Dracula in Love

Dracula in Love

by Karen Essex
3.9 50

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Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic, and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.
From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.
Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium. 
Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385533614
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/10/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 699,513
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

KAREN ESSEX is the author of four novels, including the international bestseller Leonardo's Swans. Her award-winning essays and articles have appeared in many periodicals, among them L.A. Weekly, Vogue, and Playboy. She lives in Los Angeles.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Dracula in Love 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Baochi More than 1 year ago
I have been a longtime fan of Karen Essex and have read all of her books. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first with Dracula in Love because a) it's a slight departure from Essex's historical fiction approach and b) I'm not a huge fan of "re-makes," i.e., taking a classic novel and re-imagining it from a different perspective. But Essex blew me away with Dracula in Love -- this novel is unique in its own right, imaginative, and utterly engrossing. I should have known better than to doubt, if even slightly, an author I have followed for the last ten years. Dracula in Love pivots off of Bram Stoker's Dracula, only it tells the story from Mina Harker's perspective. May I venture to say that Essex does a better job than Stoker at fleshing out the Victorian setting, Mina's ambivalent feelings towards fiance Jonathan and the Count, and how the past and future figure into the present love triangle? Okay, I guess I just said that very thing. ;) I love it when a favorite author continues to write exciting, high quality work. Essex is like a reliable friend who never disappoints and always opens my mind to new worlds. I recommend all of her novels and am wondering if indeed Dracula in Love is my favorite...hard to say considering all her novels are so dang good!
TheCrowdedLeaf More than 1 year ago
The advertisement for Dracula in Love by Karen Essex said: "If you read only one more vampire novel, let it be this one." That's a pretty bold statement so I took the bait. Dracula as told by Mina? Sounds pretty tasty, right? I bit (pun intended) on the posting for an advance copy. In hindsight, I should have probably just followed my gut telling me there's too much vampire-fiction out there for all of it to be worthy of the hype. While reading, I found myself comparing Essex's retelling of Dracula with the original (how could I not?). It's been several years since I read Stoker's Dracula so I don't remember all the details, but everyone knows the basic plot. Nearing the end of Dracula in Love I pondered the basic question any reader should think of when perusing a spin-off: Is the spin worthy of the original? I asked myself if Essex's retelling was really anything new or original or markedly better. In the end I decided that Bram Stoker's novel is a classic tragedy, making Karen Essex's version a copy of a tragedy which came out underwhelming and fairly lifeless (which, although necessary for a vampire, is not so good for a novel). Her love scenes were hot and heavy, but her frequent use of the word "preternatural" annoyed me to no end. Knowing what happens in Dracula meant I knew what would happen in Dracula in Love, and although the story should to be in the telling, Essex didn't inspire me with her version like good historical-fiction should. For those of you in search for the next vampire novel, sure, maybe you'll enjoy Dracula in Love because it's got vampires and they're attractive and it's got women taking control and all that good stuff. But for me, if a writer is going to tackle something as venerable as DRACULA, they had better do it well. In this case, the aim fell far from the mark and the resulting product was another paperback to add to the growing pile of fang-related books on the market these days. Sigh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the different perspective and author's writing style. I love the positive woman's strength of her characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, but I felt something was missing throughout the entire book. I was expecting to be blown away, instead I felt unsatisfied by the end. I did like the Count most times and Mina but It felt like their love actually blossomed. It was a decent enough read, but I would not have read or purchased it again given the chance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely adored it! Spoiler alert below: The ending sucked. It was HORRIBLE.
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Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
What happens when the heroes turn out to be the bad guys? It is a question posited by Karen Essex's take on Bram Stoker's immortal classic in her rendition entitled Dracula in Love. The established cadre of vampire hunters are no longer a gentlemanly force of good against evil. Instead, Van Helsing is a masochistic nutcase who derives pleasure from the unreasonable medical practices he inflicts on his patients. His disciple, Dr. John Seward, adheres to this cruel methodology in treating the helpless women left in his care at an insane asylum. Arthur Holmwood is a heartless fortune hunter out to marry and murder for wealth. Morris Quince is nothing but a philandering playboy from America, while Jonathan Harker turns into an orgy obsessed nymphomaniac. And yes, the novel is still set in the repressed, buttoned-up Victorian era. Stoker's women fare no better. What happens when a solid, put-together woman turns into a mentally unstable, emotional wreck? That's exactly what happens to Mina Harker. She goes from being portrayed as a lady of great intellect, self-control and profound courage to a confused, unsure, mystical shadow of her former self. Instead of leading the