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If you have spent any time on Kindle Unlimited lately, then I am sure you have seen the myriad of books pertaining to ‘Reverse Harem.’ The fledgling genre has literally exploded in recent years. But what does it mean? What is Reverse Harem anyway?
Simply put, Reverse Harem, also known as RH, is a romance story that involves multiple love interests of 3 or more men. Yup.. a Harem. It’s reverse because it is focused on men instead of women as part of the group. You get the picture.
When I first heard about it, I was a little put off, as the idea of finding a ‘Happily Ever After’ with more than one person just didn’t feel right. Then I read one. And another one. And yet another one. And then a crappy one. Soon enough, my queue was filled with all sorts of Reverse Harem fantasies! Some good, some great, and others so horrible they made me cringe. Just like any other novel in any other genre. You have the good, the bad and the ‘we don’t speak of them’.
When it comes to Reverse Harem, I find that they run the gamut, from well thought out and plot driven tales, to smut heavy excuses for a gang bang – and everything in between. They also seem to fall into 3 basic categories:
These RH novels are series heavy, with the relationships evolving over a longer period of time. I generally refer to a series as slow-burn if there is a lack of sexual contact till at least the end of the second book or into the third. There are also extreme slow-burn series, like B.L. Brunnemer’s “The Veil Diaries” series, which is into its 6th book and has featured only kisses thus far. That series is a YA (Young Adult) masterpiece, focusing on character development and world building. From what I understand, by the time it DOES evolve into the Harem we expect, she will have jumped to NA (New Adult) and left the YA mantle behind.
It’s a great series, and perfect for the newbie RH reader.
Medium-burn RH Novels heat up a little faster than the Slow-burn variety, leading to sexual contact towards the end of the first book or beginning of second book. One that might fall into this category is the Paranormal RH Romance Series, “The Power of Five” by Alex Lidell.
Fast-burn RH are just that, fast burning. They can be intense and sexually explicit – and the action normally happens sooner rather than later. That is not to say that these are JUST sex books, far from it. Many of them invest heavily in world building and the actual story – the sex is just a bonus. One Fast and Steamy RH novel includes “Elements of Mischief” by Tate James and C.M. Stunich, which is, as one FB poster said, ‘Quick to the Grit.’ I enjoyed it and laughed my ass off, but it really does need a disclaimer for severe adult content.