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.(Goodreads)
Title: Dracula in Love
Author: Karen Essex
Paperback: 384 pages
Release Date: July 5, 2011
Source: Goodreads First Reads
I enjoy vampire books and the ideas behind Dracula, but Dracula was never one of my favorite reads, so I was interested in Karen Essex’s take on the classic story, but wary because I like my books pretty PG-13 in regards to sex. Well, unless it is a Sookie Stackhouse book, but that is as racy as I go. The best things first; the book is well written and gives a good understanding of Victorian London and the changes that were beginning to take place with the suffragettes and women’s evolving role in life. I like how she changed Mina from being a helpless victim to someone powerful and let’s just say the power is not from anything human. Mina has been able to read minds since she was a child and see supernatural things. Her mother and father could not handle it and once her father dies, her mother sends her to Mrs. Hadley’s boarding school where she becomes the star pupil and eventually stays on to teach reading and etiquette. She meets her fiancé, Jonathan Harper, while working at the school and she tries to be the model lady. Unfortunately she has started sleep walking and having very sexually charged dreams. She tries to hide this from everyone, as it is unacceptable behavior of a lady. I’m sure her BFF, Kate Reed, would disagree. Kate is a journalist that writes investigative pieces on the poor and mistreated and takes Mina along with her on some of the investigations. Kate doesn’t wear a corset, lives on her own and gets by in a man’s world. She also advises Mina to take a lover instead of getting married.
Jonathan leaves the country on business so Mina spends the holidays at the shore with her school friend, Lucy, who is soon to be engaged to Lord , but she has feelings for an American named Morris Quince. Lucy is trying to figure out where she should marry for love or title. Mina finds out that Jonathan has been hospitalized, so she travels to him. And he tells her…about some unusual women he had met. Let’s just say I started out really liking Jonathan, but not so much as the story goes on.
This is just the bare bones of the story. It’s a Victorian romance, but it also champions women’s sexuality. It is part fantasy, but Mina must unravel the mysteries of her past and at the end of the story it is about choosing the right path in life. What does Mina desire most?
Some folks have not liked the ending, whether I liked it or not, I understand why Mina choose the way she did and I respect her for it.
Awesome! Reread worthy.
Adults: only because of sex scenes, lots of sex.
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