Since my sophomore year of high school, I’ve been reading adult fiction urban fantasy paranormal romance genre books. This is when I made the official transition from YA to adult fiction supernatural fantasy books. My friend, Claire, lent me her copy of Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. This was the first book in the Night Huntress book series. This was my first adult fiction urban fantasy paranormal romance book series. Within the first couple chapters, I was hooked on his book series. The story premise sounded very fascinating. You can say I’m a sucker for any supernatural fantasy genre book especially anything featuring vampires. Hell I’d been reading vampire genre YA books since I was 13.
I was never one for normal adult fiction romance genre books anyway. Over past 13 years, I can’t even recall reading many “normal” human books. Fantasy genre always called to me more so than normal fiction books. In my opinion, I don’t read books to experience more reality. Aw hell nah. I read books to escape to exhilarating fantasy universes.
The urban fantasy adult fiction novels I’ve read featured a plethora of supernatural characters like vampires, werewolves, demons, mages, ghouls, succubi, incubi, ghosts, witches, Nephilim, and faeries. But vampires are my usual go-to in terms of supernatural creatures. Not too many fully human characters involved within the storylines. It’s even better when you throw in paranormal romance. I proudly embrace my quirky, unconventional personality.
A month ago, I’ve stumbled across a “new” paranormal romance sub-genre browsing Amazon Kindle store. Paranormal romance reverse harem. Not gunna lie I was very skeptical about the concept of 3-4 love interests. Sure I’ve read my fair share of paranormal romance with love triangles where the main heroine ends up with one love interest in the end. So I decided to keep an open-mind and give this sub-genre a chance.
My first paranormal reverse harem book series was Queen of the Damned by Kel Carpenter. There are four books in this series. Lucifer’s Daughter, Wicked Games, Infernal Desires, and Brimstone Nightmares. The basic story premise sounded fascinatingly quirky. The main heroine, Ruby, is a half-succubus living a somewhat normal life in Portland with her pet racoon, Bandit. Ruby and her half-banshee best friend, Moira, run their own tattoo shop. From the time to time, Ruby gets in minor trouble with the law. One day, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse show up on her front door. To reveal her whole life has been a lie. In fact, she is no ordinary half-succubus but the long-lost daughter and only heir of Lucifer. Ruby’s exhilarating journey to embrace her damned destiny to save Hell wonderfully unfolds over the four books. I was hooked within the first few chapters!
Her sexy-as-hell archdemons act as her guardians and help her get a handle on her new powers. Laran (aka War), Rysten (aka Pestilence), Allistair (aka Famine), and Julian (aka Death) each have vastly different personalities. The medium-burn romantic dynamics with each of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse is well-developed. You grow to care about all four men. Personally, I was biased towards Allistair and Julian. The author typically writes from Ruby’s POV with the occasional POV from one of the four Horseman. Ruby is a kick-ass heroine with an equally bad-ass crew consisting of Moira, Rysten, Laran, Allistair, Julian, and Bandit the raccoon. Growing up, Moira was her only family as they went from one foster home to another. This fascinating ensemble soon becomes her real family.
Kel Carpenter’s dark yet wonderfully captivating writing style brought this world-building to life. I definitely laughed and cried going through all four books in this series. The fourth and last book, Brimstone Nightmare, provided a satisfying conclusion to Ruby and her crew’s story. But I would have preferred the epilogue chapter focusing more on Ruby and her Horseman rather than Moira and Bandit. (Side note: I had a slight problems with Brimstone Nightmares. The storyline in the final book dragged on a bit in the middle. Usually the sexy times with Horseman is equally distributed among the four men. But Julian and Allistair hardly had one-on-time with Ruby. More sexy time with Rysten and Laran. The steamy romance is one reason of the many reasons us fans read paranormal romance genre. I have no shame and don’t care what people think about my unconventional tastes.) Anyway, this author gained a new fan. I’ll check out her other books. Now that’s what I call a hella good first impression and introduction to paranormal romance reverse harem sub-genre!
