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Dracula in Love

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  2,025 ratings  ·  490 reviews
From the shadowy banks of the River Thames to the wild and windswept coast of Yorkshire, the quintessential Victorian virgin Mina Murray vividly recounts in the pages of her private diary the intimate details of what transpired between her and Count Dracula—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair and her rebellion against a force of evil that has pursued her through ti ...more
Paperback, 372 pages
Published 2010 by Allen & Unwin
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Jenny Q
First off, the title is misleading. There is no love involved in this story. There's a lot of lust, but no evidence of stronger feelings. And since this is told in Mina's first-person POV, we don't get to know Dracula or his feelings at all. I wanted to put this down around page 50 after reading an awful, cringe-worthy description of masturbation, but I felt obligated to keep reading. The whole novel is like one long mindtrip, and in the end it just didn't make a lot of sense to me--and there we ...more

Dracula in Love isn't just a fill-in-the-gaps retelling of Dracula, fleshing out the story from Mina's point of view. No, it is a sort of feminist retelling in which Mina asserts that the story that everyone knows, the story that's been told by men, is false. True to their Victorian beliefs and morés, the men have cast the women of the story as either saints of harridans, relegating them to sidelines to seethe or swoon as they may. But thinking, feeling, intelligent Mina isn't having it. T
Beach Vacation Read #6: My habit of borrowing any ebook that sounds remotely interesting does not always pay off. DNF.

This is dire. It starts off with high purple prose in its pseudo-Victorian way, and it only gets worse from there. The heroine is sexually assaulted by page 11 and spends half her time during the assault fretting about what other people would think of her morals, in particular what her fiancé would think:
In my mind, I saw Jonathan receive the news, his stricken face turning white
I think Karen Essex has some beautiful prose. She has a sensual, seductive, and wonderfully descriptive way of writing that lured me in and made me think this would be a wonderful book. I love gothic books, and “Dracula in Love” is definitely that.

The problem with this book is there isn’t much of Dracula in it. Two-hundred words in, and he still hadn’t made much of an appearance The book wasn’t really about him, or his love. Yes, I got caught up in the rather fascinating story about the horror o
The dustcover of this book promises "Karen Essex breathes startling new life into the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula." While it's true her novel is a retelling of the Dracula story from Mina Murray's point of view, there's nothing startling or lively about her characters.

I was intrigued at first, reading through a few chapters with hopeful enthusiasm. Fifty pages in, I was both disatisfied and bored. The only thing 'startling' about the book were a few egregious sexual scenes and the compl
Okay, feminist Dracula. Where do I start with you?

I think I read Dracula for the first time at around eight years old. I can remember the exact book, where I got it, what I felt... everything. And I loved it. It's a classic. And in case you've been living under a rock for forever, it's a Victorian novel. And yeah the biting is a metaphor for sex.

I mention this for two reasons: one, because this novel contains some very un-Victorian ideas and there's less metaphor for sex and more actual sex. An
Everyone remembers Bram Stoker's "Dracula". It was a tale of horror and everyone knew that vampires were the "bad guys". But were they? Karen Essex takes Stoker's tale and gives it a twist. Following the same timeline, using the same characters and written in much of the same format "Dracula in Love" gives a total different view.

In the Prologue of the book, Mina Murray Harker states:

"Unlike most people whose lives remain private, my story has been written by another, sold for money and offered
Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna
Ok, once I got past a nasty near-rape scene that opens the book, but does not seem to serve any other purpose other than to shock and disgust the reader, I was determined to read the book and give it a chance, because the book description promised hours of great read. Well, I should have quit right there. I do not think Mina and Dracula as a “fairies” angle worked for this particular story. There is so much thrown into the plot that clashes together: women’s rights, history of psychiatry, medici ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Doria rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Geraldine O'Hagan
This is a terrible book. Not only is it derivative in concept and lacking in style, but it's also incredibly lazy. If you're going to write a faux-Victorian novel then I would think it wise to do at least some very basic research first, in order that it isn't full of glaring errors. With the best will in the world, even if the book had been otherwise fantastic it would have been hard not to laugh at an Anglo-Irish Victorian lady shouting at Dracula "Quit following me!", or the sight of vultures ...more
There seem to be quite a few books about Count Dracula lately. Maybe the popularity of vampires is making people re-visit the original popular vampire. Dracula in Love is far, far better than Dracula the Un-Dead and less boring than The Historian. It's got plenty of mildly graphic sex and sexual fantasy for those who like that kind of thing, but isn't so over the top that it's gulp-inducing for those who don't. My biggest complaint is the way it twists Bram Stoker's story and puts a completely r ...more
Lydia Presley
Word of warning - do not read this book when you are out say.. babysitting and have to leave the house at 11PM.

