❝I don't wanna be just a mom. I want a career, I want a life. I wanna be seen as a person.❞— Jane
Jane is a bright, passionate young woman, who is fulfilling her dream of becoming a published writer. She has a five-year-old son named Mateo, with her husband and baby-daddy, Rafael. She grew up with her very young mother and Abuela, and loves her family deeply. Jane's grandparents (Alba Villanueva and Mateo Villanueva) are illegal immigrants from Venezuela and were not in touch with their family back home. Consequently, Jane sometimes felt lonely growing up and hopes for her son Mateo, to grow up with a big, extended family.
Jane is a hopeless romantic, who daydreams of telenovela romances and finding her true love. She likes to plan her life, sometimes down to the last detail and is scared of losing control and taking risks in her life, which sometimes stops her from following her heart. Her dream is to become a published romance author, but she has very little hope her dream will become fulfilled.
Jane's mother, Xiomara Villanueva, was 16 when Jane was born. In order to protect the baby's father, Xiomara lied to her mother, Alba, telling her she didn't know who the father was. She maintained that lie into Jane's adulthood until Jane found out the truth about her father when she was wedding dress shopping at the age of 23. As a child, Jane took on adult sensibilities in her relationship with her mother - taking care of her, reminding her to be careful when out on dates, bringing her home when she was drunk and playing mediator between Xiomara and Alba whenever they fought.
When Jane finds that she is pregnant, due to a medical mistake, she also learns that Rafael Solano is the father, whom which she passionately kissed while being a waitress many years back. But Rafael is also her boss, and Jane has trouble dealing with the overwhelming situation. Not to mention, impending motherhood. Her decision to keep the baby impacts her relationship with her fiancé, Micheal Cordero, who doesn't take it well. While Jane continues her work at The Marbella and plans to graduate, her penchant for planning ahead is somewhat compromised and Jane is faced with making hard choices on her own. On top of it all, meeting her father for the first time expands Jane's sense of family, too, and she begins moving away from her planned context.
Jane finds out that Michael knew about Petra, Rafael's wife's affair and she ends their engagement, also because she's developing feelings for Rafael. They get closer and Rafael kisses her, leading to them starting to date, which is the first chance Jane has ever taken in her life. Jane is now in completely new territory, unable to predict her life and she finds this romantic and exciting, yet scary. Her relationship with Rafael is unlike what she's tried before, as he has to deal with a very complicated and, as she later discovers, criminal family, who weighs heavily on Rafael's feelings.
Jane finally graduates college and decides that she wants to attend grad school to pursue her dream of writing, which means she will leave her job as a teacher. Through Rogelio, she gets an internship at The Passions of Santos and ends up writing his death scene, when he's fired, but it brings them closer together. Jane also plays a big part in facilitating the tentative reunion of her parents, who are each other's great loves. Jane slowly gets to know her father, and he gets to know her, and while they are both hurting over having been apart for so many years, Jane is joyous at finally having a father in her life, which she always dreamed of as a kid.
Her family expands further when Jane meets her paternal grandmother, Liliana De La Vega, for the first time and Jane is thrilled, although Liliana's dislike of Xo creates a lot of tension in the family. Rafael spirals due to his mother's re-appearance, father's death and crimes and the escapades of his sister, leading him to end his relationship with Jane. He breaks her heart when he tells her that he doesn't love her. Jane also increasingly worries about the baby growing up with two parents who are not together but also a father who is not doing well and what that will mean for the child. Luckily Jane finds solace and support in her steady family of Xiomara and Alba, now with Rogelio as well. Jane gives birth to Mateo while her two suitors amp up their love declarations, but Jane is intent on focusing on her child.
Following Mateo's kidnapping, Jane, inspired by her telenovelas, leaves the hospital only hours after giving birth on her quest to retrieve her son. With Michael's help, she gets him back and starts her life as a mother. Jane is incredibly shaken by the threat of Sin Rostro to her family but tries as much as possible to ensure Mateo is in a normal family environment and doesn't suffer from the experience.
While admitting to the guys that she is in love with them both, Jane ultimately feels more safe and comfortable with Michael and chooses him. But, their reunion lasts but a day as Michael physically attacks Rafael, because he believes that Rafael turned Micheal in to the police. Jane realizes Rafael is telling the truth and ends things with Michael. She doesn't get over him but tries to move on with her life. Jane is thrilled to learn she is accepted to a graduate writing program and she commences her MA. Her experience of graduate school is different from her previous schooling, as Jane isn't necessarily specially favored by her professors and she learns a great deal about following your own instincts as well as dealing with people.
