5 Literary Love Triangles to Tickle Your Fancy

Whoever tells you the love triangle is dead is lying. Love triangles endure for a reason: the fantasy of being fought over by two people who love you equally, and who, if magically combined, could become one perfect man, is irresistible. Of course, love triangles rarely exist in reality (and what we find alluring in fantasy can sometimes be just plain inconvenient IRL), so here are eight novels to give you that love triangle fix:

The Prince and The Queenby Tiffany Reisz
Two books in one recommendation! Before reading Tiffany Reisz’ Original Sinners series, I had never read about a polyamorous relationship before, but that is the best description I have for what Nora, Soren and Kingsley share in this series. These two books are the ones that best explore how their love triangle: Kingsley and Nora both in love with—and submitting to—Soren, and Soren willing to do anything for both of them…except sacrificing the other. The history between these three characters is steeped in darkness, unfulfilled desires, and even, to a degree, loathing—but they are the most functional dysfunctional lovers that I love to read about, again and again.

The Other Boleyn Girlby Phillipa Gregory
You’ve heard of Anne Boleyn; but have you heard of her sister, Mary? In one of my favorite historical fiction novels, the ‘other’ Boleyn girl shares her story—of how she fell in love (and in bed) with King Henry VIII before his dissolution of marriage to Queen Catherine…and before he fell in love with—and murdered—her sister, Anne.

Darkfever, by Karen Marie Moning
Paranormal romances will never die as long as Karen Marie Moning writes them. One of my favorites is the Fever series: Mac Lane’s sister is murdered, and when she travels to Dublin to find answers, she finds more than she thought she would…specifically, two men. Barrons, a bookstore owner (!!!) and one of The Nine, a pack of eight immortals who can turn into beasts…and V’lane, a Fae prince. (Oh, and he can turn women into sex addicts and give climaxes without even touching them.)

The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Possibly the ultimate fantasy love triangle in the ultimate fantasy novel: the story of Arthur’s rise to the throne of Camelot, told by the women surrounding him from his priestess half-sister Morgaine to his Queen Gwenhwyfar, who had a forbidden love for Lancelet, one of his knights. This novel is controversial and deals with issues such as religious extremism and incest, but at its heart are complex, dramatic relationships as the women navigate love and happiness, which often do not go hand in hand.

Sugar Daddy, by Lisa Kleypas
Lisa Kleypas is known for her historical fiction, but this contemporary novel about a girl torn between her small-town first love and the son of a big-time Sugar Daddy is one of my favorite love triangles. Liberty Jones has always wanted out of Welcome, Texas, but when she becomes her younger sister’s guardian she has to put her dreams on hold, including her love for Hardy, her first love who left town to follow his dreams. Then, she meets Churchill, a widower with 4 grown children, and becomes his personal assistant…which is how she meets Gage, his handsome—and tempestuous—son.

What are your favorite literary love triangles?

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