A prequel to Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling sequence of Outlander novels will be published on Friday.
Virgins is a standalone novella exploring Jamie Fraser’s life as a young man, before the time-travelling battlefield nurse Claire Randall arrives unexpectedly in his world and sweeps him off his feet.
Mourning the death of his father and gravely injured at the hands of the English, Jamie finds himself running with a band of mercenaries in the French countryside, where he reconnects with his old friend Ian Murray.
Both are wounded, both have good reason to stay out of Scotland, and both are still virgins, despite their best attempts to remedy that situation. The title seems to refer to a sweetly intimate conversation between Claire and Jamie in the first Outlander novel, in which she asks the handsome Highlander: “Where did you learn to kiss like that?” To which he replies: “I said I was a virgin, not a monk.”
Jamie and Ian’s lives take a complicated turn when a Jewish doctor hires the pair to escort his beautiful daughter to Paris, where she is destined for an arranged marriage. Both Jamie and Ian are instantly drawn to the bride-to-be, but neither has an idea who they are dealing with, and how dangerous the situation into which they have been thrown will become.
Eight Outlander novels have been published so far, selling upwards of 26 million copies. The Sony Pictures television adaptation drew more than 5 million viewers in its first week, setting viewing records for cable network Starz, who first released the show in the United States in 2014.
Season Two premieres on Starz in the US on April 9, followed by Amazon Prime in the UK on April 10.
Virgins is published by Cornerstone Digital as an ebook, priced £2.49, on April 8 April 2016