What is Reverse Harem Romance?

Reverse harem is a romance trope that continues to gain more and more fans in the genre since its popularity first boomed in 2017. If you are new to the trope and are unsure what is reverse harem romance, then this post will guide you.

In it, I cover the meaning of reverse harem, why reverse harem books are so popular, and give you several reverse harem recommendations so you know where to start when it comes to reading these books.

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reverse Harem: What Does It Mean?

Perhaps you’ve seen a lot of books on #Booktok or Amazon labeled reverse harem but don’t know what reverse harem means when it comes to this type of romance book.

Reverse harem books are those stories that center on one central woman who has three or more men vying for her love and affection and with whom she ends up in a committed relationship. The heroine gets her happily ever after with ALL the heroes in the story.

What is Why Choose Romance?

You may have also seen these books categorized as “why choose” romance. Some readers prefer this descriptor of books in this trope over the more archaic “harem” term. The focus of this new term is that the woman has three or more men in one committed relationship where she doesn’t have to choose one over any of the rest.

Why choose one man when she can have a relationship with multiple men at the same time? Instead, reverse harem and why choose romance books show that a woman can have a polyamorous relationship with several men.

Variety in Reverse Harem Romance

While all reverse harem romance books subscribe to this one woman/three or more men formula, there is a lot of variety within this romance trope.

Male Intent in Reverse Harem Romance

For example, in some reverse harem books, the men go into the relationship with the intent to share the same woman while in other books all the men may want the same woman and only end up agreeing to share her after their initial pursuit.

Some reverse harem books also have the men having relations with one another as well as the woman whereas in others the men only have relations with the woman.

Heat Level in Reverse Harem Romance

Given that reverse harem books involve polyamorous relationships, the opportunity for some significant heat and steam in these books is extremely high. Reverse harem romances can therefore range from the super steamy to the super sweet where the focus is on the loving, supportive relationship without the focus on the bedroom.

Books with multiple partners can definitely be heavy on the bedroom scenes giving them a bent toward erotic romance but then again not all reverse harem books are off the charts when it comes to their bedroom heat.

Reverse Harem Romance Categories

You can also find reverse harem romance books in several categories of the romance genre including contemporary romance, fantasy romance, paranormal romance, bully romance, omegaverse romance, young adult and new adult romance to name a few.

Reverse Harem Series vs. Standalones

Often many reverse harem books are in a multi-book series while others are written as standalone books.

Why You Should Read Reverse Harem Romance

There are many different reasons why I recommend reading reverse harem books. One reason is to read a story where a woman is doted on and loved by more than one man. Everyone wants to be loved in their life so it’s gratifying to read about a woman who has several different men looking out for her needs and wants.

I also read reverse harem because I enjoy how the stories often involve men of varying personalities who all bring something different to the relationship for the heroine.

With reverse harem series, you get to see how the relationship between the heroine and all of her heroes develops that isn’t about instalust but develops over time.

Of course, some readers enjoy reading reverse harem for the steamy scenes which can get pretty steamy, and yet many of the reverse harem books I have read are pretty low on the steam factor because the focus is on the relationship development.

Read Reverse Harem in Kindle Unlimited

The best part about reverse harem books is that many are available to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Pay just one low monthly fee and read as many reverse harem romance books as you are able!

I find that reading books with Kindle Unlimited takes the pressure off exploring a new romance category, trope, or author because if I don’t end up liking the book, I just return it and select a new one.

Join Kindle Unlimited today and select one of the reverse harem books below to get started!

My Reverse Harem Recommendations

Ready to dive into reverse harem romance? Here are some of my favorites and some of the most popular in the trope. For even more recommendations, check out my list of best reverse harem books and the best fantasy reverse harem books.

Contemporary Reverse Harem

Faking With Benefits is a reverse harem book recommendation from She Reads Romance Books.

Faking With Benefits
by Lily Gold

My name is Layla Thompson, and I am undateable. I’m twenty-eight and I’ve never had a boyfriend, and I’m starting to lose patience.

Lucky for me, I have three best friends who are eager to help hone my dating skills. Zack, the rugged ex-rugby player. Josh, the sweet boy-next-door. And Luke, the silver-haired divorcee… who just so happens to be my old professor.

After a bad date leaves me crying on their shoulders, the three men are determined to help me find a guy. Together, they agree to be my ‘practice boyfriends’, and come up with a lesson plan packed with fake dates, make out sessions, and classes on flirty texting. In return, I just have to make an appearance on their relationship advice podcast once a week.

But as my lessons become more and more intense, we soon find ourselves getting in too deep and I realize that their friendship isn’t enough for me anymore. I want more.

Why I Love This Reverse Harem Book: This is a great entry reverse harem book to check out the trope because it was super sweet, light on the steam and a standalone read with a complete story. I honestly thought Gold portrays a really authentic and realistic poly relationship between everyone which you might not always get in reverse harem.

