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A young Jamie Fraser learns what it really means to become a man in this Outlander prequel novella. Featuring all the trademark suspense, adventure, and history of Diana Gabaldon’s #1 bestselling novels and the Starz original series, Virgins is now available for the first time as a standalone ebook.
Mourning the death of his father and gravely injured at the hands of the English, Jamie Fraser finds himself running with a band of mercenaries in the French countryside, where he reconnects with his old friend Ian Murray. Both are nursing wounds; both have good reason to stay out of Scotland; and both are still virgins, despite several opportunities to remedy that deplorable situation with ladies of easy virtue. But Jamie’s love life becomes infinitely more complicated—and dangerous—when fate brings the young men into the service of Dr. Hasdi, a Jewish gentleman who hires them to escort two priceless treasures to Paris. One is an old Torah; the other is the doctor’s beautiful daughter, Rebekah, destined for an arranged marriage. Both Jamie and Ian are instantly drawn to the bride-to-be—but they might be more cautious if they had any idea who they’re truly dealing with.

Note: Originally published as part of the Dangerous Women anthology.

86 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 3, 2013

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About the author

Diana Gabaldon

277 books174k followers
Diana Jean Gabaldon Watkins grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona and is of Hispanic and English descent (with a dash of Native American and Sephardic Jew). She has earned three degrees: a B.S. in Zoology, a M.S. in Marine Biology, and a Ph.D in Ecology, plus an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow, for services to Scottish Literature.

She currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona .

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,088 reviews
Profile Image for Jaidee.
583 reviews1,120 followers
December 11, 2022
2 "a wee bit charming, a middling amount of cringing and eye-rolling and a whole lot of CHEEZ" stars !!

Second Most Fun Review Written in 2018 Award

For a good number of years I had considered reading Outlander. A romance, an adventure and men in kilts ! Nice ! Yes I was warned by my gal pals who love this series to stay away !

So I perused and I found this little prequel and at 86 pages I could get a little taste and see if I wanted to take this much loved series further. Welll.....

I think I will stop here as I still have my wits and humor about me. I think these huge books written in this way would shorten my life.

I really liked the friendship between Jamie and Ian, two 18th Century Scottish mercenaries. Loyal and fun and full of concern...a bromance ! They are both virgins here and are constantly horned up but will not sleep with women of ill repute which include poetesses...lol !!

What I struggled much with is the writing and the excessive use of lowbrow slapstick humor.

So very wee, so very twee, so very ick !!
Here is an example that was particularly cringe worthy....

" Rebekah looked like a wee dolly, but she was surprisingly solid, as he found when she put her foot in his hands and he tossed her up into the saddle. She didn't manage to swing her leg over and instead lay across the saddle like a dead deer, waving her arms and legs in agitation. Wrestling her into an upright position and getting himself set behind her left him red-faced and sweating, far more than dealing with the horses had.
Jamie gave him a raised eyebrow,as much jealousy as amusement in it, and he gave Jamie a squinted eye in return and put his arm around Rebekah's waist to settle her against him, hoping that he didn't stink too badly."

....a wee dolly...WTF ?
....a dead deer or dear would not be waving legs and arms in agitation
....a raised eyebrow and squinty eyes...ummm right bro !
....didn't stink too badly

well it stunk enough that I will not be moving further into the Outlander series. Ms. Gabaldon has millions of fans so I'm sure she won't mind !!

If I read more of this stuff it will feel like hell but in a cutesy kind of way :D
Profile Image for Cathrine ☯️ .
618 reviews338 followers
October 21, 2016
A quick and fun novella to get Outlander fans through extreme periods of droughtlander.
Without prior book/character experience I don't think it would hold much interest for newbies.
Also, Jamie apart from Claire is not as compelling as their adventures together.
Pour yourself some scotch or “claret” and enjoy in one sitting, but beware of Claire-hangover.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,069 reviews13.6k followers
May 12, 2022
I kinda want to give this 4.5 stars only because it’s so dang short, but because it’s Jamie & Ian I’ll give it 5 because they deserve all the stars.

