Guide: All About Reverse Harems

This post contains several affiliate links. I make a small commission if you purchase anything through these links. While not required, I greatly appreciate any support you throw my way! *Beetlejuice voice* Hi! I’ll be your guide, I’ll be your G U I D E to the other side! (The other side being the wonderful world of Reverse Harems!)

I’ve gotten so deep into this sub genre and I just absolutely love it! I have noticed not a lot of people know about this genre unless you’re already into dark romance, so I figured I would be a bad influence and introduce more people to the joy!

What is a Reverse Harem?

Reverse Harem is sub-genre of romance, in which a central character has multiple romantic partners.

A normal harem is defined as one man, multiple (typically) female partners. As such, a reverse harem is one female with multiple (typically) male partners! That’s the simple version. As with any romance sub genre, there’s nuances.

There’s a lot of questions about if reverse harem relationships are also poly-amorous and the answer is a complicated “it depends.” I know that answer sucks but it really depends on how the author writes it. Some RH are more just an “open relationship” where the other members of the harem don’t interact with each other, but some are interconnected relationships and everyone is emotionally and physically involved with everyone else.

Common Misconceptions

If you Google “reverse harem” you get the first result that says gang bang. RH is not a gang bang. So let’s clear up some of the most common misconceptions about reverse harems.

The lead will eventually choose just one.

One of the more common misconceptions is that, eventually, the lead ends up choosing just one partner to be with. This is the general “acceptable” relationship type in the world we live it, but this is not the only relationship type out there. The whole point of RH is that the lead DOESN’T have to choose. If that’s not your cup of tea, then maybe RH isn’t for you, and that’s okay.

They’re all just raunchy and dirty books.

Another misconception I see a lot is that RH books are all raunchy and dirty. I mean, there’s sex but it’s not anymore raunchy than a normal spicy book. They tend to lean towards the spicier side but that’s not a rule by any means. I’ve read RH with fade to black scenes and no explicit sex at all. It’s a type of relationship subgenre, not a descriptor of how spicy a book will be.

It’s all M/F dynamics.

This misconception for some reason goes both ways. People either assume the relationships are all M/F, or assume all RH books have M/M of F/F dynamics as well. Depending on how the RH relationship is structured, there may be “sub-relationships” between members of the harem, which could lead to M/M or F/F relationships, as well as M/F ones. The plot tends to focus on relationships between every member, not just between with the main person.

It’s just an excuse to have group sex. There’s no real relationship.

I mean, if you had multiple partners wouldn’t you have group sex too?? This is consensual group relationships…. So if group sex isn’t your thing, RH probably won’t be. But it’s not a “gang bang” So shush with that. I’ve yet to read a RH book that doesn’t have intricate relationships, complicated emotions, and conflict, like with any relationship. These are simply a different type of relationship. And different doesn’t equal bad.

My Top 5 Recommendations

Yaga’s Riders series by C. Rochelle – dark fantasy RH, Slavic folklore retelling, witches, HEAVY cliffhangers. You can buy the first one here.

Wings of Darkness and Light series by C. Rochelle – angels and demons and humans oh my! Buy the first one here.

Emerald Lakes series by Britt Andrews – urban witches, dragons, demons, shifters, and magic abound! Buy the first one here.

Madison Kate series by Tate James – dark contemporary “bully” romance (which means not everyone exactly gets along at first). This is a completed series! Buy the first one here.

Hades series by Tate James – dark contemporary “mafia/organized crime” romance with a super badass female main character. This is a spin off of the Madison Kate series, but can be read as a standalone series. Buy the first one here.

There are so many other RH recommendations I could give, but these have been at the top of my list lately and are good to get you started! If you want other recommendations, please message me! I’d be happy to give you the biggest list ever!

You can also go here for recommendations! This amazing site allows you to search and filter by genre, trope, spice level and more!

These recommendations above are ALL available on Kindle Unlimited, which is a program through Amazon that allows you to borrow up to 10 books at a time without buying them, return them when you’re done, and borrow some more!

Sign up for a free trial today! (Note: I do get a small commission if you sign up for KU using my link above, but please do not feel obligated!)

That sounds kind of advertising heavy, but I really love Kindle Unlimited. I have it myself, and have for years now, and it’s such a great way to find new books, especially RH books. You don’t even have to have a physical Kindle device to use it, you can use it right on your phone app!

