeit quirky, jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, and Dionysus as a DJ. The novel explores these once-mighty beings’ amusing and sometimes absurd predicaments as they grapple with their diminishing powers and the complexities of contemporary life.

Phillips’ writing is witty and engaging, with hilarious and occasionally crude dialogue, echoing the old legends’ tone. While Gods Behaving Badly may not be a classic in the literary sense, it is undoubtedly a fun and quick read, perfect for those looking for a lighthearted take on mythology.

A touch of darkness, Scarlett St Clair

A touch of darkness, Scarlett St Clair book review

“A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair offers a fresh, modern retelling of the well-known myth of Persephone and Hades. This novel presents an unconventional take on the classic story, infusing it with contemporary elements and a unique perspective.

Persephone, traditionally known as the Goddess of Spring, is portrayed with a peculiar twist: she wilts flowers instead of nurturing them. Her journey begins with a move to New Athens, where she seeks an everyday life as a mortal journalist. Here, the novel introduces a contemporary setting, blending the ancient with the modern in an intriguing way.

Hades, the God of the Dead, is reimagined as a charismatic figure with a penchant for impossible bets, running a gambling empire in the mortal world. The chance encounter between Persephone and Hades leads to a high-stakes contract where Persephone must bring life to the Underworld or lose her freedom. This premise sets up a narrative that is as much about self-discovery as it is about romance.

The developing relationship between Persephone and Hades is central to the story, evolving from a contractual obligation to something more profound and forbidden. Their dynamic challenges the traditional roles and expectations of their mythological counterparts, adding a layer of complexity to their characters.

While the writing style and world-building may not be overly elaborate, the story’s heart and emotional resonance make it a satisfying read for those looking for a story that hits the right emotional notes.

Readers should approach this book with an open mind, setting aside expectations of a traditional mythological narrative. St. Clair’s novel celebrates modern storytelling, blending familiar mythological elements with a fresh and contemporary approach.

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Wicked Beauty, Katee Robert

Wicked Beauty, Katee Robert book cover

“Wicked Beauty” by Katee Robert is a daring and provocative modern retelling of the classic tales of Helen of Troy, Achilles, and Patroclus. Set in a contemporary Olympus, this novel is a compelling mix of romance, power struggles, and action.

Achilles Kallis and Patroclus Fotos are partners in this reimagined world with ambitions to penetrate Olympus’s inner circle. The sudden availability of a coveted role ignites their determination, but they didn’t anticipate Helen Kasios, the infamous beauty, being part of the prize. Helen, defying the controlling Thirteen rulers of Olympus, enters the competition, fighting for her autonomy and stirring up a complicated yet fiery attraction with Achilles and Patroclus.

The novel stands out for its intense, explicit scenes that are not just about physical attraction but also deeply rooted in the characters’ emotions and power dynamics. The chemistry among the trio is electric and multifaceted, each interaction adding to the novel’s fiery atmosphere.

The characters are masterfully crafted, with Helen portraying a powerful, intelligent figure using her beauty as a strategic tool. Achilles, a brilliant warrior with less political savvy, and Patroclus, with his calm, patient, and diplomatic nature, create a balance in this high-stakes love triangle.

The narrative is more than a romance; it’s an action-packed race for power, filled with political intrigue, societal commentary on sexism and power games, and heart-pounding action scenes. The competition to become the next Ares is thrilling, engaging readers in a suspenseful journey through the treacherous landscape of Olympus politics.

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker

The Silence of the Girls, Pat Barker book cover

“The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker is a captivating and poignant retelling of the Trojan War, uniquely narrated from the perspective of Briseis, a character often overlooked in traditional mythological accounts. This novel offers a fresh and deeply human look at the events of the ancient epic, focusing on the experiences of women who are usually relegated to the background.

Set against the backdrop of the decade-long siege of Troy, Briseis, once a queen, finds herself a concubine to Achilles after he sacks her city and kills her family. The story intricately portrays her struggle to survive in the Greek camp, a world marked by brutality and subjugation.

Barker’s narrative shines a light on the lives of the countless women in the war—the slaves, prostitutes, nurses, and those who lay out the dead. These women, traditionally silent in epic tales, are given a voice in this novel, with Briseis’s keen observations and unflinching narration exposing the grim realities of their existence.

The novel’s strength lies in its detailed historical setting and Barker’s luminous prose, which brings to life the Greek camp with its complex characters and intricate dynamics. Briseis’s relationship with Achilles is central to the story, evolving from captive to something more profound, offering a nuanced portrayal of Achilles that differs from traditional narratives.

