Highlighting Monica Burns and her thoughts on her unique trope, the virgin hero. (And don’t forget she offers a FREE book for subscribers)
My September 25th reissue, PLEASURE ME, has a virgin hero. When I decided to write Garrick as a virgin, I was faced with a tough question. What reason does a virile, alpha male have for not being a virgin? Another problem was that I write sensual, emotional, consensual sex between the characters.
I found what I needed in the medical condition Cryptorchidism (aka, undescended testicle). This is where the testicle doesn’t fully drop and the male appears to have one testicle unlike the normal two that are present. Today, this condition is easily treatable with surgery, but in the 1800s, the study of sexual organs and human sexuality was still in the dark ages. Heirs and spares were still considered crucial. If a marriage didn’t result in offspring, the woman generally bore the brunt of the blame. The logic being that a manly man would definitely be able to sire children.
Now imagine a hero traumatized as a teen for being a freak because he only has one testicle. Imagine a hero faced with the prospect society thinking him less than a man because his physical condition will likely impact his ability to sire children. The end result is the makings of a tortured virgin hero.
Some might question why this condition would be a big deal. After all, it’s not a rare condition, but this book is set in the Victorian era. Sexuality as a science was still in its infancy. It was considered imperative men sire children to carry on their line. Homosexuality carried a prison sentence. All of those things played perfectly into my development of a virgin hero. I’ll confess the idea of a virgin hero had never appealed to me, but I fell in love with Garrick because of his tortured nature. I enjoyed writing him so much, I wrote a second one in my paranormal book, Inferno’s Kiss. I even plan to write a virgin hero in a time travel I’m developing as a sequel to my bestselling Forever Mine. What do you think about virgin heroes?
About the Book
“…this book is fantastic. Pleasure Me made my smexy heart beat in all its glory. I love this book.” A- — Mandi, Smexy Books
An inexperienced hero risks everything for the courtesan who steals his heart.
Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress. Struggling with the knowledge that she’s no longer considered desirable, she’s uncertain whether to be offended or flattered when a younger man makes her an unusual offer. In need of funds, she agrees. But then she does the unthinkable. She falls in love.
Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Baron Garrick Stratfield has never been with a woman. His physical impairment is such that he knows not even a whore will touch him, and he needs a mistress who’s willing to be kept without sharing his bed. But passion is just a delicious kiss away because his new mistress is wreaking havoc with his senses. Worse yet, someone is not only out to ruin his reputation, but frame him for murder.
As more guests arrived, Ruth stepped out of the way to inspect the sides and back of her gown for any unexpected wrinkles. It was more a need for time to collect herself than concern over her dress. The sudden whisper of sensation trailing across the back of her neck made her hand reach up to touch her skin. Satisfied her hair hadn’t unraveled from the knot on top of her head, she turned toward the ballroom. Another frisson skimmed its way over her skin as her gaze met that of a man who casually handed off his overcoat to the household staff without looking away from her.
He was almost a foot taller than her with hair the color of a moonless night. There was something intense and riveting about him. If Allegra thought Ruth had presence, her friend hadn’t met this man. He seemed to dwarf everyone and everything in the entryway. He studied her for what seemed an eternity, yet she knew it was only a few seconds before a man she didn’t recognize drew his attention away. But the stranger’s look was enough to leave her heart racing.
She swallowed hard as she gripped her fan tightly. Good lord, she was no longer twenty and attending her first soiree. She flinched at the thought. Suddenly overcome with the need to flee, she forced herself to cross the foyer floor toward the ballroom rather than claim her cape and head back out into the night. The frisson she’d experienced moments ago warmed her neck again, but she refused to turn around to look at the man. She hadn’t come here this evening to find a new paramour.
The moment she reached the ballroom doorway, her courage sagged. There wasn’t a single familiar face in the room. Dear God, where was Allegra? She wasn’t certain she could do this alone. The moment the thought entered her head, she stiffened her back. The devil she couldn’t. Her youth might be gone, but not her dignity. As she waited for those in front of her to pass through the receiving line, the tingle at the nape of her neck became a blazing heat.
Lord, it had been years since she’d had this type of a reaction to a man. In the crush of arrivals pushing their way towards the ballroom, the space between them evaporated. He was so close to her that the warmth of his breath singed her shoulder. The sudden image of his hands at her waist, pulling her back into his chest flashed in her head. The mental picture sent a shudder rippling through her that she was certain everyone around her could see.
About the Author
Monica Burns is a bestselling author of spicy historical and paranormal romance. She penned her first romance at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. Her historical book awards include the 2011 RT BookReviews Reviewers Choice Award and the 2012 Gayle Wilson Heart of Excellence Award for Pleasure Me.
She is also the recipient of the prestigious paranormal romance award, the 2011 PRISM Best of the Best award for Assassin’s Heart. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica is a survivor who believes every hero and heroine deserves a HEA (Happily Ever After), especially if she’s writing the story.
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