What’s So Hot About Reverse Harem Romance?

Tessa Tempest Rub One Out Bingo Guest Post

You may have heard of reverse harem romances. They’re gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why. Who wouldn’t want a cadre of sexy men taking care of our ever need?

In the case of Poison Garden, we’re talking all your needs. These sexy Vikings are sensitive, sweet, and very good with their hands.

You’ll have no problem crossing out the “read a sex scene with 3+ partners” square for #RubOneOutBingo with Tessa’s book.

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About Tessa Tempest

Poison Garden Teaser

Tessa Tempest writes fantasy romance and sexy gothic folklore filled with poison flowers, dark forests, and princesses who can save themselves. She resides in Midgard in a city of glittering lights and mountains with her husband and her two mini creators and destroyers.

When she’s not writing, she’s busy designing journals and notebooks, crafting, traveling, geeking out over the psychology of fiction or her favorite TV shows, and is probably drinking an iced mocha.

Visit Tessa’s site and follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Then join her Ravenous Readers group for the inside scoop.

What’s So Hot About Reverse Harem?

Tessa Tempest Rub One Out Bingo Guest Post

Hello, fellow Bawdy Bookworms! I’m Tessa Tempest and I’m thrilled to be here helping you cross off your ROOB square for a scene featuring 3 or more partners. My newest release, Poison Garden, is a fantasy romance is set in a lush poisonous garden where every living thing, including our heroine Astrid, is cultivated to be as beautiful as it is deadly. It’s filled with poisonous kisses, deadly court intrigue, Norse myth, secrets, and Vikings. And what’s better than one Viking hero? How about four of them?

If you’ve been in the romance world in the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard some buzz about reverse harem novels. About this time last year, I had too, but it wasn’t until an author friend of mine penned one that I got intrigued and started reading them myself. And readers, I was hooked.

The subgenre actually has its roots in Japanese anime and manga, and contrary to popular belief, there is quite a bit of RH that is YA and mostly longing looks and flirting in addition to the books that explore the steamier side of relationships. I started imagining what kind of circumstances and what kind of fantasy world this kind of relationship style would work within. Before I knew it, the Poison Garden and its mysteries were born.

If you’ve ever been curious about this sexy subgenre, I strongly urge you to give it a go. If you’re into fantasy romance, I highly recommend Raven Kennedy’s and Stephanie Holmes’ books, and if contemporary is more your thing, check out Mia Moon.

Poison Garden

Poison Garden by Tessa Tempest

BB note: before we dive into Tessa’s excerpt, here’s more info about Poison Garden:

A woman with a deadly kiss. Four Viking warriors who will risk their lives to claim her.

They came like the wind to the poisonous garden where I’m held captive: four savage Viking warriors unstuck from their place in time. Strangers, but their rugged beautiful faces have haunted my dreams for as long as I can remember.

They whisper sweet words and promises of the home I’ve never known. A way out of this life I’m ensnared in. They lavish me with their attention and their touch.

But how can I trust them when all anyone’s ever wanted from me was a path to power?

They say they’re here for me, but many have come before them to undertake my poison trial. One by one they’ve braved a kiss from my poison-laced lips. Any man who survives it may seize the throne and lay claim to the richest kingdom in the Eleven Realms. It’s more likely they only want to woo me into sparing their lives.

Especially with the king on his deathbed and the sharks circling. If a successor isn’t chosen through the trial by week’s end, outsiders threaten to take the kingdom by force.

Now, even if what these warriors say is true and I plot an escape with them, we’re playing a dangerous game. The queen has her sights on keeping these warriors for her own.

In this game for the throne, the queen will spare nothing to keep hold of what’s hers.

Including our lives.

Poison Garden Excerpt

Here’s a little excerpt from Poison Garden. For the last thirteen years, Astrid’s been held captive and forced to serve as the poison mistress, a young woman who gives a trial to determine if a potential successor to the throne is worthy by bestowing a poison kiss. She’s lived a solitary life except for the company of her ghost best friend Drysi yearning for freedom and the sea.

All her life she’s had dream-like visions of another time and four Viking warriors. She believes they are just figments of her imagination until the four warriors walk into her garden in the flesh. This is a conversation with Leif, the poet-warrior of the group.

“You and the other men—you seem close. Like family.”

Leif nodded. “We’re like brothers. In every way that matters. Though we’re not above a little familial bickering. Especially on long journeys in close quarters.”

“But you’re not actually brothers, are you? How did you come to know each other?”  

Leif’s smile broadened and he leaned closer until our shoulders almost touched. “We all fell in love with the same girl.”

I snorted. “How did that turn out?”

A smile twisted his lips, and he laughed. “Better than you might imagine, actually.”

The sound of his laughter loosened something inside of me. A flurry of images and sensations. His laughter from another time and the feel of strong arms around my waist. The taste of the salt sea on my tongue. A sail on a longboat. I shook my head against the onslaught: these fragments of a story, both mine and not mine. My brows knitted together.

“You okay?” Leif asked.

I nodded, not wanting to lose the thread of the story. Maybe it would shake something else loose.

“How so?”

“She wanted all of us. It was part of her nature. Of what she was. Though none of us had ever encountered anything like her at the time.”

My hand stilled in the stirring. “What do you mean, what she was? Was she not a woman?”

I thought of my own avaricious nature, the way I snatched up found trinkets like a magpie and hoarded them away and the shimmer of my skin after touching the boiling mixture. Tingles erupted along my spine.

Leif opened his mouth to speak but shut it again as if thinking the better of it. He winked at me. “Part of that story for another time.”

My nostrils flared. “You’re a tease. You know that, right?”

His eyes gleamed and crinkled at the corners.   

“Okay, so back to this woman—who may or may not have been more than a mere woman. She wanted you all. And you were all okay with that?”

I abandoned the pot on the stove and swept over to stand on Leif’s other side against the wall, imagining the possibilities. And the way my body responded now to his nearness, the salt and leather wafting off of his skin. And the way my body had responded to each of them in kind in the garden earlier.

“Like that idea, do you?” A sly grin. Leif elbowed me gently in the side.

Heat crept up my neck. “Go on with the story, Mr. Storyteller.”

What happens next? You’ll have to grab a copy of Poison Garden to find out all the ways the warrior Vikings take care of her.

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