really, really bad dialog

This is, sad to say, from a published novel:

“And you, my sweet one,” Moya said, running his finger lightly over her lips, “you’re lovelier even than my dreams of you….Oh, my darling,” he whispered, one hand caressing her face, his other arm holding her protectively, “I want to hold you, to feel your nearness. You’re so dear to me, so truly precious. But…” His arm tightened. “As always, we’ve so little time.” Ines pulled back gently from the circle of his arm. “You’re right, of course, but be prepared when the time’s finally ours.” The light of mischief sparkled in her gray eyes.


Quiz Time (exchange papers with the person next to you for grading)

1. The author is married to a former Vice President. T/F
2. This excerpt is from a novel that was marketed as a romance. T/F
3. This is a fine example of the dangers of cliche, overworked and unnatural dialog.


1. Yup. The quote is from Embrace the Serpent. Authors:
Marilyn T. Quayle and her sister Nancy T. Northcott, published in 1993 by Dove Books (and shame upon them)
2. Romance is (for the most part) an honorable genre, and this doesn’t belong in it. Embrace the Serpent was published as a political thriller.
3. Yes, yes and yes.

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