After realizing she has budding feelings for Rafael once again, she runs after him and they start dating. Micheal finds a video tape of someone else reporting him to the police, and he realizes he has made a huge mistake. Jane finds out Rafael actually lied about turning in Micheal and breaks up with him. Micheal proposes, and Jane accepts it. They get married.
Following the shooting, Michael is brought to the hospital and Jane has to decide whether to risk him never walking again when he's in surgery. She decides that he would take the risk and lets them perform the surgery, which is successful.
Michael will recover, but needs to spend a good deal of time recuperating and rehabilitating. Michael is determined to return to the force, which is a point of contention for a worried Jane, who ultimately is supportive of his decision. When he doesn't pass his physical to return to work, Michael is thrust into finding out what this means for him and decides he would rather pursue a new career path – as an attorney.
3 years later
Shortly after Michael's death, Rafael must serve his prison sentence. A grieving Jane and new mother Petra make a pact to keep their family together and support each other during a difficult time. They do so by meeting every Saturday for lunch with the kids.
It's been 3 years since Michael's death. Jane and Mateo are back living with Alba, and Jane has been working for a book publishing company for 3 years with a boss that she doesn't like. After receiving a publishing offer for her book that's based on her romantic life with her late husband, Jane quit without reading the full offer. Jane was able to get a job as Lounge Manager at The Marbella to help with bills. Jane hires Alex as an aide. He is great with Mateo and begins to help Mateo fix his impulse issues. One of the techniques was not to yell around Mateo. One night while preparing Mateo for bed, he cuts her left side of her hair leaving her with an uneven cut.
At age 6, Jane throws tantrums when she gets angry. On December 19 that year, Alba sits her down and gives Jane a tool to let her process her anger: think of happy things when you get mad so your feelings don't overwhelm you. These are:
When Jane was ten, Alba, her grandmother, introduced her to the world of telenovelas. She also taught Jane that her virginity was like a flower - once crushed, it cannot be uncrushed. Influenced by her grandmother, Jane promised she would remain a virgin until marriage. As a little girl, Jane used to play make-believe with her mom and pretend she was getting married. She would be the bride, and Xiomara would be the groom. Still, no matter how much she loved her mother, Jane still felt curious about her father and wanted him to be a part of it. It was from an early age that Jane's talent for writing developed. She wrote her first short story when she was ten, discovering a magical new world.
Jane has always been a dedicated student, her lowest score being 98% on a spelling test – but only because she had used the British spelling of a word, a cause she would argue on the following day. It was then that she learned from Alba to forgive, after an incident where she broke Alba's favorite earrings after using them without her permission. Alba then told her that, as her flesh and blood, there's nothing Jane can do that Alba wouldn't forgive.
In 2006, Jane had a quinceañera. Jane couldn't wait for her quinceañera and she even wrote a list of things to do at her party. She danced with a handsome boy who she thought was great, but she was wrong. When Xiomara saw her date kissing another girl she grabbed the mic and started singing. Although embarrassed, Jane acted as if it didn't bother her and continued on with the party.
Sometime in high school, Xiomara started dating the father of Stephanie, one of Jane's classmates. Stephanie was popular and, when Xiomara broke up with her father, she turned everyone against Jane. Jane would later give this as the reason why she wanted to teach middle schoolers so she could stop them from becoming mean girls. At age 15 Jane didn't like to listen to her grandmother and mother fight so she would always write a letter to Alba in Xiomara's name when they got into a huge fight, apologizing and asking Alba never to mention the fight again.
At almost 19
Jane was nearly nineteen when she first kissed Rafael. She worked at a tennis bar's restaurant when they met: she was closing the bar when he arrived late, but he sweet-talked her into letting him in after hours. There was a spark between them when they first met. They talked for hours and he promised he would call her again, but he never did, and Jane was heartbroken. When Jane was nineteen she graduated high school and she was celebrating. She already had all the plans for her future and she attempted to make them happen. Jane told Alba and Xiomara that when's she's thirty she sees herself happy, with her first novel published and married with no kids yet.
Jane and Michael meet at her 21st birthday party. Michael was working as a cop in the area and came to the party due to noise complaints.
