Trope it Up: Male Virgin Hero

Posted June 13th, 2015 by in Blog, Features, Trope it Up / 42 comments

Trope it Up: Male Virgin Hero


If you love reading romance novels as much as we do here at HJ, you definitely have a trope or two that you love to read about.


Today we are Troping up on Male Virgin Hero

There are some classic tropes in Romancelandia, some of which have been featured here already. Ones like second chance romance, marriage of convenience, workplace romances etc. But I happen to like tropes that are a little less conventional too, including one of my favorites – the male virgin hero.
We’ve all read classic stories with a jaded older man and a fresh virginal heroine (very often present in historical romances in particular, and early Harlequins). But when I started thinking of books for this post, I was able to come up with a handful right away that are exactly the opposite.

There is an expectation that a virgin is innocent – this is not true, in all cases, for male virgins. Often they’ve fooled around, and just haven’t gone ‘all the way’ for various reasons. In most cases, the heroine is older and a bit wiser than the hero, but not always. There is a mix of alpha versus beta types when it comes to the men, and I confess that I love them both.


 Here are a few of my favorite reads featuring male virgin heroes.

1. Fall Hard by Zoe York : Jared and Cassie – Jared is a Navy SEAL, hardly the type you’d expect to remain a virgin! And yet, through never having had a serious girlfriend and not being the type to sleep around, Jared is an alpha male who hasn’t found the one yet – until he meets Cassie. This was a really fun read for me, as most of Zoe’s stories are, as it combines humor, sex, and sweetness all in one.
2. Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt : Winter and Isabel -One of my favorites of the Maiden Lane series, Winter has been busy as a historical Clark Kent type – helping his family run an orphanage by day, saving lives as the Ghost of St.Giles by night, with no time for women or a relationship. The beautiful and charming widow Isabel sees through his façade and leads him into some new nighttime dalliances.
3. The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen: Rafe and Bella – It’s not so unusual to find a virgin on a college campus, though it’s more typical to find the male portrayed as a playboy, as opposed to the female. This new adult romance sets the stereotype on its head with Bella as the playgirl -older,more experienced and a touch jaded while Rafe is the good guy, saving himself for love (well, until that all goes awry and he ends up with Bella).
4. One sexy Ride by Vivian Arend: Len and Janey – this is a friends to lovers romance too, as Len has carried a torch for the older Janey for several years and in this story he finally gets her to consider a relationship with him. Lots of steamy scenes in this one as Janey teaches Len a thing or two in the bedroom.
5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Jamie and Claire – You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard of Outlander by now, with the advent of the TV series making its debut with this first story in what (to date) has been an 8 book series. I first read this story when it was published in 1991 (and have gone through several rereads since) and the time travel romance concept was totally entrancing to me – as was virginal Jamie. He’s the ultimate book boyfriend as he shows older and more experienced Claire that he may be young but he will give the best of himself to their marriage.
6. Love Hacked by Penny Reid: Alex and Sandra – This is the third story in Penny’s Knitting In The City series, and features child psychologist Sandra and waiter Alex (again, a younger man/older woman story). Alex is a really unique character, very quirky and hard to read at first though quite clear in his attraction to Sandra. Lots of laugh out loud moments in this one.
7. The Real Thing by Cassie Mae: Eric and Mia – This was a really sweet and sexy new adult romance about a young man with social anxiety issues and his best friend who is more emotionally interested in online relationships than the real thing. They both have to come out of their shells to find happiness together.
8. Sweet Agony by Charlotte Stein: Cyrian and Molly -Charlotte’s introspective first person point of view found in many of her stories, including this one, really works for me. You know everything that the character of Molly feels, sees, imagines, frets over, lusts for, and despairs about. The romance between her and Cyrian, a man who doesn’t like to be touched, is erotic and alluring.
9. Off Base: Kenna and Beck by Tessa Bailey: Beck and Kenna- another example of a super alpha male who just hasn’t been in the right place at the right time to form a meaningful relationship with a woman. But this doesn’t stop him from appreciating Kenna and letting her show him the ropes. Tessa writes the best dirty talking heroes and Beck’s virginal status doesn’t slow him down in this regard at all!
10. A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant: Andrew and Lucy – what a delight to see the perfectly proper Andrew undone by Lucy as she thwarts all his plans for propriety to get him to escort her to a Christmas party in this historical romance. They are both virgins so it was fun to watch them being undone by each other.

As you can see, there is a real variety of stories out there that feature male virgins, in all romance genres.

Have you read some of these stories? Do you have suggestions of your own or is this genre not your cup of tea? I’d love to know your thoughts!


Maria Rose



42 Responses to “Trope it Up: Male Virgin Hero”

  1. Debbie

    It’s not that I don’t care for this trope, I just never seem to run across any like this. Or if I have, something convinced me not to buy it. Evidently most authors feel it belittling to both them and their heroes if he’s still a virgin. I get tired of the male always being a player or going through some horrific tragedy where he sleeps with as many women as he can in order to forget! I will have to check these titles out!

