You love a good romance. We all do, that’s why we’re here! When two characters fall in love and overcome adversity: nothing better! Sometimes there’s another love interest, and the infamous triangle emerges: who will she choose?
But now you’re looking for something more. Something new and different. Enter reverse harem (RH) or #WhyChoose, a subgenre under the poly romance umbrella in which the female protagonist has multiple suitors and does not choose one, but all! [Further reading: RH and the Rise of Polyamorous Fantasy Romance and The Path to Reverse Harem Romance]
With the genre exploding over the last year, there are tons of books to choose from spanning all genres. But don’t worry, romantic fantasy fans. I’ve got you covered. Here are five great fantasy books that will draw you into the world of reverse harem romance.
Note: All books listed below are suitable for ages 18+.
Power Of Five By Alex Lidell
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. It must be a mistake, right? But as their relationships develop, they realize Lera is so much more than they initially believed.
Why You Should Read It: This one is for all you fae lovers! Four hot fae guys that are fated to be with Lera, each with a distinct personality. River is the serious leader of the group who rejects Lera from the get go. Coal is the cold, brooding one who maintains his distance. Shade is the broken wolf shifter in mourning after the death of his twin. Tye is the flirtatious, playful one who is totally on board with Lera joining them. They each approach their new relationship with Lera differently, some more willing than others, which affects the dynamic of the group and how the romance unfolds. I found something to love about all the guys, individually and as a group. Being fantasy romance, the story focuses on the relationships, with a secondary plot revolving around fae politics and the greater consequences of Lera joining their group.
The “Power of Five” series is complete at four books. They are relatively short, quick reads ending on cliffhangers that are intended to draw you into the next installment. An easy, fun series to step into the world of reverse harem fantasy.
Stroke The Flame By Elizabeth Briggs
The Story: After she is struck by lightning, four handsome men from Kira’s dreams appear in the flesh, revealing they’ve been chosen as the new elemental dragons — and she’s their mate. As the newly assembled five come to grips with their destinies, they must learn to trust each other and work together as a team if they have any hope of overthrowing the tyrannical Black Dragon.
Why You Should Read It: First of all, dragons. But if that’s not enough… One of the aspects I love most about this series is that neither Kira nor any of the guys know each other before the start of the book. This means there’s a focus on building trust, accepting their new roles, and coming to terms with the fated bonds between them. There are secrets, hints of jealousy, conflicting motivations, and even reluctance — after all, none of them had a choice, including Kira. Each of the guys represents a different element and has a distinct personality: Jasin, the cocky soldier (Fire), Auryn, the scholarly prince (Air), Slade, the protective blacksmith (Earth), and Reven, the cold, mysterious assassin (Water). To unlock each of their elemental dragon forms and share their power with Kira, they must travel to each of the four elemental temples spread across the realm and, ahem, get it on. The promise of sexy times at the end of the books is definitely a plus!
The “Her Elemental Dragons” series is complete at four books. Each is a complete story focusing on the progression of Kira’s relationship with her men. These books are definitely hard to put down and are a solid representation of the genre.
Dragon’s Gift By Jada Storm And May Sage
The Story: Dareena Sellis is a small town nobody, until a dragon huntress chooses her to be the Dragon’s Gift: the one woman chosen every hundred years to bear children for the future dragon king. There’s only one catch — instead of one, there are three sons vying for the throne…and Dareena.
Why You Should Read It: Do hot and steamy scenes with three dragon shifter brothers sound appealing to you? Dareena starts from nothing and is suddenly thrust into the politics of Dragonfell, pursued by three virile men, and given the impossible task of having to choose just one. Drystan is the aloof, responsible leader, Lucyan is the flirtatious, seductive strategist, and Alistair is the warm, kind-hearted soldier. The focus of the story is mainly on the relationships and the sex, and there’s plenty of it right in the first book.
The “Dragon’s Gift” series is complete at three books. It’s a pretty fast burn with instalust: there’s not a lot of relationship development up front. So hop aboard for the dragons, stay for the steam!
