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Talking about dialogue and a giveaway of a Julie James book!
Tuesday, June 16th, 2009


I was writing some dialogue yesterday and thinking about the art of it. The fact that so many people mentioned Pride and Prejudice yesterday as the most romantic story they’d ever experienced made me pick it up–all Jane’s books are within arms reach–and search for a favorite exchange of dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth.

This one takes place at Netherfield, where poor Miss. Bingley tries to show off in front of Darcy and put Elizabeth at a disadvantage in his eyes. But of course Miss B. is out of her league with these two quick wits and only succeeds in making Darcy more in love with Elizabeth than ever.

Darcy and Elizabeth exchange, unless Miss Bingley is noted.

Darcy begins,

“It has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule.”

“Such as vanity and pride.”

“Vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride–where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

Elizabeth turned away to hide a smile.

“Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume,” said Miss Bingley, “pray what is the result?”

“I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”

“No”–said Darcy, “I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for…My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost is lost for ever.”

That is a failing indeed!” cried Elizabeth, “But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me.”

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”

“And your defect is a propensity to hate every body.”

“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misundertand them.”

“Do let us have a little music,” cried Ms. Bingley.


LOL–I love that last. Ms. Bingley knows when to jump ship.

Today I’m giving away the winner’s choice of either of Julie James’ books, Just the Sexiest Man Alive or Practice Makes Perfect, because she’s also a terrific writer of snappy, sexy dialogue.


Click on cover for purchase information.

For the contest–do you have a favorite exchange in a romance book? Favorite author for great dialogue? Comment on these questions or say anything meaningful about dialogue and you’ll be entered to win a copy of one of Julie’s books. If you already have read both of Julie’s books, enter the contest anyway, and I’ll figure out a replacement book. I’ve got a stack for this contest.

Good luck! And be sure and enter the Sweet Restraint contest if you haven’t already!

32 comments to “Talking about dialogue and a giveaway of a Julie James book!”

  1. Chris
      · June 16th, 2009 at 8:58 am · Link

    I’ve read both of Julie’s books and much enjoyed them! In recent reading, Christine Warren’s She’s No Faerie Princess had some great dialogue that had me laughing out loud.

  2. blodeuedd
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:00 am · Link

    Can’t say I have, but I do love the good old bickering between Lizzy Bennet and Mr Darcy in P &P 🙂

  3. Roberta Harwell
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:16 am · Link

    The book that sticks out for me is “Cupid’s Arrow” by Debbie Wallace. I loved the sass between the two main characters. Have a great day.

  4. Val Pearson
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:40 am · Link

    I have never read one of Julie’s books and I so love snappy sexy dialogue in a book. It adds all the fun. I am reading Free Falling by Sandy James and love the dialogue between Ross and Laurie. She is that smart aleck sassy kind of girl who knows just what to say and when.

  5. Pearl
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:42 am · Link

    I love Cindy Gerard’s dialogues! They are witty and emotional!


  6. Booklover1335
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:50 am · Link

    I love the dialogue in Jennifer Cruisie’s Bet Me. This is one of my fav books, and is a comfort read.

    I also love the inner dialogue in the Bridget Jones series. They are books that I can read just a little, get a good smile or chuckle, then put it down, same goes for the Stephanie Plum novels. Been thinking about Stephanie and Lula all week this week since the new book is out next week. Those two always makes me laugh 😆

    ps. no need to enter me for this drawing, I’ve already read these two 🙂

  7. Jane
      · June 16th, 2009 at 10:09 am · Link

    I love the witty dialogue between Vere and Lydia in “The Last Hellion” by Loretta Chase.

  8. Lea
      · June 16th, 2009 at 10:13 am · Link

    Hey Beth!

    Great post and giveaway. 🙂 I have both of Julie’s books, thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed them so please don’t enter me in the draw.

    I have to say some of my favorite dialogue in recent memory does come from Julie James’ book PMP and it is concerning a certain reference to Pride and Prejudice! lol
    She had me roaring with laughter.

    Previously I think Jilly Cooper’s books Riders and Rivals have hilarious dialogue. Ms. Cooper is British and she sure has a way with words.

