Review: Virgin Territory by Lia Riley


Title: Virgin Territory (Hellions Angels #3)
Author: Lia Riley
Genre: Sports romance, hockey, virgin hero
Release Date: 6 March 2018

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My rating: 2 Stars


Practice Makes Perfect

Patrick “Patch” Donnelly has what it takes to be the best goalie in the NHL…if only he could learn to control his temper. When Coach orders him to get his head in the game with private yoga classes, Patch isn’t having it. There’s no way this tough Boston guy would be caught dead downward dog-ing his way to inner peace. But if he refuses, he risks his starting position and the dream he sacrificed everything for, including joining the priesthood.

Yoga instructor Margot Kowalski is over men. After yet another toxic relationship, she’s eager to forget love and focus on growing her business. Doing the Hellions head coach a favor by helping out a troubled player can't hurt, and it might give her career a high-profile boost. But free-spirited Margot is soon charming the pants off Patch. Literally. Her sassy combination of sweet and sexy proves irresistible to the goalie. Before Patch can give into temptation though, he’ll have to confess his biggest secret:

He’s a virgin.

But Patch is hiding more than sexual inexperience, and his dark past soon threatens to destroy his shot at true love.


This was my first time reading Lia Riley and I was drawn to the premise of a virgin hockey player getting together with a more experience woman. The story had a few laughs and while I liked bits of it, in the end this turned out to be a big disappointment.

Things started promising with a funny, smart heroine being all sex positive and taking no slut shaming from anyone. The hero was also rather intriguing from the start - a troubled hockey star goalie with anger management issues, too easily resorting to physical violence when challenged. And he was a virgin with no experience of intimacy with women, not even holding hands or kissing. Early on we get the reasons for this - a difficult childhood and family issues that were still haunting him.

It was after they met that things went downhill for me. She was a yoga instructor and he was referred to her as a way to get his anger under control. He went to her home for a yoga session for the first time and boom, insta-lust. Within minutes of meeting her, he was so smitten that he was ready to get intimate with her right away, after years of avoiding any physical contact with women. I just didn't buy it. They didn't really get to know each other, there was no courtship, no dealing with his issues with intimacy and anger, just instalust.

Then as can be expected our virgin hero turned out to be a natural at sex, giving her the best orgasms of her life. He was perfect in everything and his tendency towards violence was quickly resolved with the sheer power of true love.

It was a short read, too superficial and neither the characters, nor the conflict seemed fleshed out enough. It was all cliche after cliche - her evil ex (who couldn't get over the fact he wasn't her first lover, was bad in bed, never cared about her pleasure and turned aggressive and stalkerish after their break up and to top it all off, he turned to be involved in tax fraud).

I found the suspense plot too thin and far too easily resolved in the end. I felt all the good characters were too good to be true and all the bad ones were just comically bad. The characters lacked nuance which made it all too unrealistic for me to enjoy their story. I want my contemporary romances more rooted in reality. While I don't mind the dream/fantasy type of romance hero, I can't accept when serious issues are brought up and then brushed off to a quick resolution without giving them any depth.

I ended angry and disappointed in this story because I felt it had to potential to be something good but it was hastily written, predictable, lacking any depth and nuance. The few good jokes here and there and my overall appreciation of the hero was not enough to save it.

Purchase link: Amazon

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