I jumped at every. little. noise.

That said... Wow. This was quite the read. Michelle Moran, on the cover, dubs this the "Twilight for adults" and in a way, she's right. Only in this case, Mina.. as the new Bella, is not quite so chaste.

Wow, I'm still trying to wrap my head around this book.

Okay, so for those of you younger readers, this is really, really steamy in parts. Don't fall fo

About: A new take on Bramstoker's Dracula but told from the POV of Mina.

Descriptive Words: compelling, romantic, sexy, seductive....

Location or characters you met:

* Mina: I liked Mina when I watched the movie "Bramstoker's Dracula" and honestly it was Winona Ryder's face that I envisioned as I read this story. She is a character that I could relate to. She's someone who wants to please others, doesn't want anyone to think ill of her, yet she has this dark side that she's reluctant to admit to o
Flora Bateman
This book tells the story of Dracula from Mina Harker's perspective. As the story unfolds you see the connection between Mina and the Count unfold from the time she was little til he revealed himself when she was older. We learn of their life together not only in this time setting but also in the past. How they have been connected over many lifetimes as soul mates. It was a love that didn't know the boundaries of time. We also see the cultural changes taking place with women during this time in ...more
Truly enjoyed this read. At first I was unsure as the book seemed to be a bit slow getting started but as the story unfolded I found myself eagerly turning the pages. This tale encourages me to return to Dracula by Bram Stoker which I put down after about 100 pages because I couldn't get into it and/or my imagination was getting the best of me. Or, perhaps I just wasn't in the mood for it. At any rate Karen Essex explains how she came to be interested in Mina enough to write this tale. She found ...more
Alayne Bushey
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 Dracu
Dracula in Love claims to be a retelling of the Mina-Dracula relationship from Bram Stoker's classic novel, Dracula. However, the story told by Essex is at best misleading and at worse implausible and annoying. Here's why:

1. The characters were inconsistent. Their personalities were all over the place, not a single one of them constant.

Jonathan Harker was a good man, then a bad man, then a good man. Morris Quince was a rotten scoundrel who wasn't.

The doctors from the lunatic asylum who treated
Book Flame
Karen Essex did an incredible job retelling Bram Stokers Dracula. Dracula In Love was told from Mina's perspective, and I loved it just as much as the original.

Review from

The first half of the novel was a lot of background information on Mina, which I found interesting. The novel really picked up for me when we got to the asylum. I was reading Dracula In Love in the middle of the night so yes, I was slightly creeped out but couldn't stop myself from turning the page. E
My eyes were riveted to the pages throughout the entire read. Does that give you clue as to how much I liked this book? It ought to, but just in case it did not, I loved this story. I feel a tad guilty that I liked this book far better than Stoker’s Dracula, as if I am not literary enough for Stoker, but whatever, I cannot deny the trance that Dracula in Love put over me. I cannot deny that it did indeed captivate and keep me throughout the whole story. It sucked me into the story, and the lives ...more
In the author's note to Dracula in Love, Karen Essex asks her readers to take the book "in the spirit of fun and adventure in which it was written". Which I do - it is a clever book, better written than I could have expected, and very thoughtful. I appreciate it - I appreciate what Essex is doing, the very intelligent way in which she is lovingly dialoguing with her source text. This is a legitimately good novel, despite the ill-suited Proust allusion of the title which makes it sound like a che ...more
I admire the attempt to make Dracula a more sex-positive story, if that's what this can be called. There is a fair amount of sex, and it focuses almost entirely on the female pleasure and sexuality that was so demonized by the original. That's cool in my book. It seems like female pleasure is still something that society at large is uncomfortable with discussing. (Although I was confused about how Ursulina and her crew fit into this so-called sex positive retelling, because they seem to be just ...more
Mina Murray is here to set the record straight. The red-headed Irish writer got it all wrong.

Dracula was not trying to control her in order to thwart Jonathon wait, that happens in this book, too. Women with normal sexual appetites (that is, a physical attraction to men) were treated as crazy and dangerous. . .well, there is that entire section where Mina is committed against her will in the insane asylum. The male characters in Stoker's novel thought themselves morally and intellec
Heather Campbell
The reception for this novel seems to fall into one of two camps. Unfortunately, I am one of those readers that was expecting a little something more. I haven't had such an urge to slap a character around since Jane Eyre. I felt Mina and Jane were very similar characters in the sense they both were always changing their minds (literally in the same paragraph, and sometimes before even finishing a complete thought) and they both decided that their lives would be better spent with men who had brok ...more
Historical novelist extraordinaire, Karen Essex, takes Stoker’s story and infuses new life into the old work.