Once I got my first taste, I intentionally sought out more paranormal romance reverse harem book series. So many options to choose just browsing Amazon Kindle. Since mid-April, I’ve read five books series within this paranormal romance book sub-genre. A Witch Among Warlocks series by Lidiya Foxglove. The Last Vocari series by Elena Lawson. Academy of the Elites series by Alexis Calder. Most recently, I finished Academy of Unpredictable Magic series by Sadie Moss. That’s a total of 21 books nearly two months! I haven’t even read that many books in the past few years. It seems I’m on a binge reading mode.
Three of the five book series have a commonality. A Witch Among Warlocks series, Academy of the Elites series, and Academy of Unpredictable Magic series are classified as academy reverse harem paranormal romance genre. These academy-type reverse harems heavily focus on theme of magic. Not usually my cup of tea when it comes to paranormal romance…but oddly enough I really enjoyed all three book series. Being late bloomers, the spunky female heroine suddenly realize they possess magical abilities in their early 20s. They must attend a supernatural academy to hone and control their magic. The heroine isn’t always willing to attend the particular university-like academy. Being true to their feisty personality, the female main character slowly adjusts to her new life. Even starting to find it homely once settling into their academic studies.
Being a reverse harem, there were four hella hot men vying for her affection. I can’t honestly pick which reverse harem crew I loved the most. Charlotte, Firian, Alec, Montague, and Harrison in A Witch Among Warlocks series. Raven, Luka, Ben, Matt and Zach in Academy of the Elites series, Elliott, Cam, Asher, Dimitri, and Roman in Academy of Unpredictable Magic series. Despite the vastly different personalities, all five characters develop deeper bonds than just steamy romance to truly form a cohesive family unit. The respective authors take the reader on an emotional journey as you grow to love each of the four guys. There’s a mixture of one-on-one and group sexy times. Charlotte, Raven, and Elliott spends equal time with the guys as well. Three of the four guys were already close friends in Academy of the Elites and Academy of Unpredictable Magic. But the fourth guy is the one who first knew the heroine. Never ceased to amaze me how the dynamics evolved, and they become integrated into a unified, power group. Four is the magical number for the number of love interests in paranormal romance reverse harem genre books!
I’ve formed a bias towards academy-type paranormal romance reverse harems. The main draw is how relatable the female heroine is. Each are bad-ass women in their own way…but not afraid to be emotionally vulnerable and grow as a person.
The previous mentioned academy-type reverse harem series each had heartwarmingly satisfying conclusions in the final book. In Academy of the Elites series, I felt there needed to be a short epilogue chapter with a hint of their future. Despite the proper closure, I was a bit peeved how quickly us readers find out Raven and her four men can remain together as a unit after graduation. Otherwise, I had absolutely no problem with the conclusions in A Witch Among Warlocks series and Academy of Unpredictable Magic series. The penultimate and epilogue chapters gave me overwhelmingly happy feels! Grinning like a Cheshire cat, busting out in hearty laughter, and crying tears of joy. Nonetheless, these three authors gained a new fan. I’d definitely check out more reverse harem paranormal books from Lidiya Foxglove and Sadie Moss.
I’m currently simultaneously reading two vampire paranormal romance reverse harem book series. Immortal Devotion series by Raylin Marks and The Slayer’s series by Holly Ryan. Sometimes you unintentionally discover something when you least expect it…yet don’t realize how much you need it in your life. During this COVID-19 pandemic, the quarantine life has put me in a weird emotional state. Paranormal romance reverse harem books has a been a surprisingly therapeutic coping mechanism. Books let us escape to fantastically awesome fictional worlds! Now I’ve gotten a taste of reverse harem sub-genre I cannot go back. The point of no return long passed few months ago. My go-to books will be a mixture of traditional and reverse harem paranormal romance going forward!