Need a few more book boyfriends to swoon over? Feeling like one love interest is no longer enough? Or just looking for a new genre to explore?
Enter reverse harem romance (otherwise known as “why choose”). Briefly, reverse harem is a subgenre falling under the poly romance umbrella. It is typically defined as a romance centering around a female protagonist with three or more suitors in which she does have to choose one—she gets to choose all! And though reverse harems extend over nearly every genre, there are plenty of great series for fans of romantic fantasy.
So let’s check out eleven must-read fantasy reverse harem books!
Note: All books listed below are suitable for ages 18+. Some may also contain triggering content.
The Story: Orphaned Lera is magically bonded to four fae warriors in search of their “fifth,” who to their disbelief turns out to be a mere mortal woman. A mistake, right? But as their relationships develop, they realize Lera is so much more than they initially believed.
Why You Should Read It: How do four hot fae guys tickle your fancy? River, Coal, Tye, and Shade each approach their new relationship with Lera differently, which affects the dynamic of the group and how the romance unfolds. Fated-mates lovers will enjoy how their bond develops—no instalove here! There are also fae politics at work, adding conflict to the already unusual bond and the consequences of Lera joining their group. POWER OF FIVE is my personal top choice for the new-to-reverse-harem fantasy reader.
Series Status: Complete (quadrology plus three novella collections)
“This is my FAVORITE reverse harem series! Great character development. All the men are well crafted to have interesting pasts and unique personalities. The female protagonist maintains her identity and forges her own path.” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: Salryc Luxx, a purebred Iliri, joins the Black Blades, an elite military force of strong, super-skilled Ilirian crossbreeds. Humans want to exterminate all Iliri, yet at the same time fear their predatory nature. Sal and the Blades form a strong bond, but that could all be destroyed if the enemy succeeds in their plans. And they are closing in…
Why You Should Read It: If you’re looking for something big to sink your teeth into, with plenty of action, worldbuilding, strong characters, slow-burning romance, deep bonds between characters, and explicit sex scenes, then Hadley’s sweeping epic military fantasy is just what the doctor ordered.
Series Status: Complete (11 books)
“I’ve been reading fantasy series almost exclusively for the past fifty years (hence all the searching for something I hadn’t already read). This series is everything you could want in an epic fantasy series. In-depth storyline and plot, well-developed characters, action, tactics, humor, betrayal, and a fascinating twist on what you would probably refer to as ‘magic’ in a more traditional sword and sorcery fantasy tale.” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: Mave is an Andinna—a winged, horned, tailed warrior race, and slave to the empress of the Elvasi Empire. She’s also been the Champion of the Colosseum for nine hundred years. Despised by all, she’s been beaten down by everyone around her. But she’s not broken yet…
Why You Should Read It: A true epic fantasy with a compelling lead protagonist—she’s a strong warrior, but also vulnerable due to her years of enslavement, combat, and harsh treatment by those around her. If you’re seeking a plot-driven story with lots of action, a slow-burn romance, and darker themes, Banet’s epic series fits the bill!
Series Status: Incomplete, 6 of 7 books released (as of this writing)
“This is the kind of epic story that grabs you by the throat, chokes you into submission, and leaves you begging for more.” – Auryn Hadley, Author of Rise of the Iliri and The Demons’ Muse
The Story: To save her family from a rival clan, Fionna, a warrior in her own right, sets out to steal Excalibur from King Arthur himself. Arthur and his closest knights are seeking their fifth who, as foretold by Merlin, will break Morgan la Fay’s curses over the land. They certainly don’t expect the fierce and formidable Fionna to be that knight.
Why You Should Read It: King Arthur fan? Yes, there’s a reverse harem series for that! Fionna is a strong lead character, not only physically, but in her convictions and legitimate reasons for her actions. The men have their own convictions and goals. Arthur wants to protect his kingdom, Galahad is the rock of the group, Percival has an important role in the Grail search, and Lancelot must prevent a devastating curse from activating. The Fifth Knight is a gripping, steamy take on the Knights of the Round Table, steeped in historical myth, magical curses, and betrayals. A must-read for fans of Arthurian lore!