“On your right, man!”

I love that this story immediately took place after Jamie’s brutal horrific flogging by that demon Black Jack Randall. It broke my heart to see Jamie cry with his head on Ian as he talked about his father’s tragic death and how he blamed himself.

One thing I know is that these two, “Juan & Diego” are a trip. Thank God Jenny & Claire set them straight because clearly they needed a good woman’s touch and help to say the least.😂. Caught up with a group of mercenaries to “take care of some business”, these two get into a bit of trouble. Both virgins, the conversations between them had me laughing out loud on some parts. The things they get “caught up” in that could’ve compromised them because “Anybody kens fornication’s a mortal sin, ye numpty.” Thank goodness they have each other to watch their backs. I loved this prequel so much. I loved seeing a 19 year old Jamie Fraser and Ian Murray. BFF’s for life!

“It’ll bide,” Ian said, with a shrug. “If ye’re goin’ to hell, I might as well go, too. God knows, ye’ll never manage alone.”
Profile Image for Lisa Wolf.
1,620 reviews179 followers
September 24, 2019
I'd read this novella when it was first released as part of the Dangerous Women anthology, but now it's available as a stand-alone ebook and audiobook. I listened to the audio this time around, and it was wonderful. Narrator Allan Scott-Douglas does an amazing job with the narration and the voices, and it was a pleasure to listen to.

In terms of plot, this is a terrific tale of young Jamie Fraser and his best friend Ian Murray during their time as mercenaries in France, a few years before the events of Outlander. For fans of the series, it's well worth checking out.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,093 reviews6,577 followers
December 22, 2019
[in chronological order of events according to the author's website]

*.) Virgins ★★★.5
1.) Outlander ★★★★★
2.) Dragonfly in Amber ★★★★.5
*.) A Fugitive Green [ON TBR]
3.) Voyager ★★★★
*.) Lord John and the Hellfire Club [ON TBR]
*.) Lord John and the Private Matter [ON TBR]
*.) Lord John and the Succubus [ON TBR]
*.) Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade [ON TBR]
*.) Lord John and the Haunted Soldier [ON TBR]
*.) The Custom of the Army [ON TBR]
*.) The Scottish Prisoner [ON TBR]
*.) A Plague of Zombies [ON TBR]
*.) Beseiged [ON TBR]
4.) Drums of Autumn ★★★.5
5.) The Fiery Cross [ON TBR]
6.) A Breath of Snow and Ashes [ON TBR]
7.) An Echo in the Bone [ON TBR]
8.) Written in my own Heart's Blood [ON TBR]
*.) A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows [ON TBR]
*.) The Space Between [ON TBR]
9.) Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone [NOT YET PUBLISHED]


“If ye’re goin’ to hell, I might as well go, too. God knows, ye’ll never manage alone."

representation: questionable Jewish rep.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]

✧・゚: *✧・゚:* 3.5 s t a r s *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Seeing Jamie as a wee, innocent lad has me all kinds of emotional.

trigger warnings: loss of loved ones, severe whipping/lashing, war themes, death, murder, violence, violence against women, rape (both on page and off page), racism and slurs.
September 10, 2017

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So, after reading book one but before reading book two, I thought it might ease my heart to read a tale about young!Jamie when he was still just a teenager (nineteen, I believe). Freshly escaped from his brutal fate at the flogging post and banned from his homeland of Lallybroch, Jamie and his best pal Ian wander around in France with a group of bawdy, rapacious mercenaries. They end up coming into the acquaintance of a Jewish doctor named Dr. Hasdi who wants them to deliver his daughter, Rebekah, a Torah, and a chest of gold to her fiance in France. But of course, this being a book about Jamie, that doesn't go off as planned.

The title refers to the fact that Jamie and Ian are both virgins, and there's a lot of blushing and dirty jokes in this book as both of them speculate - in the true fashion of boys everywhere - as to What Sex Must Be Like. Considering that several portions of this book take place in whorehouses, there's ample room for speculation. I thought that their discussions with one another were cute, and the dialogue is a lot more light-hearted here than it was in the books, even though some dark stuff does happen in VIRGINS.

