Friday, September 17, 2010

Favorite Romance Tropes: The Virgin Hero

KATI: The general consensus around the literary world is that romance is formulaic. And yes, I suppose the case can be made that they are. But man, that formula works for me. For this visit to the island, I'm going to be talking about my favorite romance tropes. I hope you'll chime in with why you love or hate the tropes I'm discussing. (Graceful curtsy to Jane at Dear Author for the inspiration) So let's get started:

What is more heady than the Star Trek theme? You know? Go where no woman has gone before??

Yeah, that.

I simply adore virgin heroes. Especially when they're very alpha and yet, for some reason, we don't understand (generally it seems to be a tortured past), the hero has never done it. What's not fun about that? To get your juices flowing for this topic, off the top of my head, here are a few virginal heroes from romance:

1- Zsadist, Lover Awakened by JR Ward. OK, sure, Phury is really the virgin hero in the series. But Zsadist had never had "loving" sex. Never been with a woman he felt anything for. And his encounters with Bella, who just wouldn't stop trying, are heady stuff. Made even better because he's so resistant and belligerent.

2- Jaime Fraser, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I'll be honest, I've read Outlander, and that's it, wasn't captivated enough to want to slog through anymore of the series.. But many, many, many romance readers point to Jaime as the greatest romance hero ever written. I do love those first scenes with Claire, where he's all, "I've seen animals do it, so I've got the gist of it." And she's all, "You think you have, but not really."

3- Zach Knight, Under Fire by Jo Davis. OK, I pretty much hated this book, mostly because I equated poor Zach with Job from the Bible. He was constantly getting the crap kicked out of him, either literally or figuratively. But he was a virgin, and whoo-daddy did he take to sex like a fish to water!

4- Matthew Landsdowne, Untouched by Anna Campbell. I love Untouched because Matthew is both a virgin and a beta. It's a delicious combination. Plus, Anna serves up her romance with a heaping helping of angst. Which totally works for me.

There are a few virgin heroes right off the top of my head.

YOUR TURN: Who are your favorite virgin heroes in romance? What is so appealing about the virgin hero?


Jessica said...

I'm guessing the Virgin Hero is so hot because he so rare! Almost every book you pick up, the heroine is pure as the driven snow, what ever that is supposed to mean. OK Virginal! It's nice to see the shoe on the other foot so to speak!

KT Grant said...

Jamie hands down is my favorite virgin hero ever!

Something about the man allowing the woman to show them the ways of love is very hot.

Miranda Neville's next release has a virgin hero because he was taught at an early age to dislike women. A true nerdy beta hero who once he meets the heroine is all ready to be popped ;)

Sullivan McPig said...

Daemon Sadi from the Black Jewels trilogy. He's got lots of experience with women, but technically he's a virgin until he finally can be with the woman he waited for for centuries.

Kati said...

Ooooh! Sullivan, I totally forgot about Daemon Sadi.


I loves him.

Keira Gillett said...

Karl Lindstrom from The Endearment by LaVyrle Spencer. :D

Tracy said...

Daemon Sadi and Z. My two fav virgin heroes! :)

KT Grant said...

Daemon must be one of the best virgin heroes ever. Took my awhile to figure out he was one!

Carrie Lofty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie Lofty said...

Not to self-promote too much, but I love virgin heroes so much that I wrote my own in a time travel short story called SUNDIAL. Just thought I'd throw that out there coz they're so rare!

Estella said...

I don't think I have ever read a book with a virgin hero!

Katie Reus said...

I'm with you on Zsadist even though he technically wasn't a virgin. He'd never been with anyone he wanted until Bella. Gawd, I love his story :) It's been a while since I read it but I liked Will from Katie Allen's Breaking the Silence.

Kris said...

Daemon Sadi! He iIs definitely one of my faves... and has left me unable to think of any others. LOL.

It is actually not uncommon in m/m romance for one of the heroes to be a virgin, especially when it comes to the infamous Gay For You theme.

Jane said...

One of my favorite virgin heroes is Robert from "A Matter of Temptation" by Lorraine Heath.

Kate Diamond said...

I don't have a particular favorite. I CAN tell you that I enjoy virgin heroes more than virgin heroines... again, probably because it's so uncommon.

LesleyW said...

I do like the virgin hero trope. But I think my favourites have been mentioned already - Daemon Sadi, Jamie Fraser, Zsadist.

Another favourite of mine is David from A Strong and Sudden Thaw.

I think I should know more but am coming up blank.

Cody Young said...

I adore virgin heroes - in fiction and in movies - there was even a hint that Kyle might have been a virgin in Terminator (a film that found huge popularity with women for its romantic elements). Although the conventional wisdom in romance writing is that 'whatever the hero is, he is NOT a virgin' I don't think it has to be like that, and Diana Gabaldon's success with Outlander shows that it can be done beautifully. In American Smile, I was determined to portray the hero not as a geeky, nerdy virgin, but as a young soldier wanting to reject his parents strict moral code and decide for himself when to make love to his girl.

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