    Lastly, I have to say Larissa Ione’s most recent Demonica book “Passion Unleashed”, the demon hero Wraith in that story – OMG, brilliant.

    Okay, I’ve rambled enough.

    Have a great day! 😀


  9. RobynL
      · June 16th, 2009 at 11:17 am · Link

    I love the dialogue between Gus, the mechanic, and Amelia in ‘Ready-Made Family’ by Cheryl Wyatt.
    Gus says to Amelia ‘you got oil in your ears or something’ when she keeps asking questions when he says Benjamin is enamored with her.

    “Wow, your daughter carried double-deckers, huh?” is what Amelia says when Gus tells her his daughter had twins.
    I love this book. I love humor in books and this has it in the dialogue.

  10. Kim
      · June 16th, 2009 at 11:55 am · Link

    Nothing beats the dialogue of Jane Austen, but I enjoy the witty repartee found in both Julia Quinn’s and Julie James’ books. They combine fascinating characters with interesting plots and humorous dialogue. Judith McNaught uses a more subtle humor with great effect.

  11. Julia
      · June 16th, 2009 at 12:50 pm · Link

    I only own Julie James’s Practice Makes Perfect but haven’t read it yet. It in my TBR pile. I want to buy Sexiest Man Alive, first before I read the second book.

    I love good dialogue books! It’s one of the things I look for when buying books. There are many favorite dialogues out there, like Judith McNaught’s books. Love her books! Or Nora Roberts’s books. And Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. There lot out there, just blanking them at the moments 😉

  12. Donna S
      · June 16th, 2009 at 1:03 pm · Link

    I dont have any particular favorites. But I love anything that makes me laugh.

    Julies’s books sound great.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  13. Estella
      · June 16th, 2009 at 2:02 pm · Link

    I enjoy the dialogue in Larissa Ione’s Demonica series.

  14. becky4444
      · June 16th, 2009 at 2:21 pm · Link

    I like the dialogue in Jo Davis’s Firemen series. Its snappy, to the point, and makes me want to continue reading without getting bored!

  15. Heather D
      · June 16th, 2009 at 2:28 pm · Link

    I don’t particularly have any favorites. I just love a good dialogue… fun and witty is always great to hear. I hate it when I pick up a book and the dialogue feels forced or sounds like I have two really bad actors talking in my head.

    good luck to everyone!

  16. MarthaE
      · June 16th, 2009 at 2:35 pm · Link

    I don’t remember precise dialogues. One I recall I think was in The Secret by Julie Garwood. Near the beginning the heroine meets a girl at a fair and they become friends. She asks her father “Can we take her home?” — as though she was a pet dog! that has always stuck with me!

    Also, in Sabrina Jeffries’ Never Seduce a Scoundrel there is a great discussion between the English heiress and the American Major about his special “sword” – double meanings of course!! :o)

  17. Mary G
      · June 16th, 2009 at 2:36 pm · Link

    Ones that stand out are from Julie James:
    In Sexiest Man the mock court scene she puts him through after he misses meetings with her. In Practice Makes Perfect – calling each other descriptive names & one of the expressions is “Feminazi”. She makes both characters quick-witted but Julie is the quick-wit. I’m not allowed to read her books in public anymore cause they are laugh out loud funny.

  18. bridget3420
      · June 16th, 2009 at 3:07 pm · Link

    I really enjoy Jane Green’s books.

  19. beth kery
      · June 16th, 2009 at 4:45 pm · Link

    You all are giving me great dialogue resources here. 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Larena Wirum
      · June 16th, 2009 at 5:48 pm · Link

    I know Hannah Howell usually has some great dialogue. I am really enjoying the book I am reading now which is Charmed and Dangerous by Toni McGee Causey. That one is way too funny. :mrgreen:

  21. Kammie
      · June 16th, 2009 at 5:50 pm · Link

    I have watched the movie, Pride and Prejudice, over and over again. It’s one of my favorite stories. It’s interesting to read the original written story and then see the changes to some parts in the various movie versions.

    I love the dialog between Eve and Roarke in the In Death series by J.D. Robb. That’s one of the reasons I keep on reading after so many books.

    Janelle Denison is great at dialog and creating playful tension between the hero and heroine. I just loved the Wilde series.