- Main article: Mateo and Jane
Mateo is Jane's blessing in many, many ways. He was not a planned child for Jane (as Jane likes to plan her life in strict detail), he is her miracle and his entire existence, from the beginning, has given Jane the courage to risk her heart, to test herself, explore and experience life. Mateo's life is Jane's first foray away from her safety net, into a world of adventures – everything she could only dream of and loves writing about.
- Main article: Alba and Jane
Alba is Jane's grandmother. It was Alba who first instilled in Jane the idea of staying a virgin until her wedding night, saying "a virginity lost was like a smashed flower: it can never go back to what it once was". Alba found Jane's prescription and was hurt by the idea that her granddaughter had broken her vow; when Jane told her she was accidentally inseminated, Alba revealed to her that she ordered Xiomara to have an abortion and later regretted it, for Jane is the most important person in her life. She also adds that the baby will be the most important person in Jane's life. For Alba, there's nothing that Jane could do that she couldn't forgive her for.
- Main article: Xiomara and Jane
Xiomara is Jane's mother. She conceived and gave birth to Jane when she was sixteen. Xiomara decided she wanted to keep the baby and lied to her mother about the father's identity to protect him. For the same reason, Xo never told Jane who her father was either. She was with Jane when Jane found out she was pregnant and thought Jane was the Immaculata. Xiomara later tells Jane she can choose not to have the baby; saying it helps to have options. Jane knows her mother loves her, but she also knows that becoming a young mother somewhat derailed Xo's life in several ways and doesn't want a child of hers to feel the same thing. Xiomara and Jane share a loving, close and supportive relationship. Xiomara often would break up with boyfriends in order to protect Jane from them. Jane, however, points out that doing that meant Xiomara used her as protection to keep herself from being hurt.
- Main article: Rogelio and Jane
Jane grew up without knowing her father, thinking he was someone Xiomara had known fleetingly that Jane would never meet. In 2014, at 23 years old, Jane is overwhelmed to learn that Xo lied about Jane's father. Xo knew him at school and never told him she didn't get an abortion. And he's also the star of Jane's favorite telenovela. With this groundbreaking event in her life, Jane has the opportunity to get to know her father and have him as a part of her life.
- Main article: Jane and Rafael
Jane and Rafael meet at the end of the summer just before Jane turns 19, at a club where Jane works and Rafael plays tennis. Jane had a major crush on him, and randomly one day Rafael drops in after hours. They talk about life and dreams and share a kiss, but Rafael never calls. When they meet again, Rafael has been through illness, is going through a divorce and is a different person. In an awkward situation, they reconnect and soon begin to develop feelings for each other. After Jane ends her engagement, they get together, but both struggle with the relationship: Jane takes a lot of issue with their perceived class difference and Rafael's broken heart (courtesy of his family) leads him to end their relationship, which he later regrets. Though not a couple, they make every effort to get along to properly co-parent. 3 years later, Jane and Rafael are successfully co-parenting and best friends. She starts to develop feelings for him again but lets it go as the timing is wrong and starts a relationship with Adam. After Adam and Jane break up Jane and Rafael share a kiss by the window and get back together.
- Main article: Adam and Jane
Adam and Jane met around 2009 and dated for 8 months, had a very serious relationship which culminated in them wanting to marry when Adam was to move to NY for college and asked Jane to move in with him. Despite their harsh break-up when Adam called it off, they stayed in touch until 2012. In 2020 they meet again and their spark burns as bright as it had the first time. They immediately start something and go on adventures together, but stumble on the hasty course their relationship has taken. Eventually, Adam chooses to take a job in L.A. and breaks Jane's heart.
Jane and Fabian meet when Fabian is hired as Rogelio's co-star on Rogelio's new telenovela, Los Viajes de Guillermo. Jane is immediately intensely physically attracted to Fabian and starts flirting with him. They start dating and while Jane wants nothing but sex with Fabian, he reveals that he's saving himself for a solid commitment/marriage. While Jane now lives through the other side of her own chastity vow, she soon realizes that, while Fabian comes on strong, he actually is not head over heels with her, but rather the "idea of her". They decide to revert back to Jane's original impulse: to just have sex, after Fabian reveals that his vow of chastity has been for 33 days and he might as well save it for the next girl he has a serious future with. They have a casual fling, but it ends in cataclysm and involves Rogelio, however, both Fabian and Jane move on.