Series Status: Complete (trilogy)
“There is so much to love about this book… A strong and passionate female lead, four hunky and honorable men with interesting backstories, shape-shifters, magic and uninhibited sensuality. There were parts that made me laugh out loud, parts that made me cry, and parts that made me… a little distracted for a while.” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: Struggling apothecarist Calla dreams of earning a position in the Royal Apothecary, only to discover that she is a shadowmancer—a forbidden school of magic—resulting in her arrest. Before her execution, three men smuggle her away to safety. It is then that Calla joins their crusade against the Ebon queen, destroyer of the Elven realms, whose dark magic continues to grow and threaten the kingdom.
Why You Should Read It: Calla is launched from a lowborn nobody to a veritable threat to her enemies… and her “allies.” She is overwhelmed by her life being turned on its head, but she’s also strong and resilient as she faces this sudden change of course. By her side is Luin, her loyal and protective pet dragonkin. There is a fair bit of distrust and uncertainty (amidst other factors) between Calla and her three saviors, but also plenty of sexual tension and attraction. Come for the magic and worldbuilding, stay for the slow-burn romance!
Series Status: Incomplete, 3 of 4 books released (as of this writing)
“This was a very exciting action-packed, fast-paced sword and sorcery book. The reader will enjoy the cast of fantasy characters; the strong heroine unafraid of speaking her mind is a joy to watch as she grows into her abilities with the support of her men. Don’t miss this one—it is an excellent beginning to what is shaping up to be a wonderful new series!” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: When Bloss uncovers an assassination plot against Avia—her sister and the future queen—she is forced to return home to protect her. Avia must survive, because Bloss herself is cursed with a dangerous magic and isn’t fit to rule. But upon her return, she must also face the unbridled ire of her four jilted betrothed for “running away” in the first place. When her mother binds Bloss to a five-foot physical proximity to her men, her investigation into the nefarious plot is further complicated.
Why You Should Read It: A reverse harem with a reverse redemption angle. Bloss owns up to her actions, and amidst her Knights’ teasing, sarcasm, and lingering hurt, it is clear they still care about her. Each Knight embodies distinctive strengths that benefit the kingdom, and have unique and compelling personalities (one Knight in particular is mute, communicating only telepathically, which yields moments both hilarious and steamy). All characters have some form of magic, and there is a cost and consequence to using it. Bonus points for the genuine sisterly bond between Bloss and Avia—they truly care about each other, and Bloss will do anything to save her.
Series Status: Complete (trilogy)
“Overall, Knightfall was such a fun delight. There’s a lot of flirtation and teasing, and we do get to have some steamy fun by the end of the novel, so it’s pretty well-rounded. There are moments of adventure, of tension, of romance, and humor; we definitely get a little bit of everything we need to make this a strong series opener and a new fandom for me to dig into!” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: In a war-torn land, devout Lumen protects her home against an invading army. It is then she meets the enemy’s brilliant but stubborn general, a cold but devoted healer, and a kind-hearted but deadly soldier. Despite her life being thrown upside down, Lumen remains strong of heart and mind, making enormous sacrifices of herself and for her people—while remaining devoted to the Goddess Lune.
Why You Should Read It: If you’re looking for something darker, grittier, and sure to wrench your heart out, then look no further. Steamy sex and lots of angst are coupled with strong character development, top-notch writing, and a hint of something supernatural.
Series Status: Complete (duology)
“These are dimensional, complicated beings with messy lives and feelings. There are no easy answers to be found here, and that is part of what makes this story draw the reader in. It is not predictable. You don’t know what will happen, next, and that adds so much to the flavor of this book.” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: Emelle is a lonely cupid, able to make others fall in love but never able to obtain any for herself. And she’s bitter. When she “accidentally” hits a fae prince with love arrows, he banishes her to the physical realm. Now, Emelle has a body—something she fully intends to use to her advantage! But while she tries to find herself some love, a certain fae prince hunts her…
Why You Should Read It: A hilarious, feel-good read! Emelle is an honest, quirky, and relatable protagonist who’s somehow both badass and clumsy. Not to mention, she’s got three hot alpha fae men who unexpectedly become bonded to her (cue lots of witty banter and flirtation, despite their initial distrust). If you’re looking for a lighter, fun read, you can’t go wrong with SIGNS OF CUPIDITY.