charge against Count Dracula, she is fighting off the dangerous advances of those who used to be her allies. Viewed as a wily female threat, she turns to Dracula's blood-thirsty embrace as a source of refuge. When first coming across the title, it is a logical assumption to believe that Lucy Westerna would be the lead character. In the original, she is the one who is lured to the Whitby graveyard and seduced by Dracula. She is the one who transforms into a vampire after death. She is the one singled out by Dracula as his lover of choice. So it is a surprising turn of events to learn that Dracula's affections are actually captured by Mina. In fact, she is a supposed reincarnation of his cherished human/fairy lover whose rebirth he repeatedly awaits. He tracks her through the centuries in order for their passion to be reignited and to finally convince her to join him in immortality. Where Essex finds her groove is in her telling description of a 19th century mental health facility. The insane asylum run by Seward, in conjunction with Van Helsing, is truly a house of horrors. What adds to its inherent repulsion is that for the most part it is an accurate depiction of what happened to overtly sexual women during this time period. The scene of Mina's water treatment is painful to read. Repeatedly soaked with freezing cold water and then forced to drink excessive amounts of this water certainly qualifies as torture, not medical care. The brutality that mentally competent women were subjected to in order to inhibit their natural sexual desires borders on barbarism. The majority of the book centers around hormones, and is graphic in nature. This type of explicit sexual imagery is usually found in the erotic romance genre rather than a historical fiction novel. Wanton proclivities run through the blood of all of the central characters. There's Lucy and Morris carrying on half-naked in a graveyard. There's Jonathan in bed with three vampire-like women. There's Seward fondling Mina during a medical examination. There's Mina and Dracula in an assortment of lurid dream sequences. The list of couplings goes on and on. This unrestrained behavior is unexpected for those seeking a book more in line with the tone of the beloved classic.
CherubsLibrary More than 1 year ago
It took me a chapter or so to set my mind back to Victorian London, but once there I quickly became involved in the story of Mina Murray Harker. I found it interesting to read this particular story from a woman's perspective and I liked reading Mina's account of the events at that time. It was also refreshing to read Mina's struggles with being the very proper lady and still be a very sexual and sensual woman. Mina Harker makes for a delightful heroine and I found myself rooting for her all the way through the story; I felt her despair, her pain and her happiness. I will be honest and admit that I was saddened by the ending of the story. Karen Essex has written a beautiful love story and you are going to love it. Dracula in Love is going on my keeper shelf, right next to Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Jessica Scalise More than 1 year ago
I have read this novel three times now, it pulls the strings of my heart and brings my very being to a different realm of romance in my personal life, such a supernatural, intrigueingly romantic story, I wish I could read more as it ends but I like how the ending leaves it open to wherever you want it to go after that.
msshovethebookworm More than 1 year ago
This book falls into that small category of novels that entraps you, and when you try to escape to the pages of another book, you find yourself wandering right back to Dracula in Love. I enjoyed this book immensely.
starlitehouse More than 1 year ago
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex Until now we have never been told the trueth about the woman who awoke the deepest depths of Dracul'a passion. Every story has two sides and finally Nina's story is told. Karen Essex draws you into the life of Nina with a gentle hand bringing you into her world with words that paint the picture of her life. Essex's characters are written in exquiset detail, from the main characters to the "supporting actor's" like the old fisherman who brings Nina to tears. Unlike many other aurthors who try to write books on vampires but end up only regurgitating the same story over and over again, Essex takes the classic points and shines them under a new light. If you are going to read anything this year add this book to your must have's and keep an eye out for more from Karen Essex.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
vvb32 More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved how this story is told. It is presented as a historical vampire tale wrapped in gothic passion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
After reading Stoker's account of her relationship with Count Dracula, Mina Harker decides the author failed to obtain the truth or more likely revise what happened. The Count has been Mina's lover though she is unaware of this in their present relationship and that he would willingly die permanently for her. In 1890 London, the human men in her life feel she is a porcelain doll needing their protection. She loathes the gilded cage her husband Jonathan keeps her inside of abetted by obsessed by Dr. Van Helsing and Dr. Seward. They are inane Victorian males who are wrong. Instead she and her dearest Count are in love as her supernatural powers begin to rival that of her beloved. This entertaining retelling of the classic horror tale has a strong-willed Mina relate her interpretation of what occurred in England. In her mind, Dracula is the hero and her so called protectors the villains. Character driven, the plot is turned upside down as Mina sees the doctors and others assuming they know what is best for her, which is contrary to what she believes is best for her. Vampire romance fans will enjoy Dracula In Love as Mina tells her version of her passionate relationship with her Count and the murderous intruders who interfered. Harriet Klausner
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