Psyche and Eros, Luna McNamara

Psyche and Eros, Luna McNamara book cover

“Psyche and Eros” by Luna McNamara is a captivating reimagining of Greek mythology that brings a fresh perspective to the timeless tale of love, destiny, and heroism. This novel is perfect for Madeline Miller and V.E. Schwab fans, offering a blend of epic adventure and a heartwarming love story.

The story revolves around Psyche, the princess of Mycenae, who defies societal expectations and hones her skills in blade and bow, preparing for a destiny that involves defeating a formidable monster.

Her life takes an unexpected turn when she incurs the wrath of Aphrodite, leading to a cruel curse involving Eros, the god of desire. Initially reluctant to entangle himself in mortal affairs, Eros finds himself helplessly drawn to Psyche, setting the stage for a romance fraught with divine intervention and fateful twists.

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The novel’s pacing is well-handled, maintaining a consistent flow that keeps the reader engaged throughout Psyche’s journey. The narrative is thrilling and evocative, from her initial training to the pivotal moments at the Trojan War and her daring expedition to the Underworld.

McNamara’s writing style is rich and vivid, bringing the world of Greek gods and mortals to life with compelling prose and engaging dialogue. The novel is not just a love story; it’s an exploration of trust, sacrifice, and what it means to be a true hero in a world where the lines between gods and mortals are often blurred.

Receiver of Many, Rachel Alexander

Receiver of Many, Rachel Alexander book cover

“Receiver of Many” by Rachel Alexander is a captivating and erotically charged retelling of Greek mythology’s classic Hades and Persephone myth. This novel is an excellent choice for those fascinated by this timeless story and seeking a fresh and passionate interpretation.

The story begins with Persephone, the maiden of flowers, who has lived a life of leisure and shelter under the care of her mother, Demeter, the Harvest Goddess. Now a goddess in her own right, Persephone is filled with a yearning for independence, unaware that an ancient pact is about to change the course of her life.

Hades, the God of the Underworld, is a figure of solitude and duty, ruling over the realm of the dead. Despite his eternal responsibilities, he harbors a longing for the young goddess destined to be his wife and queen. When Hades arrives to claim Persephone, he finds a goddess ready to explore her divine potential and a powerful mother fiercely protective of her daughter.

Alexander’s writing is rich with detail and character development, offering a nuanced portrayal of both Hades and Persephone. The romance between them is skillfully woven, evolving from obligation to a deep and passionate connection. The love scenes in the book are vivid and intense, adding to the novel’s allure.

The author’s meticulous research into Greek mythology is evident, enriching the story with authenticity and depth. This retelling goes beyond mythological retellings’ simplistic narratives, providing a complex and emotionally resonant story.

The Darkest Night, Gena Showalter

The Darkest Night, Gena Showalter book cover

“The Darkest Night” by Gena Showalter is a compelling entry in the paranormal romance genre, blending Greek mythology with intense character dynamics. The novel centers on Ashlyn Darrow, who, plagued by voices from the past, seeks help from supernatural beings in Budapest. She finds herself drawn to Maddox, a member of the Lords of the Underworld, who is both dangerous and irresistibly intriguing.

The story is marked by its unique premise of warriors cursed with housing ancient demons from Pandora’s Box, a nod to Greek mythology. This creative integration of myth into a contemporary setting gives the novel a distinctive flavor. While the mythology aspects are somewhat vaguely presented, leaving the reader desiring more clarity, this could be intentional, setting the stage for future exploration in the series.

Character development is a strong suit of the novel. Each warrior is distinctly portrayed, with personalities that set them apart, fostering an emotional connection with the reader. Ashlyn is characterized as both sweet and courageous, a perfect foil to Maddox’s tortured persona. Their relationship is central to the narrative, evolving from a simple solution to Ashlyn’s problem to a deeper, more passionate bond.

Despite some narrative issues, such as slightly disjointed pacing, the novel excels in its depiction of the central romance. The love scenes are described as hot and tender, balancing passion and emotional depth. The dynamics among the Lords, marked by camaraderie and occasional tension, add an interesting layer to the story.

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Author
Tom Curley
I'm Tom Curley, owner and operator of History Hogs, where my passion for ancient history drives everything we do. From Rome to Byzantium, I dive deep into the stories and details that shaped our past.
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