The harem genre has long been a staple of Japanese fiction, popular in manga, anime, light novels, and video game dating simulators.
The set-up is simple: a protagonist (usually male) finds themself surrounded by multiple love interests or sexual partners, and shenanigans ensue. Harem stories are often very sexual or comedic and happily play upon self-insert fantasies for the consumer.
While traditional harems are very much a male fantasy, romance novels tend to prioritize what's attractive to women. Enter the reverse harem trope!
What are reverse harem books?
Modern romance has gifted us with the reverse harem genre, which focuses on a female protagonist being courted (and even pleasured) by multiple suitors. This romance trope has exploded in popularity over the past few years. You can find these stories in basically every category of romance: there are contemporary, historical, and even paranormal reverse harem books.
Like the heroines, readers certainly aren’t short of options when it comes to the reverse harem! We’ve selected a few stories to help you get started with this fun genre.
Sang is used to staying in the shadows, overlooked by the world as she tries to care for her agoraphobic mother. She's hoping that a fresh start in a new area, complete with a new school, will be exactly what she needs.
She soon finds herself part of a group of boys who are gorgeous, fascinating, and seemingly perfect. Only the boys have secrets of their own and they’ll do anything to keep her safe from the knowledge of the mysterious Academy that they've sworn allegiance to. The seven young men—Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Gabriel, Luke and North—vow to protect Sang at all costs.
Lilith Goode's life is not going well. With five dollars in her pocket, and everything she owns stuffed in the back of her car, there's little hope for her. So, it's kind of a miracle when she ends up with a crumpled ticket for a rock concert and finds herself face to face with one of her favorite bands, Beauty in Lies.
There’s Paxton, Ransom, Muse, and Cope, gorgeous men who understand Lilith's pain all too well. But then there's Michael, the unavailable band member. Can they heal one another and find salvation through love, music, and empathy?
Lola & the Millionaires: Part One
Lola Barnes might be a beta, but she still wants to control her own life. She's tired of abusive alphas who leave her crying in her cousin's apartment. She thinks she's off to a good start with her dream job, but when a series of accidents leads her to a pack of alluring men, Lola has to fight against herself to avoid getting drawn in. Staying away only grows more difficult when her abusive ex comes back into the picture, pushing Lola to a place she swore she'd never go again.
Faking With Benefits
Layla Thompson has decided that she's undateable. She's 28 and has never had a boyfriend. Luckily, her three best friends—Zach, the rugged ex-rugby player, boy-next-door Josh, and her former professor Luke—are all willing to help. They become Layla's practice boyfriends, offering lessons with fake dates, make-out sessions, and flirty texts. All she has to do is appear on their podcast about relationship advice once a week.
It should have been easy. But when Layla and her men find themselves getting in too deep, she decides to use their lessons on each other and try to win all three of them over.
Den of Vipers
Ryder, Garrett, Kenzo, and Diesel are The Vipers. They run their small town and everything in it, as well as everyone. Nobody dares to cross this gang, not when they're infamous for having grown men begging on their knees for mercy. Run up a debt with them and you'll probably not survive for long.
Alas, Roxy's in deep. Her father is in dire straits to the Vipers and, to cover the costs, he's sold his own daughter to this gang. She won't go down without a fight, no matter how ferociously enticing these snakes are.
Queen Takes Knights
For even more thrills, check out paranormal reverse harem books like this one. Ever since her mother was murdered by monsters five years ago, Shara Isador has been on the run. Alone, scared, and exhausted, she's finally cornered in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, only to be saved by two mysterious men who make a shocking claim.
Shara, they say, is a lost queen and these men are her Blood, vampire knights sworn to protect her. A lot of people want to get their hands on Shara, who now must struggle with her newfound powers, thirst for blood, and hunger for the men who are her saviors.
Ashton Carter is a bad boy, a troublemaker who gets way too much joy out of terrorizing the college dean, who also happens to be his father. But even he realizes he's in over his head with his love life.
He's falling for his best friend Mia. He's desperate to sleep with Brayden, his sworn enemy. He's trying to get Drew, his new roommate and the school's hockey coach, into his bed. Soon, all four of them are risking far more than their reputations to explore the taboo pleasures of their attraction.
Emmy is on a dark path, one that culminated in her stealing cash from her workplace, then trying to outrun the cops. Now, the judge has given her a choice: go to juvie for 18 months or spend two years at a prep school for misguided kids. She takes the latter, but the trouble's only just beginning.
At Emerald Lake Prep, she bumps into her ex-best friend Oliver and his equally as sexy best friends Talon and Ben. What else is there to do but keep being bad? But Emmy isn’t really that bad, and like her new classmates, she’s just hoping for someone to hold onto and believe in as the rest of the world thinks the worst of her.
A Kiss of Shadows
Before the reverse harem exploded in popularity, paranormal romance pioneer Laurel K Hamilton introduced the world to Merry Gentry. Working as a paranormal investigator, Merry lives among the humans and tries to stay out of the worlds of the faeries.
As Princess Meredith NicEssus, she is the number one enemy of her aunt, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Now, she's wanted back in the fey court but to go alone would be suicide. Fortunately, there are many men who are eager to serve Merry, both in the political realm and in her bed.
The Hallowed Crows MC aren't just a motorcycle gang. They're the most feared and merciless club in the country. Cross their path and you can only pray to come out alive on the other side. The Crows aren't known for being forgiving or understanding, which doesn't bode well for Rebecca.
Yet, once upon a time, she called the Crows her family. They loved her, cared for her, then abandoned her. Now, they want her back and Rebecca's not going to roll over and do what they say. For Aiden, Ezra, and Killian, love doesn't come as easy as hurt. For Rebecca, the need for revenge is strong. Can they move beyond the pain or do some scars just run too deep?
Signs of Cupidity
This paranormal romance story follows a woman named Emelle, who works as a cupid. Emelle finds herself frustrated that, while she has the power to influence other people's feelings of love and lust, she herself does not get to participate. As a disembodied force, Emelle says that she's "invisible, lonely, and bitter as hell."
That all changes, however, when a fae prince attacks Emelle and forces her into the physical realm. Finally, this cupid has a real body, and she intends to catch up on everything she's been missing out on.