I recommend reading this after book one, or you won't have context for some of the backstory. Ian doesn't appear until pretty late into book one, and his character there sets the stage for what he's like here (and vice-versa). Reading VIRGINS was fun, but the whole time I read it there was a cloud over me, because I knew what was going to happen to these characters later, and it made me sad. :(

Still, if you can get your hands on it on the cheap, it's not a bad way to pass the time.

3 to 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,399 reviews147 followers
July 12, 2016
Virgins is a prequel novella in the popular Outlander series by American author, Diana Gabaldon. It is October, 1740, and as a wanted man in Scotland, young Jamie Fraser goes to France to join a band of mercenaries that includes his good friend, Ian Murray. Jamie’s knowledge of Hebrew has them included in an assignment to take a young Jewish woman from her home in Bordeaux to her prospective husband in Paris. But the trip does not go according to plan, and Jamie sees the young, innocent-looking Rebekah for what she really is: a dangerous woman. This is an enjoyable novella that gives a bit of background to Jamie’s time in France, some years before he meets Claire Beauchamp Randall. There is some interesting information on the status Jews in France at that time, as well as of plenty of fighting, and some amusing banter between the two young men, virgins still. Originally published in the anthology, Dangerous Women, it is also available as a Kindle stand-alone and a rather expensive hardback.
Profile Image for - The Polybrary -.
315 reviews186 followers
February 9, 2017
~*Full review and details on The Bent Bookworm!*~

"The Virgins" felt short-story in length to me, though I think it’s actually classified as a novella. I read it in less than an hour though, so…maybe I just read fast? The hardcover addition available from The Book Depository is 256 pages…which I don’t understand since my e-book version was only 86 pages! HUGE difference there and I feel slightly cheated, but it doesn’t seem that there’s actually a difference in content. HOW.

Feels :

I was so happy to be back with Jamie and Ian! Seeing them before Claire came to Scotland, and seeing Jamie so soon after all the horrific events that we only see in flashback in the the full length novels, was both heartrending and exciting. I also really enjoyed that this story was just straight-up historical fiction, no woo-woo added. Not that I haven’t enjoyed those aspects of the novels, but this was just the down and dirty, the nitty-gritty. Even for such a short story, I was totally invested back into the characters and their world.

Characters :

Jamie and Ian are SO YOUNG! They distinctly remind me of my own 17-year-old brother in the way they react to some things. This is Jamie before he became the confident, skilled warrior we meet in Outlander. This is Ian before Jenny. This is both of them as complete virgins in every sense of the word, and they are gregarious, lovable, and heartbreaking. Also cringe-worthy at a few points. I swear I can almost smell the teen-boy sweat coming off of them.

The secondary characters here are interesting and colorful, but I didn’t get attached to any of them. I was rather hoping someone would drive a dagger through a certain female person’s heart, but alas. Despite my non-attachment, I was devastated after a particular scene near the end. Not so much because of who died, but because of how it affected Jamie.

Plot :

The main line of the plot doesn’t become apparent right away. First, we’re thrown into Jamie and Ian’s meeting almost immediately after Jamie’s escape from Black Jack Randall. This, I think, is where it becomes apparent that this story is not to introduce a reader to Outlander. This story is for the fans. I loved it, naturally. However, the actual plot starts off a bit slow. Does it work? Yes. But I think it was secondary to showing us a young Jamie and Ian and just how they actually thought of each other.
“Did ye not mean to go to Confession yourself?” Jamie asked, stopping near the church’s main door. There was a priest in the confessional; two or three people stood a discreet distance away from the carved wooden stall, out of earshot, waiting.

“It’ll bide,” Ian said, with a shrug. “If ye’re goin’ to hell, I might as well go, too. God knows, ye’ll never manage alone.”

Setting/Description :

As usual, Diana’s writing appears to be impeccably researched. I’m not a historian, but the amount of detail and care is obvious.