Q&A with RH Author C. Rochelle:

The ever lovely C. Rochelle (Yaga’s Riders series and Wings of Darkness and Light series) agreed to sit down and answer a few questions regarding reverse harems from an author’s point of view. C. Rochelle is a self-published reverse harem author who specializes in ripping your heart and soul out and then putting it back together with her next book.

You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, as well as on her website. You can buy the first book of the Yaga’s Riders series here, and the first book of the Wings of Darkness and Light series here. (These book links are affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commission if you purchase the book through these links. Please don’t feel obligated.)

Q: How did you get into writing RH?

A: Well, I started as a reader of RH and it was actually reading a series I didn’t like that inspired me to write! It wasn’t that the books were bad, but there was a side story – the relationship between the FMC and one of her harem – that I felt was exponentially more interesting than the main storyline, and I wished the focus was on that. Trying to fall asleep later that night, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and how I would’ve written it, made it my own. That evolved into thinking about the nature of good and evil, heaven and hell, angels who were “naughty” and demons who were “saviors,” and and by the time morning came, that first chapter of Shadows Spark (Wings of Darkness + Light) with Syd and Oz was fully formed.

Q: What’s your favorite part of writing RH?

A: In general, the romance genre is incredibly empowering for women and reverse harem is that empowerment thrown in the face of society with two middle fingers raised. By its nature, RH is rebellious – how DARE a woman not only own her pleasure but enjoy it with MULTIPLE men/partners?? – and I’m a little rebel at heart. And because I already know I’m going to piss people off just by existing, I feel just fine including everything I personally love in my books and F the haters!

Q: What’s the hardest part of writing it?

A: Honestly, the sex scenes can be difficult sometimes – keeping them fresh and exciting and not to distracting from the rest of the action (since I do include quite a bit of plot). Luckily, my characters tell me what they like in bed, so it doesn’t take long for their various preferences and kinks to emerge, which makes things easier. On a more boring level, the fact that I’m still working f/t (as a graphic designer/marketing manager) and am a mom to a young kid also throws a wrench into the time and energy I have to write.

Q: What do you wish people knew about RH?

A: That it’s more than just sex! Sure, some RH does skew more towards erotica (which is fine) but there are plenty of authors like me who include a hefty does of plot, suspense/mystery, character and relationship development, heartbreak, etc along with the steam. Besides RH, I read a ton of thrillers, epic Y/A, M/F romance, magical realism and historical fiction, so there’s a bit of all of that in my books as well.

Q: What do you think are the most common misconceptions about RH?

A: See above – that there’s not much to it besides the sex! I also think that readers should understand that not all RH is created equal. If you like something about a certain RH, don’t expect others to be the same…you wouldn’t read one author in any other genre and expect all authors to write like that, right? I can’t tell you how many reviews I’ve seen (on my books and other RH authors) where readers complain about things that are more their personal preference than anything inherently “bad” about the book. Find what you like and read that, and if you find something you don’t like, simply move on.

Q: If you could have your own fictional harem of any fictional characters you’ve ever read, who would be in it?

A: Oh lawd. Well, I’m not gonna lie – I fall heavily in love with the men I write. They quite literally live, rent-free, in my head 24-7, even when I’m not writing their stories! At the moment, I’m simping hard for Orion from Zodiac Academy. I love a grumpy alphahole cinnamon roll (only sweet to his girl). I also love morally gray characters AND super sweet dreamboats with big secrets (like Kyan from Amy Bartol’s Kricket series or Jason from Angela Hudson’s Dark Secrets). I’m realizing that all the books I’ve just mentioned are M/F…but isn’t that what RH is about? Taking all our faves and never having to choose?

Q: Anything to add for people considering diving into the world of RH?

A: Again, poke around until you find what you like, and don’t feel like you HAVE to like a book just because the fans (or street teams…) are the loudest. Join the big RH reader groups on Facebook and ask for recs, being as specific as possible about what you like (including other genres) – the readers in those groups are INSANE with how much they read and know about RH, so you’ll be in good hands. And I would be honored if you’d give my dirty little books a try…if you dare!

Thank you all for joining me as we dive into Reverse Harems! Remember, just because you personally don’t like something, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to shit on it or judge the people who do. If you don’t dig reverse harems, that’s totally fine! Just move on and find what you do like!

If you have more questions about RH or want some more recommendations, drop me a line!