The Fifth Knight By Claire Luana And Jesikah Sundin
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: Fans of Arthurian lore will appreciate the research that went into bringing Arthur and his knights to life. All of the characters are well developed and feel genuine in their interactions and their motivations. There is a strong brotherhood among the men and Fionna’s joining to their group challenges that bond. King Arthur is a man of honor, caring first and foremost for his kingdom. Galahad is the big, charming Norseman and rock of the group. Percival is the youngest and must remain celibate due to his role with the Grail search. Lancelot is cold and standoffish, for he believes any involvement with Fionna on his part will ignite the third curse cast by Morgan la Fay. Fionna herself is strong, not only physically, but in her convictions and reasons for her actions: she’s conflicted and it pains her knowing she must betray Arthur to save her family. But what is borne from the betrayal is far more than any of them expected.
The “Knights of Caerleon” series is complete at three books. If you’re looking for a slow to medium burn romance steeped in historical lore with plenty of steamy, more explicit scenes, you’ll find all of that and more here.
Bloodlust By Auryn Hadley
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: There are not many true epic fantasy reverse harem series out there, and this is, simply put, one of the best. After being freed from slavery, Sal was trained to be a ruthless fighter, which enables her to join the Black Blades. She must reconcile the prejudices she faced in her past with her current acceptance by the men, slowly forming deep, strong relationships with each of them. They need to be strong, for they work together as a unit and must be able to rely on each other in battle. Because the Blades are half-Iliri (unknown to the rest of military command), they will all succumb eventually to their race’s innate bloodlust, which can only be quenched by sex, lending some explicit scenes between Sal and her men. While the relationships play a major role, the overarching war for steel (and the secondary aim of both using and eradicating all Iliri), provides the drivers for the story.
The “Rise of the Iliri” series is on-going as of this posting, with eight books published and the ninth forthcoming in July 2019. If you’re looking for something big to sink your teeth into, with plenty of action, worldbuilding, great characters, slow long-term burning romance, deep bonds between the characters, and explicit sex scenes, then Hadley’s sweeping epic military fantasy is a must read.
About the Author
Catharine Glen is a romantic fantasy author residing in New England. Her favorite kinds of stories take place in faraway worlds with unforgettable characters, plenty of romance, adventure, magic and the supernatural. She tends to get immersed in all things Japanese, reading, Lego, and possibly consumes a bit too much coffee and tea. She’s also a wife to a loving husband and a mom to two children and a spirited Jack Russell.
Reach her at:
- Website: www.catharineglen.com
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- Instagram: www.instagram.com/catharine.glen
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A rogue assassin on the run.
Former assassin Emamori Matsukara stands alone against the warring Ichiyo Faction. The once-notorious “Black Thorn” struggles to protect the innocent and bring justice to the Faction’s brutal raiders. But with a bounty on her head, she can’t evade her enemies forever. When an impossible encounter with a mythological Shadow of Death leaves Ema critically injured, she finds herself at the mercy of three men from a rival clan — and they know exactly who she is.
A tentative trust in uncertain times.
Lord Commander Saitama Ren faces dwindling allies and the demands of a merciless high lord. The last thing he needs is a wanted criminal on his hands — especially one who saves his life. Worse, his closest friend Hagane quickly accepts Ema into their fold, while his stoic vice commander Akhito wants nothing to do with her. Yet despite her unknown allegiances, she may be the key to preventing his clan’s demise.
A bond born from the shadows.
Alliances are uncertain, trust is a rare commodity, and peace is a relic of the past. As shadows spread across the land, secrets unfold and death lurks ever closer. Ema and her unexpected allies must venture through the dark night of dishonor and betrayal to uncover the world’s inevitable fate.
For the one who controls the shadows controls the world.
For fans of epic fantasy reverse harem like The Gladiator’s Downfall (Kristen Banet) and stories deeply rooted in Japanese history and mythology like Red Winter (Annette Marie).
[…] out some fantastic fantasy romance books featuring a reverse harem pairing, I’ve written an article for the Romantic Fantasy Shelf blog with five strong titles that represent the genre […]