Guest Author & Giveaway: Eileen Dreyer featuring Never a Gentleman

Tuesday, April 12

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the new Jane Eyre movie (which I want to see badly).  If I haven't mentioned it before Jane Eyre happens to be my all time favorite classic romance.  Hands down!  

There are some that credit the origin of the term "plain Jane" to Jane Eyre since the heroine, Jane, is often referred to as plain.  Regardless, of the beginnings of the "plain Jane" theme it is one that I never get tired of....ever.  Some of my favorite interpretations on this theme are Charlotte Featherstone's version in Sinful(whose heroine just so happened to also be named Jane), and Jane Austen's Persuasion (which is actually my favorite Jane Austen).  I guess you could say I have a thing for Jane's plain, or otherwise :)

My guest today is author Eileen Dreyer whose new historical romance Never A Gentleman, features her own "plain Jane" heroine, Grace, and her hero, Diccan, who eventually finds that beauty is indeed more than skin deep.  Read and enjoy!

A  reader's love of plain Jane heroines (though this one is named Grace) who manage to catch the heart of the rakish hero.  Why this type of story never gets old

I admit it. I love Plain Jane stories. To me, plain Janes symbolize the core desire at the heart of every  romance. We want the hero to love the heroine for who she really is, not who she presents herself as to the world. We want our own heroes to see past our failings and others' opinions to the true heart of us, and we want them to love our true selves. At the same time, we want our plain Janes to learn their own worth.

One of the variations of the Jane story I like is what I've taken to calling the PRINCESS DIARIES variation. The heroine is ungainly, or shy or a bit shaggy, and the superficial society around her judges her by that rather than the gem she really is. The hero earns his stripes by being attracted to her long before she blossoms from duckling to swan. In my favorite variation on the Diaries theme, he's even a bit confused by the fact that nobody else saw this all along. But in the end, there is still superficial beauty upon which to hang a special soul.

What interests me even more, and why I wrote NEVER A GENTLEMAN, is what I call the PERSUASION variation. In this story, our Jane, or in my case Grace isn't 'one-good-haircut-away-from-stunning' or 'twenty-pounds-from-pretty'. Grace is, has been, and always will be, plain. She has a crippled leg and a horse face and no figure to speak of. And it's up to her surprise husband, Diccan Hilliard, to find the true beauty Grace is. Not only that, Grace has to understand her own worth, not only in Diccan's eyes, but her own.

I freely admit it. Diccan doesn't look very promising at the beginning of the book. He himself is handsome, suave, elegant and witty. He navigates society like a clipper ship. The very last thing he expects is being stuck with a woman known as the Most Notorious Virgin in the Realm, and he is not happy about it. It was suggested at one point that he should be nicer at the beginning of the book. That he immediately appreciates Grace's true worth. But the point of this book is that both Grace and Diccan have to learn Grace's true worth.  I wanted them to take a journey. If Diccan was comfortable with Grace,  it wouldn't be a very long trip. Hopefully, it's a trip readers will enjoy.


Miss Grace Fairchild is under no illusions about her charms. Painfully plain, she is a soldier's daughter who has spent her life being useful, not learning the treacherous ways of the ton. She may have been caught in a scandal with society's favorite rogue, but how can she marry him when it means losing herself?


Diccan Hilliard doesn't know which of his enemies drugged him and dumped him in Grace's bed, but he does know the outcome. He and Grace must marry. To his surprise, a wild, heady passion flares between them. Yet Diccan is trapped in a deadly game of intrigue Grace knows nothing about. Will his lies destroy Grace just as he realizes how desperately he needs her? And how can he hope for a future with her, when an old enemy has set his murderous sights on them both?

Congratulations Eileen....not only for the release of Never a Gentleman, but also for receiving the 2010 RT Reviewers Choice Award for best "Historical Romance of the Year" for the first book in the Drakes Rakes series, Barely a Lady!

If you'd like to learn more about Eileen and the books she writes you can find her at her website, her blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter, & Goodreads.  Eileen has a great extra on her website for readers...Romance Trading Cards.  They are all the rage right now, and you can get ones for Eileen's books for FREE.  Just follow the directions on her website to collect them all.  And if you join her Yahoo Group you will be entered to win a beautiful Ruby, Emerald, & Sapphire bracelet!

To celebrate the release of the second book in the Drakes Rakes historical romance series, Never a Gentleman, Eileen's publisher, Forever Romance, would like to giveaway a copy of the book to THREE lucky Musings followers.  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Do you enjoy this theme in romance?  And if so, what's your favorite "plain Jane" story?   AND please leave a comment or question for the author. (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & Canadian addresses only, sorry no PO Boxes
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on April 23rd at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)


Katie April 12, 2011 at 12:35 AM  

Thanks for the giveaway!


Virginia C April 12, 2011 at 7:28 AM  

"Jane Eyre" remains one of my favorite books of all time. I have seen numerous screen retellings, but for me the definitive film version is the one starring George C. Scott and Susannah York. It made a huge impression on me as a young viewer, and I am still thrilled each time I see it again. There is something about the way George C. Scott says her name "Jane". He loads those four letters with different meaning each time he says the name, but each meaning contains a world of feelings.

I love "the Janes"! I never think of them as plain. To me they are serenely regal, with a noble inner majesty. Once they embrace their "Jane-ness", they are freed from so many of the societal standards which other women strive to meet and exceed.