Rating/Notes :

Overall, I’m giving 4 stars. I do think part of my rating is due to HOW MUCH I love these characters. The writing itself doesn’t seem quite as polished as in the books, but it’s difficult to lay a finger on what gave me that impression. Especially in the beginning, some things felt just a little bit forced. Once everything got started it moved along smoothly, and as usual Gabaldon is a fabulous storyteller. I would recommend reading immediately after the original Outlander, but it would be perfect for Outlander fans at any point in the series!
Profile Image for Shirin T. .
406 reviews42 followers
January 13, 2022
Finally, I started OUTLANDER books, cheated with listening to only 3 hours story instead of 33 hours of book 1!

A short tale of two best friends Jamie Fraser and Ian Murray before Outlander. They work as protectors and deliver goods and people.

"If you are going to hell I might as well go too. God knows you will never manage alone."
Profile Image for Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~.
1,579 reviews104 followers
March 5, 2021
Originally read as part of Seven Stones to Stand or Fall anthology. Now rereading with audio of same anthology.

A couple of blokes fresh off the farm, wondering when they'll get their first kill - or first lay. There's a plot with some Jewish characters, and a lot of anti-Semetism, and some other uncomfortable stuff. Jamie learns that doing the right thing doesn't always end well.

This comes before Outlander, but probably wouldn't mean much to anyone who isn't already familiar with the characters, so it'll be best to read this after Outlander.

Allan Scott-Douglass is the narrator and he does a very good job, though he has a very interesting voice for a young Jamie, lol.
Profile Image for Gail - Slitty.
84 reviews54 followers
April 12, 2016
Pre-Claire Jamie isn't nearly as colorful as post-Claire Jamie

This novella picked up after Jamie's stay at Wentworth prison and the death of his father. He is recovering from the floggings by Black Jack Randall, and cannot return to his home, so he joins his pal Ian for an adventure. This novella was filled with historical information about
Jewish practices and history during the 18th century, but the journey itself was drab and very gray to me. Pre-Claire Jamie is not nearly as interesting and colorful as post-Claire Jamie.
Profile Image for Melodie.
589 reviews65 followers
August 17, 2016
A prequel novella to Outlander, the story opens in 1740 with Jamie joining a band of mercenaries in France with his friend Ian Murray. He survived the vicious flogging by Black Jack Randall and the death of his father. Warned to stay away from his homeland he is ripe for an adventure.
Trouble finds young Jamie without effort. And as usual it comes in the form of a beautiful young woman. Both virgins, Ian and Jamie speculate and dip their toes in the pool of sexuality. And not surprising, events do not go at all as planned.
I enjoyed this bit of background on my favorite Scot.
Profile Image for Teresa.
520 reviews11 followers
February 24, 2018
I have been perfectly happy with the fantasy element in the Outlander books I've read so far. Even the little sketch of Claire meeting Nessie did not made me raise my brows in the least. I just found it amusing.

Voyager was peppered with highly improbable events too readily explained as coincidence that still did not bothered me too much, and I managed rather easily to put my misgivings away to the point that they certainly did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book as a whole too much, so I have no idea why it is that I am drawing the line of what I am prepared to "believe" (or not!) in the Outlander universe here.


I do not believe this.

Because, wait for it, Jamie speaks semi-fluent Hebrew!!!!!!!!


And not only him, but we are asked to believe that Ian Murray speaks Hebrew too (Why? How? When? Not that this is a commonly spoken language among gentiles, anyway).

For some reason this bothered me tremendously and rather interfered with my enjoyment of this brief novella.

I am quite prepared to believe that this 18th century Scottish lad, who lives in the rather remote Highlands, is, besides his many other assets, well educated. After all, we are told (numerous times in this novella alone) that he has been to University in Paris (for how long, we've never known, but it could not have been more than a year or two, after all he tends to be quite busy being flogged by Jack Randall).

So the fact that he is well educated is even a huge part of his enormous charm. So he is fierce and very, very manly, but he is also tender, and always protective and caring, and hey, bonus, he can recite classic poems in your ear if the occasion calls for it.