The story opens with a promise from Mina Harker to the reader. The year is 1897, and in the wake of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ story being released, Mina wants to set the record straight and tell her side of events, lest Stoker’s fanciful imagination carry the truth away with time and embellishment. . .

The year is 1890, and Mina Murray (soon to be Harker) awaits the return of her fiancée fro
"Blood is the true love potion. Remember?" He twisted my long black hair around his hand, sweeping it from the curve of my neck, where he buried his face. His lips worked their way up to my ear. "There is no going back, Mina, not this time. I am answering your call. And you have answered mine."
"No," I said. "No going back."
I knew what he was going to do because he had done it before. My body remembered the sensation of it, and my every nerve heightened with expectation. I knew the danger and the
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
One-sentence summary: Mina Murray tells all, news at eleven.

Review: I'm not a vampire girl when it comes to supernatural affections. But I love classic vampire stories so I was willing to give this book a try since it was a spin-off of the original. And having been introduced the possibility of a Mina Murray with some real oomph (thanks to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- the graphic novels, not the film) I've been eagerly awaiting her incarnation in popular literature. Karen Essex's Mina co
Rebecca Huston
Oh, what I can I say? I didn't like this one at all, despite the author trying very very hard to come up with a new angle on the Dracula story. If I had not read this on my nook, I would have made a deep hole in the living room wall with it.

For the complete review, please go here:
I shouldn't like this so well; Dracula is supposed to be a sexy alpha male but he struck me as a whining, sulking man-child. Still, I'm a sucker for gothic trappings, and the mixture of vampire and (view spoiler) lore was interesting. I thought the section set in the (view spoiler) was chilling--probably because of its historical accuracy.
This book was not what I expected it to be and quite frankly a waste of money. Half way through the book you finally meet Dracula and Essex's Dracula is a weak character. I know this book is Mina's side of the story but this story isn't good at all. If you want a good retelling of the story through Mina's eyes, read Dracula, My Love by Syrie James.
Excellent retelling of Stoker's DRACULA from the point of view of Mina Harker and the woman's point of view. Takes a wonderful look at the issue of 19th century women's issues of "madness, the asylum, etc." and replaces it with a woman accessing her spiritual powers. Wicca elements, too. And damn fine prose.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 13, 2015 10:58AM  
Free Books, .99 &...: Win Dracula in Love by Karen Essex - Ends 10/20/2011! 1 10 Oct 06, 2011 05:20PM  
  • Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
  • Once Bitten Twice Dead (Guardians of the Dark, #2)
  • The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer
  • In the Blood (Darkwing Chronicles, #4)
  • Moonburn (Abra Barrow #2)
  • Again
  • Kiss of the Rose (Tudor Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • Enslave: Beauty Tames the Beast
  • Eternal Hunger (Candace Steele Vampire Killer #3)
  • Accidentally the Sheikh's Wife
  • Dracula's Guest and Other Victorian Vampire Stories
  • Earl of Darkness (Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy, #1)
  • Wild Romance: A Victorian Story of a Marriage, a Trial, and a Self-Made Woman
  • The Notorious Scoundrel (The Hawkins Brothers #2)
  • Akasha (Akasha, #1)
  • Blood and Sunlight: A Maryland Vampire Story
  • The Raven's Bride: A Novel
  • Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, #2)
I'm the author of KLEOPATRA, PHARAOH, LEONARDO'S SWANS, STEALING ATHENA, DRACULA IN LOVE, AND BETTIE PAGE: LIFE OF A PINUP LEGEND--All featuring iconic women. I am also an active screenwriter and an award-winning journalist. I divide my time between Los Angeles and Europe, where I soak in the atmosphere while writing historical fiction.

Please see my blog, "Women, History, Sex, & Power" at htt
More about Karen Essex...
Leonardo's Swans Kleopatra (Kleopatra, #1) Stealing Athena Pharaoh (Kleopatra, #2) Bettie Page: The Life of a Pin-Up Legend

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“You cannot hide from the truth, Mina. Anytime you try to argue with the truth you lose. Anytime you try to evade it or run away from it, it will find you down the road.” 3 likes
“I'm afraid that the gift of visiting the past is all that we have. We can revisit it, but only as it happened.” 2 likes
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