I am greatly looking forward to reading "Never a Gentleman" which is a sequel to "Barely a Lady"--a book I enjoyed very much! At the end of "Barely a Lady", Grace and Diccan were found in quite a compromising situation, and readers have waited for the outcome of this scandalous beginning to a great "sparks-fly" relationship! I highly recommend reading "Barely a Lady" and then following up as soon as possible with "Never a Gentleman". I guarantee that you will enjoy Eileen Dreyer's voice as a storyteller.

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Anonymous,  April 12, 2011 at 8:37 AM  

Oh, I LOVE the plain Jane who wins the heart of the handsome rake theme! I think they're more than that thought because those types of tales give me that happy feeling in knowing the hero truly loves the heroine and isn't simply in it because she's beautiful. Plus, I love it when the underdog comes out on top :)

Bethie April 12, 2011 at 10:46 AM  

I do enjoy this theme. Jane Eyre is my fav. But there are many others that I have enjoyed.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Maria April 12, 2011 at 11:00 AM  

I love the theme of "Plain Jane's" in romance because I think that woman have a much more different idea of what men find attractive than men actually

My favorite Plain Jane book is MacKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard. Mary Elizabeth not oly thinks that she's plain - she also considers herself an old

My question for Eileeen- Have you watched the movie "Persuasion" with Amanda Root? I know a lot of people love Pride & Prejudice and A&E did a great job with it but this movie is one of my all time favorites and not as well known.

I am a GFC Follower/US


Eileen Dreyer April 12, 2011 at 11:20 AM  

I agree with you all. I'm a huge Jane Eyre fan. My favorite happens to be with my close personal friend (I met him once) Ciaran Hinds, who happened to be the hero in another of my very favorite movies---you guessed it, Maria. He was Capt. Wentworth in the definitive Amanda Root Persuasion. I still think that is one of the most lovely movies I've ever seen. I don't own many movies. I had to have that one, so I could replay it regularly. I love the story, and I love their interpretation of it.

Danielle Gorman April 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM  

I like Plain Jane stories. I'm not sure that I could pick a favorite but I do enjoy them.

I can't wait to read this book. I loved the first in this series and I've been dying to see what happens with Grace and Diccan.

chey April 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM  

I like Plain Jane stories. I don't have a favourite.
Congrats Eileen!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Barbara E. April 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM  

I do enjoy the "plain Jane" theme in romance, it's so lovely to see a man fall in love with a woman for who she is, not how she looks. My favorite story is The Perfect Rake, by Anne Gracie - a wonderful story of mistaken identities and handsome rakes.

I'm looking forward to reading Never a Gentleman, it sounds like a fantastic book.

Barbed1951 at aol dot com

LilMissMolly April 12, 2011 at 8:58 PM  

I love these types of stories - probably because I'm a Plain Jane!

JenM April 12, 2011 at 11:10 PM  

This is absolutely one of my favorite tropes in romance and I especially like it when the heroine really is plain, or "ordinary looking", not just gorgeous but with a bad haircut or something.

I don't have a favorite of all times, but one of my favorites recently was Nine Rules to Break by Sarah Maclean. Another one that I just read and loved was a contemp romance by Jane Graves called Tall Tales and Wedding Veils, in which the heroine is a practical, down to earth, "normal looking" CPA and the hero is the usual gorgeous type.

Best wishes on the new release Eileen - I absolutely loved Barely a Lady - I'm a total sucker for really angsty romances and yours definitely fit that category.

jen at delux dot com - GFC follower

Eileen Dreyer April 13, 2011 at 12:37 AM  

Barbara--I love Anne Gracie. She's one of the most wonderful discoveries for me. Another who does a plain Jane is Sherry Thomas. Brilliant new voice.

I do hope you all like Gentleman. I did love putting Grace and Diccan through their paces. Oh, and I'm doing a contest, too. The grand prize is the bracelet on my website. I bought it in Jaipur, India.

mrsshukra April 13, 2011 at 3:22 AM  

Congrats, Eileen!!!!

Lord Ruin by Carolyn Jewel is one of my favorite plain Jane historical romances! What's nice is even if the heroine is not a stunning beauty, the hero in novels that I like with plain Jane themes sees a feature that's beautiful in her. Eileen, you mentioned Sherry Thomas -- her writing is intense!

Google follower!


CrystalGB April 13, 2011 at 1:26 PM  

Congratulations on your award. I love plain Jane stories. I am always cheering for the heroine to find love with a good man.
Never a Gentleman sounds great. I love the cover.
I am a GFC follower.

Elsie April 13, 2011 at 9:05 PM  

I love these stories as well - Hmm... I'm trying to think of a favorite and having a hard time. I enjoyed the Mary Balough character Vanessa Huxtable from First Comes Marriage!
I have never read one of your books and I will DEFINITLY be looking them up now!
I'm a GFC follower.

Carol L. April 14, 2011 at 2:47 AM  

I can't wait to read this second book. I love plain Jane stories as well.I just read one and cannot remember the name of the book. :)My fault in that I read too many books in a week too fast.Loved the blurb.
Carol L

GFC follower under Lucky47
email subscriber

Eileen Dreyer April 14, 2011 at 6:32 PM  

Carol--You're singing to the choir, here. I'm the same way.

winnie April 21, 2011 at 4:31 AM  

Yes, I do enjoy the "plain Jane" theme in romance because then the characters are more relatable and that way, I usually become more emotionally invested in them to read through to their HEA.


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