So I can even believe that his French is flawless to the point that he can pass as a native. I can also be persuaded that he also speaks some German, reasonable Spanish, and that he learnt Latin and even Greek at University. That would be quite a feat in itself. But whatever. Fine. Ok. Possibly.

But in this novella he is 19. So I'm sorry. But NO.

I do not buy it that he also speaks Hebrew. This is taking credibility just a tad too far.

There. Tantrum over. But I deducted one star because of that alone, as it left my suspension of disbelief so taut, it almost broke. Yes, I am being mean. I don't care. My downgraded rating is a very small revenge against the total Outlander obsession I've developed that is consuming my waking hours.

In any case, it is Jamie!!!!!


So, totally worthy.

As a brief summary of what happens, and with no more spoilers than appear on the blurb, a young Jamie Fraser, even more the hothead than he ever was, has a crush on a beautiful Jewish wealthy girl he is commissioned to protect during an early stint as a mercenary. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of blood, rape and pillage all around them of course, lots of drinking in taverns and cellars, and lots of obscure words that I only survived because of the in-built kindle dictionary.

Ah, and he has just fled the vile Jack Randal in Fort Williams, so he spends the whole story with a sore and still unhealed back, poor darling. He also contemplates whether he should go to a brothel or not, but eventually decides he's got higher standards than that after all. Hooray for Jamie Fraser!!!! The book was quite good, really.

Bye. I'm off to start with Lord John Grey's stories now.
Profile Image for Sally .
310 reviews7 followers
May 2, 2016
This is a pleasant enough novella about Jamie and Ian before the events of Outlander. Jamie has recently been flogged and shipped off to France by Murtagh and told not to return to Scotland and Ian still has his leg. Jamie is one of my favourite fictional characters EVER so I had to pick this up, and I love Ian too. Jamie didn't quite have the same magic he does in the big books but it wasn't completely gone and I did enjoy the little insights to their beliefs and their relationships and them just being teenage boys.

There were parts that I could have sworn I'd read before, I'm not sure if I've seen excepts before or if part of the story was included in one of the main books. That part at the end with the gun?

"By your right, man!" - This line gives me so many feelings.

And of course, it wouldn't be a review without a little complaint about the stupid bloody timeline. October 1740. Really? Things must get moving pretty quickly after this if Young Jamie is going to appear in August 1741. Ian still has to lose his leg, be nursed back to health by Jenny and get working on making that kid. I'm just going to go ahead and believe that it's set in March 1740 which is when Jamie was flogged according to the official timeline. I know I complain about this timeline screw ups a lot (I can mostly ignore them in the big books because they're huge) but it's something that REALLY BUGS ME.
Profile Image for Miranda.
186 reviews50 followers
October 27, 2021
Las aventuras de Diego(Jaime) y Juan(Ian). No puedo negar que me he reído un rato y eso que no es comedia, pero Jaime sigue siendo Jaime.
Estuvo bien, me gusto conocer más de su amistad con Ian y el amor tan profundo que se tienen y que los a unido en las distintas etapas de sus vidas.
Eso sí, no sé cómo le hizo Diana para que una novela de 96 páginas las sintiera como un libro entero, creo que fue por qué estaba de corrido y parecía que no dejaban de pasar cosas.

PD: Recomiendo haber leído al menos los primeros dos libros ya que mencionan a Annalise, su vida en Francia cuando vivió con su primo, y hacen mención de personajes que ya conocemos como Jenny y Jack Randall. No es necesaria esta novela pero nos da una visión de un Jaime de 19 años antes de Claire. :)
Profile Image for Kathy.
406 reviews56 followers
October 19, 2016
A quick story to satisfy my Jamie obsession during droughtlander. This short story made me love Jamie and Ian more.
Profile Image for Jo.
576 reviews79 followers
August 25, 2016
Para ser precuela no es muy relevante pero entretiene xD
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,336 reviews1,017 followers
January 20, 2019
Virgins is only a short novella so I'm going to keep my review pretty short too. Set before Jamie and Claire meet this story sees Jamie travel to France to meet up with his best friend Ian. Jamie is recovering from serious injuries and can't return home for his own safety so he joins the mercenary band that Ian has been working alongside.