- Main article: Michael and Jane
Jane and Michael met at Jane's 21st birthday and instantly had an attraction. They started dating, trying to share each other's interests, such as Jane going camping and Michael watching telenovelas and reading romance novels, and grew closer as Jane started sharing personal things, such as Abuela not having a green card, and letting Michael into her heart. Once Jane discovered Michael kept secrets from her, that would have dire consequences for her unborn child and also his criminal past when Michael was a teenager, Jane fell out of love with Michael and they broke up. Slowly, they rebuilt trust, became friendly and soon found their way back to each other. They get re-engaged and marry, but less than a year later Michael dies suddenly of complications from his gunshot wound.
For almost 2 years, Jane has an overwhelming crush on Sam, a handsome, smart and sweet, but emotionally vague guy. They spend a lot of time together, and Jane is Sam's friend throughout his relationships and breakups, waiting for him to realize he should be with her. Sam finally asks Jane out the day after her 21st birthday. Although she meets Michael on her 21st birthday, Jane forgets him when her dream crush finally wants to date, although she later realizes that she likes Michael more than she does Sam and they only end up going on one date.
- Main article: Lina and Jane
Lina is Jane's best friend. They go way back and they were good friends for a lot of years. Lina has always been there for Jane and Jane for Lina. When Lina find out about Jane's situation she helped her to get through it. They once had a fight, because Jane forgot to ask Rafael whether Lina is fired. That's why Lina rolled her eyes at Jane and she said that she doesn't have to care if she's getting fired because she has a rich daddy. But after that argument, they became friends again and Lina decided to plan a baby shower for Jane. After 2 years, they reconcile again.
- Main article: Jane and Petra
Petra and Jane originally got along, as Jane thought Petra was a good wife to Rafael and would raise Jane's baby. After finding out that Petra cheated on Rafael, the escalation of Petra's actions to get money, get back at Rafael and to get Rafael back, overwhelmed Jane completely and the two were acrimonious, to say the least.
Jane and Rafael plotted to get Magda put in prison for her violent act against Alba by luring Petra with the promise that Rafael was interested. Once Petra realized this and self-inseminated, Petra is not too crazy about Jane either. This continues, until the women slowly start to bond over Jane's current and Petra's impending motherhood. Although Jane's ideas of class differences and Petra's coldness gets between them, they try to work out a cordial relationship, as their kids will be siblings. Jane aides Petra during her birth of the twins and is the first person, other than the mother herself, to meet them. When Rafael went to prison, Jane was there for Petra and the twins since Petra was unsure of whether she was able to raise the twins by herself. Jane, Rafael and Petra and the three kids meet every Saturday for family brunch. And while they get along, Petra and Jane's start as competitors still greatly informs their relationship.
- “The problem is the whole Madonna/Whore-paradigm is reductive! I'm a real person, who you know nothing about”
- —Jane to Fabian[src]
- “I'm raising a rich kid and that's just... not how I grew up”
- —Jane to Rafael
- “I don't wanna be just a mom. I want a career, I want a life. I wanna be seen as a person”
- “The most important thing is that this... event, doesn't derail my life”
- —Jane about her pregnancy
- She likes telenovelas.
- Her favorite food is grilled cheese.
- She has been writing short stories since she was ten.
- Jane dreams of writing romance novels and originally wished to be a published author by 30.
- She fulfilled this dream in 2020.
- She used to run when she was a bit younger.
- She used to work at Golden Harbor Yacht Club, where Rafael would play tennis.
- She drove a Yellow Mini Cooper (a gift from her father).
- Jane was in college for six years, while working.
- She is Venezuelan-Mexican-American.
- She speaks English to her Abuela, who replies in Spanish.
- She was subjected to mean girls in high school.
- She wrote the death scene of Santos for The Passions of Santos.
- She is best friends with Lina.
- She worked as a teacher at Our Lady of Sorrows High School.
- She had two stepsisters – Valeria and Victoria.
- She wrote a short story about her mother.
- She is legally married to Michael Cordero who is revealed to have faked his death.
- She lost her virginity to Michael after they got married and after he recovered from getting shot by Sin Rostro.
- Gina Rodriguez who plays Jane Villanueva also plays as Jane's great-aunt Cecilia in one episode, as both characters have an uncanny family resemblance.
Notes and references