    • Maria Rose

      Thanks for your comment Debbie. They are challenging to find (which is why I wanted to make a list for people who might be interested). None of these titles have virgins who are belittled, or are players (obviously!) I hope you enjoy these!

  2. JenM

    Thanks for the post. I love this trope and will definitely check out the ones you mentioned that I haven’t read. I just finished The Shameless Hour and it was fantastic! A couple of others:

    – Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter by Jessica Sims features a male virgin were-bear hero
    – same author only writing under Jessica Clare wrote Beauty and the Billionnaire featuring a recluse, scarred virgin hero
    – While It Was Snowing is a novella by Elyssa Patrick featuring a shy, adorable virgin hero and a bold heroine
    – Unclaimed by Courtney Milan features a hero who is famous for his morals and a heroine who gets hired to seduce him.

  3. Zoe York (@ZoeYorkWrites)

    Thank you for including Fall Hard in this list! Obviously, I love virgin heroes. Some of these I’ve read and loved, and others are new to me, so I just did some shopping!

    Taste of Darkness by Katie Reus is another alpha male virgin hero — he’s a dragon shifter who was trapped in hell for 1500 years. Sharing that to add a touch of paranormal romance to the list!

  4. Timitra

    I’ve read two on this list, Off Base and One Sexy Ride I’m gonna have to the rest on this list since I enjoy this trope!

  5. marcyshuler

    I love unusual characters and that included virgin heroes! The only one on your list that I’ve read is OFF BASE, but I do have a couple others already on my e-reader.

    I’ll add to your list:
    PLEASURE ME by Monica Burns.
    THE ENDEARMENT by LaVyrle Spencer
    A ROYAL WORLD APART by Maisey Yates
    A BEAUTY UNCOVERED by Andrea Laurence

    • Maria Rose

      Thanks Kim! I like it too obviously, it makes for a refreshing change from the usual virginal heroine. And Tessa is one of my favourite authors for sexy contemporary romances.

  6. Ada

    I love male virgin heroes, it’s definitely a nice change when it’s unexpectedly revealed in a good book. I actually just read one a few weeks back in Loving Lord Ash by Sally MacKenzie. I really enjoy it when the writer doesn’t make it seem like the hero’s got some issues if he’s still a virgin when it’s perfectly alright for a heroine to be one.

  7. Amy Rickman

    I have to agree with the ones JenM listed, some of favorites were
    Jessica Clare wrote Beauty and the Billionnaire and While It Was Snowing is a novella by Elyssa Patrick

  8. Leanna

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list, but I have one to add to the list. The Virgin Groom by Joan Johnston

  9. Tynna

    Finding books with virgin heroes is a hobby of mine. I have found somewhere around 150 so far.
    My favorites:
    The Blue Amaryllis by Sonia DeLeon
    In Like a Lion & Entity Mine by Karin Shah. (Paranormal) There will be more in this series because all the brothers are virgins.
    Imperfect Chemistry by Mary Frame
    Love in Touch by Lucy May Lennox (the hero is blind and deaf)
    More than a Man by (futuristic) Emily Ryan-Davis & Elise Logan
    Obsessive Compulsion by C.E. Kilgore (hero has OCD)
    The Only Exception by Magan Vernon
    Puddle Jumping by Amber Johnson (hero has Aspergers)
    Transcendence by Shay Savage (hero is a caveman…seriously)
    I have a lot more favorites, but I didn’t want to overload. Lol.

      • Tynna

        I forgot all about this until I was cleaning out my iPad saved stuff. If you see this, send me an email at
        I’ll send you a list.
        Sorry it took so long to respond. I wonder if this is still open for comments.

        • Maria Rose

          Never closed for comments (apparently, since this is six months later LOL, though I’m not sure who will see it now!)

  10. ThoRgErdT

    Laura Thalassa: Pestilence. Hero is the first horseman of the Apocalypse, powerful yet innocent inhuman being came to earth to swipe away humanity. Heroine is a strong girl who wants to stop the plague and save her world. Enemies for life?

  11. K. Salmon

    I love virgin heroes— especially since they’re a little less likely to be hyper-alpha. (I like my heroes more… restrained? I don’t think beta is the right term, but tbh I can’t quite figure that one out.) I also enjoy shy and/or awkward heroes, and there’s a lot of overlap; they’re often virgins. Lastly, virgin-hero romances often move a little slower (at least at first) which I like.

    My 5-star favorite: Breaking the Silence by Katie Allen

    There are also lots of lists on GR:
    Books with Virgin Heroes [500+ titles]
    Both Virgins! [200+ titles]
    Virgin Heros of Historical Romance
    Virgin Heroes of Paranormal Romance
    Virgins in Gay Romance

    Happy reading!

Please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.