Updated: Feb 21
Now The Fifth Horseman is out in the world, friends, family, and readers are asking for recommendations of things similar to the group relationship dynamic.
What is Reverse Harem Romance?
Reverse Harem Romance, also labelled RH, is where you have a singular woman (usually the main character) in a relationship with three of more men. This can be done in a number of ways: clean, sweet, steamy, erotic, and downright porn-like. But the important thing is that the characters are developed well, because it's actually super easy to fall into the trap of producing stereotypical characters when you have more than one love interest to develop.
My favourite types of RH are ones that manage that development, have a good, solid plot, produce great world building, and have a healthy dose of steam. Yes, I will have my cake and eat it, thank you very much. I want it all.
So, without further ado, here are my top 10. (For the purpose of this list, I have chosen complete series only).
1. Kit Davenport by Tate James
Tate James's books are life. And I might come across like an obessed stalker by the end of this blog. But her mind is the hottest place to be, I swear. I might be semi in love with someone I've never met. Oops. The main character in Kit Davenport is a fox shifter, a thief, and a total badass. So yeah, I'm hooked already. But when you add in the six guys, who are sooo different and brilliantly developed, you have a masterpiece of romance. Also, this book contains a hot nerd called Wes, and if you didn't already know, I have a thing for hot guy nerds and badass girls, sooooo yeah, this book will never not be in my top 10.
2. Groupie by CM Stunich
CM Stunich . . . Another RH goddess. She writes a lot of angsty, dark academy stuff nowadays, which isn't my cup of tea, but her older stuff is solid gold and some of my favourite romances of all time, in and out of the RH genre. And Groupie is author goals. This is one of the few erotic romances I have read and enjoyed; usually, I find them too sex-focused and the characters a bit lacking, so I stick to steamy stuff. But this is as beautiful as it is hot. And that is a fine line to walk--a tough mechanic to write. Colour me impressed. This is about a woman who is homeless, jobless, has no friends, has just left her long-term boyfriend after he gave her an STD, and has now just lost her last family member. Her dad. She's living in her car, with no plans and no hope. Until she randomly wins a competition she didn't really enter and gets to meet Beauty In Lies backstage. Beauty In Lies . . . I don't have the words to describe these guys. I just don't. They're damaged, they're rockstars, they're a little cliche at times, but they're so enigmatic, with stories of their own and issues to deal with. They sleep with her, and then they take her on tour with them, where they realise she understands. She gets what it's like to not be whole. And they all just click.
3. Heart Hassle by Raven Kennedy
This is a funny series. A funny, funny series. And I think this is the first time I read a character like this. It's since become one of my favourite tropes: the hot, crazy woman. And for anyone who has read Fifth Horseman, you'll see bits and pieces of that in Magic, the main character. And will probably notice it in a few of my characters in the future. It's really fun to write. In the Heart Hassle series, the main character is a cupid, which I thought was really interesting. Unique. She creates love, lust, and romantic mayhem all around the world, but when she stumbles into a new world and creates problems, suddenly three men can see her. After decades of not being seen, she's desperate for friends, for her own love story. And so she makes a list of all the things she wants to do to them before her random spell of visibility ends. This is a quirky book, and it's just good fun. There is a larger plot to this, but I don't want to give anything away. This is the epitome of sex positivity.
4. Alice's Adventure in Underland by CM Stunich
This is another hilarious book series. This is a gothic Alice retelling where she has nine (yes, nine) guys. Because this series is insane, the nine actually feels quite normal; since normal isn't really a thing in these books. Alice herself is an unsure character who grows into her confidence. Also, the mad hatter is a vampire, the red king is a gentle brute, the duke is a jabberwocky, the march hair and white rabbit are shifters, tweedle dee and tweedle dum are twin angels, Lar the butterfly is a wise old high guy, and Cheshire is a cat-type guy but not a shifter. That enough love interests for you? The Mad Hatter is my favourite, followed by the king.
5. Den of Vipers by KA Knight
*Blows out impressed breath* What the fuck kind of foolfuckery is this bullshit? This series is dark (really, really dark), full of mobsters, violence, and knife play. Seriously, this isn't for everyone, but it's absolutely brilliant. I have yet to chat to someone who has read it and not liked it. It took the RH world by storm a few months ago, and now everyone loves KA Knight. Even if you think it's too much, give it a try. The female main character is like a gothic Harley Quinn, and I legit have a real crush on this woman. Plus, there's the crazy guy who wears a fanny pack to store his grenades. Honestly, this is a real book, and I promise you'll love it.
6. Harem of Freaks by Crystal Ash
This is set in a freak show circus. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the circus? My parents used to take me every summer, and it's one of my fondest childhood memories. Not that this series is safe for childhood memories or anything, but the circus setting screamed at me. It's the first Crystal Ash book I read, and I've since loved everything else, especially her Steel Demons MC series (which only just got left out of this list). The female main character runs away from an abusive home and finds herself at the circus, where she does odd jobs and bar work (illegally), and where she meets her first boyfriend (who is an amputee by the way, so it's great representation for disabilities). And the adventure begins. It's fantasy, there are shifters, and there's a circus. What more do you need?
7. Her Redemption Saga by Kristen Banet
This is an emotional rollercoaster. The main character is an ex-assassin (basically an ex-villain) who was given leniency by the courts for the information she provided, and in return, she's placed with a tactile team whose job it is to help keep the supernatural world in check. But they don't know about her past. So when they start on the trail of her ex partner in crime (lover, abuser . . .) things get hairy. One of my favourite parts of this series is the realism of the relationship. Things aren't perfect. They argue. They work together to build something worth fighting for. And that was so refreshing. Also, this is basically a superhero world where the magical aspect of the fantasy is that they're all born with superpowers. Which is quite cool. This is Urban Fantasy as it should be.
8. The Power of Five by Alex Lidell
It's been so long since I've read this, I'm definitely due a reread. This was one of the first RH I ever read. It's Fae based, so if you're a Fae fan, then this one's for you. A human girl stumbles into three (maybe four) Fae who take her on a whirlwind adventure. She learns she's only half-human, she falls in love, she saves all of Fae kind . . . they live happily ever after. Despite the overdone storyline, this sticks out in my head. It truly was just a wonderful story, well written, beautiful character development, great slow burn . . . It had everything I live for in a romance.
9. The Demons' Muse by Auryn Hadley
This is one of the inspirations behind The Fifth Horseman, so if you loved the more poly feel of my book, you'll love this, because it goes in the same direction. While mine starts quite poly and ends up being a more traditional RH (with one MM storyline), this does the opposite: starts as an RH/menage and builds toward poly. The science-based magic in this is also amazing. Something I always look for in my books. It's really explained. This is also a massively unique take on the demons, angels, god, heaven, and hell story. The most unique I've ever read, actually. Also, the MM in this is HOT. Just saying.
10. Madison Kate by Tate James
Told you I have a crush on Tate James. I'm not sorry. Deal with it. This series is amazeballs. Like, legit one of the best series of the year, with barely any competition. This is a mystery, thriller, steamy RH romance that is mind blowing. The technique and skill it takes to wield a story like this; it's like throwing words onto paper and beating them into a plot. It takes skill to pull something like this off. Real skill. Beautifully written, amazing characters, a female main character that takes no shit, and a mystery that I still don't know how it's going to end. The final book releases the same day as Fifth Horseman, October 31st 2020, so I'm going to let this "incompleteness" slide, because it'll be live by the time this blog goes live. This is how I'm celebrating my own release, by sliding into bed at the end of the day and bingeing book four's finale till dawn.