This is a wonderful story about friends who become more while learning about themselves along the way. I loved that Layla finally saw that it’s really about finding someone to trust (not about her not knowing how to date) when it comes to dating and putting your heart on the line.

Check out my book review of Faking With Benefits.

Paranormal Reverse Harem

Four Psychos is a reverse harem book recommendation from She Reads Romance Books.

Four Psychos
by Kristy Cunning

I’m not so different from most people. Like everyone else, I have life goals. I want to become a real girl instead of this invisible ghost thing I currently am. And I want to convince the four men I’ve been haunting for the past five years to pick me to be their new toy after goal one is complete.

Then figure out who/what I am and why I can’t remember anything past the five years I’ve been haunting this quad.

Why I Love This Reverse Harem Book: This paranormal reverse harem is super popular on Goodreads so I had to check it out to see what the hype was all about. I loved that Keyla is a ghost and that her four roommates aren’t simple humans as you may have initially believed.

I love the uniqueness to this reverse harem book which ropes you in with book one but continues on into a four book series.

Fantasy Reverse Harem

Broken Bonds is a reverse harem book recommendation from She Reads Romance Books.

Broken Bonds
by J. Bree

After the loss of my mother and her Bonded, I was relieved to find my own Bonds. I was sure everything would be okay if I had them. It wasn’t. The fate of our people is in my hands and I know we’re better off if I’m alone. After five years on the run, I’m caught and dragged back to face the men I ran away from.

I thought I was doing the right thing. Now, I’m not so sure. North, Nox, Gryphon, Atlas, and Gabe may never forgive me but one thing is for sure. I won’t ever forgive myself.

Why I Love This Reverse Harem Book: I really enjoyed this fantasy reverse harem book because I’m a sucker for enemies to lovers romance. I was really struck by this idea that you can be bonded to another and not just one but several people. Lucky Oli has FIVE bonds though their hatred of her is pretty strong!

This is an example of a reverse harem book where book one in the series has no steam but sets the stage for the storyline and outlines the characters different personalities. Check it out before binge-reading the entire six book series.

Young Adult Reverse Harem

Havoc at Prescott High is a reverse harem book recommendation from She Reads Romance Books.

Havoc at Prescott High
by C.M. Stunich

There’s one word you don’t utter at Prescott High, not unless you want them to own you. H.A.V.O.C. Hael, Aaron, Victor, Oscar, and Callum.

The Havoc Boys rule the h*llhole we call Prescott High. Once upon a time, they ruled me. For an entire year, I endured their sh*t. But senior year is going to be different.

This year, I own them. I’ve made a pact with the Havoc Boys to get the vengeance I deserve. Their price? Me. At their beck and call, in their beds, a part of their gang. Their girl. A Havoc Girl. Those dirty, rotten boys are going to get revenge against everyone that’s wronged me—everyone but themselves.

Why I Recommend This Reverse Harem Book: C.M. Stunich is one of the most well-known reverse harem authors whose written quite a few series in the trope. If you like young adult romance with a bit of bully romance and enemies to lovers storylines then this is the one to check out. It also revolves around a strong female heroine who is driven by a goal which I adore.

Omegaverse Reverse Harem

Lola and the Millionaires is a reverse harem book recommendation from She Reads Romance Books.

Lola and the Millionaires: Part One
by Kathryn Moon

Lola Barnes only wants one thing, to get her life under control. No more chasing alphas who abuse and toss away betas like her. Armed with her dream job and her less than dreamy apartment, Lola is ready to start a new chapter of her life without alphas.

But that’s easier said than done when one stumbling incident after another leads Lola closer to an alluring pack of captivating men. These alphas are everything Lola dreamed of, but they already have an omega—a playful male model who won’t stop flirting with her.

And Lola is only a beta, one who comes with deep scars and an unshakeable aversion to alphas and their powerful presences. If only she could resist their perfect beta, Leo, whose patience and determination to see her heal breaks down one wall after another.

When the alpha who all but destroyed Lola tries to start a game of cat and mouse that’s all claws, the safest place for Lola may be the one she’s most terrified of, in the arms of an alpha pack.

Why I Love This Reverse Harem Book: This was my first taste of an omegaverse romance and I got hooked! It’s the perfect, light fantasy reverse harem romance where Lola slowly heals from a relationship gone very wrong that left her pretty scared of alphas. This is a reverse harem romance where the men in the relationship also have relations with each other and you get an idea of the difference between alphas, betas and omegas.

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Unsure what is reverse harem romance? Check out She Reads Romance Books' guide to the meaning of reverse harem with book recommendations in the trope.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

Leslie Murphy, Author

Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion along with raising her two amazing children who love to read! Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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