The Virgin Hero

What is so damn sexy about a romance hero who’s a virgin? I don’t know, but they drive me crazy. I know heroes are supposed to be experienced, they’re supposed to be knowledgeable. They can make the heroine come in 3 seconds flat while in a moving carriage and keeping up witty banter.

And yet, there’s something so intriguing about a man who hasn’t done the deed. Let’s be real here, even if you don’t buy into the whole “men would never turn down sex” crap, there still has to be a good reason. It implies a certain restraint… and restraint at the beginning of a book means only one thing: it will be tested and tested until it breaks!

I think the first virgin hero I ever read was Lord Sheene from Anna Campell’s Untouched. He has been emprisoned since he was 14… so, no access to the ladies. Then we have the heroine, who gets mistaken for a doxy and brought to service Sheene… except actually she’s a somewhat disillusioned young widow.

As they grow closer, he wants sex (duh). She thinks the whole thing is rather lame, but hopes he will be different. But actually he has no idea what he’s doing and their first time is bust. For her, at least. Now that’s wonky. And damn good reading.

Another virgin hero who I love is the hero in Kathleen O’Reilly’s Touched by Fire. Seriously, don’t judge these books by their cover. Thank God for the Kindle. It’s not because I’m ashamed of other people seeing what I’m reading, it’s because I don’t want to look upon that cover!

He has been fighting the sex his entire life. His father was a very bad guy who raped a lot of women… including his mother. In order not to act on the violence in his blood, he avoids marriage or sex or anything.

Of course, that’s gonna change.

Another wonky aspect of this book is that the heroine takes the lead on their relationship AND their sexual encounters. Well, she has to or it won’t get done!

There are a few other virgin heroes I have read and loved: The Texan’s Wager by Jodi Thomas, His Secondhand Wife by Cheryl St. John, The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale (one of my all time favorite books), Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor. I’ve also heard that Courtney Milan has a good one though I haven’t read that one yet.

All these mentioned so far have been historicals. I suppose, as Del mentioned, it’s easier to get away with such wonk in historicals. I’ve only seen one virgin in a contemporary, and that was Will in Katie Allen’s Breaking the Silence.

I really adore this book. I’ll leave off why exactly he is a virgin, but I completely fell in love with him and the heroine is fun and quirky as well.

Oh, honorable mention for virgin male in a contemporary goes to Tiffany Reisz’s The Siren. There is one and he plays an important role BUT he’s not the hero. Here’s hoping we see his story in a future book in her Original Sinners series.

Have you read any of the books mentioned and what did you think about the virgin hero? Have you read another book with a virgin hero?

About Amber Lin

Amber Lin writes sexy romance about messed up people, because everyone deserves a happy ending. Find her books or sign up for the newsletter at her website
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7 Responses to The Virgin Hero

  1. Wow, I guess Gabe’s even rarer than I thought! Totally didn’t realise most male virgins were in historicals but HOMG am reading all of these books immediatement. Also, what is this Katie Allen and how have I never heard of it???

    • Amber Lin says:

      Of course Gabriel! Goddammit, can’t believe I forgot to mention him. Maybe I can convince Andy to punish me properly for my egregious oversight…

  2. I think Wesley’s story is either the second or third book in Tiffany Reisz’s series. Gotta love that smut written by former seminary students, it’s almost guaranteed to push boundaries. I can’t wait to see what gets Wesley to finally break down.

    Courtney Milan’s virgin hero is AWESOME. It’s Mark Turner in Unclaimed. I’ve never hidden my blatant fangurl adoration for her books, and this is no exception. Very wonky, very finely crafted, beautifully written.

  3. Serena Bell says:

    Will immediately buy & read all of these. Several times, in rapid succession.

  4. I agree with Delphine, you must read Milan’s. I just finished reading it about a week ago and I loved the hero. And he was still very much an alpha male… The only other one I read is Jamie in Outlander, but that’s not technically a romance…