Alisha Rai On Reinventing Hades

Erotic romance author Alisha Rai takes on one of mythology's worst (or is it best?) bad boys with her latest project. Discover what drew the author to the ultimate bad boy  — Hades — and the five ways she re-imagined him for "Hot as Hades".

I love a good Bad Boy. 

That fascination is probably why, when I visited the British Museum last year, I kept circling back to a sculpture depicting the Greek God of the Underworld, Hades, stealing his bride Persephone away to his dark abode. In a pantheon of philandering deities, I suppose the committed couple also appealed to my romantic side. 

Sadly, I could never write their story. Hades was just too bad of a Bad Boy. Irredeemable. I mean, just look at the way he allegedly handled courting Persephone. 

Oh, that word. Allegedly. 

Right then, I mentally cleared my schedule and said goodbye to any prospect of keeping my kitchen clean for the indefinite future. Because maybe—and yes, I pray if I ever have a teenage girl, she never says these words about a boy—maybe Hades was just plain misunderstood. 

I’d like to say I sank to a bench and pulled out a leather-bound journal and a fountain pen, but my artistry took a back seat to my belly, and I wandered into a McDonald’s. In an effort to avoid eye contact with some sketchy-looking dudes, I pulled out a couple of crumpled-up museum brochures and a pencil stub and started listing all the questionable things I knew about Hades—and how I could transform him into a viable hero.

1) Hades abducted Persephone. Physical force = ick.

No, no, that’s not how they met. And while my Hades may be strong and a little temperamental, he’d go out of his way to protect the spirited female who caught his eye.

A shock of distaste and outrage cooled his arousal, and he abruptly stood, which pushed her off his lap. Since the ground was hard stone, he materialized a lush pillow to cushion her. She gave a soft little huff of air as she landed.

2) Hades ultimately tricked Persephone into staying with him in the Underworld. 

Nah. My Hades might be cunning, but he wouldn’t resort to false pretenses. Persephone would have to want to stay with him.

His eyes narrowed. “Did you think me so lacking in decency that I would imprison you when you didn’t knowingly invade my domain? No, wait. Don’t answer that. It’s clear what you think. Go home, Persephone, daughter of Demeter. Make sure you tell your mama and the others up on your mountain how awful and evil Uncle Hades was, ’kay?”

3) He’s the God of the Underworld. Nuff said.

Actually, if you consider the Underworld in terms of cosmic balance, it’s more like a necessary part of the whole scheme than a place of unrelenting evil. Hades just happens to be the manager. Really, the guy’s no different from any other CEO who has to wrangle some demons occasionally.

Everyone had stopped what they were doing, and Hades seemed to grow larger before roaring, “Does anyone else wish to challenge me?”


“Then get your asses back to work.”

4) All that power and responsibility? He’s probably arrogant as all hell.


Sure. He’ll also be flip, uncouth, and probably have a filthy mouth. All of the bluster will hide a nice soft underbelly of vulnerability, of course. 

“Hey. What am I supposed to do now?”

He glanced over his shoulder at her. “I can give you hundreds of suggestions, bit, but they’d all involve me deep inside of you in one way or another.”

5) Hades probably even has an…an…an appropriately rebellious tattoo! 

Well, duh. He does have an image to maintain.

A tattoo highlighted those muscles, an intricate design of a red and black serpent. The snake’s tongue flicked his nipple, its sinuous body draped across his chest, presumably wound around his back, and then came back around his hip to disappear into his pants.

She tried not to think of where the tail of that snake ended.

As I wrote, I realized that it wasn’t that I love a good Bad Boy. I love a Good/Bad Boy. That is, a hero who isn’t all one or the other, not solely evil or alpha or a wuss or beta, but a mix of qualities that could churn together to pour out someone unique and relatable, godhood notwithstanding.

A complex guy. That’s my Hades. 

- Alisha Rai 

Want to check out Alisa Rai's Hades for yourself? You can pick up her take on the famous myth, "Hot as Hades" in stores now. And for more genre coverage be sure to check out our Everything Erotica Page