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Dracula in Love

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  2,541 ratings  ·  548 reviews
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 transp
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published (first published August 10th 2010)
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3.37  · 
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 ·  2,541 ratings  ·  548 reviews

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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
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
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
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
Sep 23, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NOBODY
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Geraldine O'Hagan
Jul 26, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic, victorian
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
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads

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
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
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
This was an odd book. I read the author notes and the author wanted to explore the Dracula story from the woman's point of view because apparently Bram Stoker portrays women in a bad light in his novel. I have not read Bram Stoker's Dracula so I cannot comment on that. I will admit to skimming much of the book and only stopping to read what interested me. I found the endless details of Min's life as a school teacher boring and her friends boring and the whole interlude with Lucy and her secret l ...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
Flora Smith
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
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:
Lady Alexandrine
Hmmm.... I enjoyed this book very much most of the time. The idea to retold the famous "Dracula" from a woman's perspective was done extremely well. When I read the original Bram Stoker's novel I was beyond shocked by how women were depicted there, their submissive role and constant bragging about the greatness of men as opposed to the weakness of women's psyche, physical constitution and mind. Oh, really? I wanted to ask the author with sarcasm, seeing things very differently from my perspectiv ...more
Circa Girl
The title doesn't fit and I feel like there's a darker, moodier cover out there that could have been used because the story inside focuses more on Mina's personal sexual awakening and her coming into her true nature of power and agency, with major creative drifts from the original story that reveal the misogynistic fears behind a lot of Helsing and his cast of masculine "heroes" motivations. Dracula makes a couple of brief appearances in the story, but he is largely a catalyst for Mina's journey ...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
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

Well, this was certainly unexpected. The book got a lot of bad and mediocre reviews, so naturally, I assumed I would love this book. I didn't. I don't hate the book, but it failed to really leave much of an impact on me.

There were PARTS of the book I liked. If just those parts were combined together, then there would probably be a really good story. I liked the parts where it actually followed the events of the book, except from Mina's perspective. I liked how it was writte
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
"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
Heather Campbell
May 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 13, 2015 10:58AM  

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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
“I'm afraid that the gift of visiting the past is all that we have. We can revisit it, but only as it happened.” 3 likes
“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
More quotes…