I don't really want to say much more than that so you'll just have to read the story for yourself if you're interested. I did really like the friendship between Jamie and Ian so it was nice to see how supportive the two are of each other but I wasn't particularly interested in the story and didn't really think it added much to the series as a whole.

I've only read the first book in the series but I'm already leery of the amount of attempted rapes (& actual rapes!) that have already occurred and friends have warned me it only gets worse as the series continues so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that there was a rape scene and at least one attempted rape in a story that's less than 100 pages long. I get that rape would have been a huge threat to women back then (it still is now after all!) but I honestly think there is too much of it included in this series and I would enjoy the books so much more if that was dialled back a bit. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to see how I get on with the second full length book, Dragonfly in Amber, which I'm hoping to read sometime soon.
Profile Image for Yukino.
1,000 reviews
May 24, 2017

Lettura di gruppo E&L

Dovevo continuare un altro libro..ma ho letto le prime righe e non mi sono più fermata. Il libro ha poche pagine e si legge velocemente. Narra un'avventura di Ian e Jamie in Francia, arrivato qui subito dopo il fattaccio con il capitano Randall...
Carino, simpatico in alcuni punti, e Jamie è sempre Jamie anche se qui è ancora un po' immaturo.
Per i super fan delle serie , che hanno bisogno di sopperire al fatto che la Gabaldon ci sta mettendo un po' a pubblicare il prossimo libro. O sono io che non ce la faccio più ad aspettare.
Ti prego Gabaldon sbrigati, sto soffrendo!!!!
Profile Image for Eline.
396 reviews32 followers
January 15, 2018
Leuk boek over Ian en Jamie om tussendoor te lezen. Ik vond de twee personages een beetje te jong naar voor gebracht. Ik hou toch meer van Jamie in de periode waarin hij Claire ontmoet. De andere personages zijn tof, maar niet diepgaand zoals in de andere boeken. Gezien het weinige aantal bladzijden was dit voor de auteur waarschijnlijk moeilijk om verder uit te werken.
Profile Image for ☠tsukino☠.
1,189 reviews132 followers
December 5, 2017
La Gabaldon con questo racconto breve, scrive un altro mattoncino che va a costituire la colonna portante di tutta la serie.
È sempre bello poter leggere dei suoi personaggi e, leggere dei giovani Jamie e Ian (qui tutto integro!) alle prese con le loro prime esperienze da adulti veri, non ha prezzo.
Mi è piaciuto molto perché mi ha fatto ricordare l’amore fraterno esistente tra i due e mi ha rattristato pensare a tutto il tempo che hanno dovuto passare lontano per colpa delle circostanze. E mi ha rattristato ancora di più


Finalmente (la prima pubblicazione di Virgins risale al 2013), dopo tanti anni, questo racconto fa luce sulla storia della cameriera accennata, credo, ne Il prezzo della vittoria (potrei sbagliarmi sul libro in cui era inserita) e chi mi aveva sempre incuriosito.
Come suo solito la Gaby stupisce e le cose non sono andata come uno poteva immaginare.
Alla fine, sia Ian che Jamie, per certi versi, perdono la verginità, Ian nel modo più classico :P (però mi chiedo con che coraggio poi era andato a fare la morale al giovane Ian ^^) e Jamie con la sua prima uccisione (è sempre una verginità perduta).
Breve ma inteso e in pieno stile Gabaldon.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
120 reviews
February 6, 2017
2.5 stars Was excited to be getting some back story to Jamie and Ian's lives, but very disappointed when I got halfway through the book and it was finished - the second half of the book was just the first chapters of my much-loved Cross Stitch (Outlander). Not enough character development, not enough story, not happy.
5 reviews
May 10, 2016
I was very excited to read this book as I love the Outlander series and cannot wait for the next book. I was extremely disappointed in this short story. The story seemed very random and did not have much of a point. I found myself distracted while reading which is unusual with this author.
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