Series Status: Complete (quadrology)
“The author introduced us into a fantasy world with a character that is genuinely funny, amusing, sweet, and sensible (most of the time). She is a bit shallow but it is believable as she hasn’t had human to human interaction for quite some years. She’s a lone unicorn in the vast and empty world of hers. But then the author swirls you down into a vortex into ANOTHER fantasy world that fits right into the original setting. […] If you are iffy like I was about diving into the realm of reverse harems, I think this is a great book to pick up and read.” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: When mercenary Rybet Waise tries to rescue her friend from execution, she accidentally winds up qualifying for the Trials: a competition to win the prince’s heart. Surrounded by few allies and unknown enemies, Rybet has no choice but to see them through.
Why You Should Read It: If you love a snarky leading lady, intrigue, and magical survival games, IMPOSTER should be at the top of your list. I’m going to leave the rest to this enthusiastic reviewer!
“Imposter is sensational. It’s like a great summer blockbuster that you just can’t get enough of and you want to see (read) over and over. Tate James has created one of the most enchanting adventures I have encountered in quite a while. Irresistible characters and a fantastic premise full of secrets so cleverly written it is immediately addicting. Intrigue, deceptions, suspense, danger, sexiness. Hidden identities, questionable motives, dangerous games. Three trials, one beautiful, intelligent, snarky, irreverent female, 3 sexy princes each with their own secrets, a lethal court, and a viper. I was enthralled from the beginning to the scream-inducing cliffhanger. I am in love with this new series!” – Amazon Reviewer
Series Status: Complete (trilogy)
The Story: Princess Maeve is a magic user in a kingdom that has forbidden using magic. When the palace is attacked by a dark force, she is whisked away to safety by a dragon. There she learns her four dragon captors are actually shifters afflicted by a curse—one that only Maeve may be able to lift.
Why You Should Read It: Calling all dragon fans! This one’s for you. A solid fantasy story with a twist on the old fairy tales you know. Maeve is a strong character and isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. The romance is slow-build as Maeve’s relationships with her four dragon shifters grow and evolve over the course of the series. There’s also plenty of action, suspense, the supernatural, and of course, sexy times! Did I already mention dragon shifters?
Series Status: Complete (quadrology)
“Maeve and her men are beautifully written and delivered to you, along with a magical world filled with fun and laughter as well as some heartache and tragedy. […] I can’t wait to see what is in store for Maeve and her men in the next book. I am completely enthralled by this world and I am waiting with baited [breath] to return!” – Amazon Reviewer
The Story: Kiarra is an “erratic disaster.” While everyone else has a Soul Match and a role in one of the five Houses, Kiarra cannot commit her heart. If she does not join a House, she’ll be shunned as a Commoner, or worse. Yet Fate has other plans for her and the five men she’s drawn to.
Why You Should Read It: A slow-burn romance between the strong, smart Kiarra and her five soul matches (each embodying the strengths of his respective house). The focus here is on character development, and while there is a bonding insta-attraction at work, their relationships grow organically from there. There is also a strong element of family, particularly between Kiarra and her mother and brother. Fans of the Divergent series may also find appeal with the story’s dystopian, orderly, and segmented society.
Series Status: Complete (trilogy)
“The character and relationship building is especially top-notch! I seriously cannot pick a favorite guy. I mean, I know that defeats the purpose with the RH genre, but still! They are ALL so great, and that speaks volumes about the author and her ability to write such wonderful characters.” – Amazon Reviewer
Which of these must-reads is your #1 and why? Tell us in the comments!