  22. Lisa F.
      · June 16th, 2009 at 5:55 pm · Link

    I would have to say that one of my faves is the dialogue is between Eve and Roarke in the In Death series. I love the scene in Divided In Death where Eve describes what she would do if Roarke ended up dead and naked with another woman.

    “I’d do the rumba on your corpse”

    I always pick up that book and read that scene over and over again.

  23. Armenia
      · June 16th, 2009 at 7:58 pm · Link

    Oh, I love funny and sexy dialogue. One of the funniest that comes to mind is between Jane Darlington and Cal Bonner in Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ No Body’s Baby But Mine.

    Jane explains that his football pals bought her for him as a birthday present, Cal tells her she’s too old to be a prostitute. In frustration, she says she can call the agency for ‘Punkin’ and that the girl can be available when she finishes her homework. Anyway, the situation was tensely sexual and the dialogue was extremely hilarious. and the situation 😆

  24. limecello
      · June 16th, 2009 at 8:36 pm · Link

    Oh gosh – dialogue? Jane Austen really is a master; I recently watched two versions of Sense & Sensibility; which made me want to re-read all the books yet again.
    Hmmm… for dialogue in a more recent book? I have to say I really like the exchange(s) between Min and Cal in Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie – she calls him the devil. It’s pretty good 🙂 And they keep telling each other to “have a nice life” – even when they’re perfect for each other.

  25. Julie James
      · June 16th, 2009 at 9:42 pm · Link

    Please don’t enter me in the contest– I have read both books as well. 😀

    Thanks, Beth, for the compliments! In terms of dialogue exchanges, I would have to say that some of my favorites are in Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase and Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie.

    But you’re right– P&P really set the standard.

  26. cecile
      · June 16th, 2009 at 10:04 pm · Link

    I would have to say Stranger by Megan Hart. Sam and Grace. Their relationship is about as real as one can get. They are so awesome together!
    Beth, thanks for the great contests!!!
    Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

  27. Pam P
      · June 16th, 2009 at 10:55 pm · Link

    I just happened to read Just the Sexiest Man Alive yesterday and loved the witty and sarcastic bantering, now I have to get the next book for sure. “Feminazi” gave me a good laugh, too.

  28. Lori T
      · June 16th, 2009 at 11:48 pm · Link

    I love to read a book that has great dialogue between the characters. I think that Jennifer Crusie, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Susan Andersen do a really great job at that.

    Julie James is definitely on my to be bought list as I have only heard really great things about her books.

  29. Frana
      · June 17th, 2009 at 2:31 am · Link

    Oh I love Pride and Prejudice! I could watch that series and read that book over and over again. Although I already know by heart what each character will say I always anticipate those comebacks between Elizabeth and Mr Darcy :mrgreen:
    I just love good dialogues. They make whole books real and believable. I hate when dialogues feel forced and faked. It can ruin a book for me. As an example of good written dialogues are those of Susan E. Phillips and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
    Great contest!

  30. Caffey
      · June 18th, 2009 at 11:53 pm · Link

    I just re-read P&P the beginning of May! The first time since HS (Long ago!)
    I won’t post more cuz I loved so much about this book (plus I missed this post being away due to under par) but gosh, it makes me want to re-read AGAIN! LOL.

  31. Johanne
      · June 27th, 2009 at 10:31 am · Link

    Absolutely love both JJames’ books, very witty, sparing between hero and heroine is always great, Darcy and Elizabeth; Hepburn and Tracy; so here’s contribution : Lalita and Darcy, yes another P&P version: love the repartee between Ms Bingley and Lalita (Elizabeth) on their arrival in Goa by the pool; and the balcony scene between Darcy and Lalita: D: I’m a hopeless dancer, but… well, this looks like you just screw in
    a light bulb with one hand, you pet the dog with the other. Will you teach me? E: You know what? I think you should find someone
    simple and traditional to teach you to dance like the natives.

  32. Johanne
      · June 27th, 2009 at 10:53 am · Link

    and please excuse the long post, but I can’t say enough about Hrithik Roshan’s depiction in Dhoom 2 and Jodhaa Akbar, weither playing a thief or the greatest mogul emperor…. he’s the perfect romantic hero, long live the romance in Bollywood…


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