Reverse Harem / Why Choose Romance: Smothered in Male Attention

Romance and relationships come in many different forms. We’re exploring the subgenre of Reverse Harem or Why Choose this week.

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We’re here for another fun week of Crazy Book Genres and we’re highlighting Reverse Harem/Why Choose novels. If you’re unfamiliar, these romances have a female protagonist with multiple—3 or more—male love interests. When the HEA arrives, she isn’t left choosing just one; she gets to keep them all. 

In the early 2000s and 2010s, the menage genre was where this genre of novel was found. It was coupled with less-than-stellar plots, typically only in a contemporary setting. In 2016, with the popularity of Manga and the increased awareness of “alternative” lifestyles, the genre was revived and rebranded as Reverse Harem. Today, RH is also known as Why Choose. Given the cultural implications of the word “harem,” WC is a more sensitive moniker. 

If you’re new to the genre, you might ask: Why would I want that many men to pick up after? Well, it’s fiction and we’re here for the affection, the attention, and the cuddles. Plenty of the genres’ novels discuss the logistics of so many personalities—and body parts—in a relationship. It adds to the drama, of course. But there are also social dynamics to deal with too, especially in contemporary novels where the poly relationship is still not considered a norm.

Contemporary Reverse Harem / Why Choose Novels

Contemporary themes are still utilized, though to a much better degree. Quadruple Duty, by Krista Wolf, is a military RH/WC where the male love interests put out an ad seeking an open-minded woman for an exclusive relationship with four men. It delves into the psyche of veterans and active military members and the benefits of such an arrangement. If you’re looking for a dark contemporary RH/WC, check out Den of Vipers by K.A.Knight. This novel had TikTok up in arms over the spiciness. But when I say dark, buyer beware, it’s 654 pages of violence and debauchery. (TW: contains elements of DA, SA, kidnapping, self-harm, torture)

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Dystopian Reverse Harem / Why Choose Novels

For some, the idea of multiple male partners must come with a reason of necessity. Welcome, Dystopian RH/WC. In Stasia Black’s Marriage Raffle Series, the world was devastated by a biological weapon that targeted women. In Jacob’s Well Township, the world is trying to recover. Any woman of 19 or older who can bear children is given to five men through a vetted lottery system. The series is complete at five books, each focusing on a different relationship while continuing an overarching plot. The Wife Lottery by Frankie Love and Chantel Seabrook is another dystopian RH/WC along the same lines; however, it focuses on one family, and each book of the series focuses on one of the male love interest’s POVs.

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Sci-Fi / Fantasy Reverse Harem / Why Choose Novels

Fantasy and sci-fi themes have picked up a lot in recent years. Many fantasy and sci-fi RH/WC novels utilize the mate bond ideas of shifters and magical creatures that form between two or more people. The Vixen’s Lead, book one of six in the Kit Davenport series by Tate James, is a fantasy with magic and shifters. Kit is a first-class thief with special abilities and her men are an elite force of supernatural beings sent to bring her in. Perhaps you’re in the mood for some alien romance. Amanda Milo’s Beth’s Stable might be what you’re looking for. Human abduction, space pirates, and 5 protective male aliens comprise this standalone HEA.

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