Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review/Giveaway: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Dracula in Love


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)

Book Details

Title: Dracula in Love
Author: Karen Essex
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Anchor
Release Date: July 5, 2011
ISBN-10: 076793122X
ISBN-13: 978-0767931229
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 fiancĂ©, 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.

Happy Ending,

Awesome! Reread worthy.

Recommended For
Adults: only because of sex scenes, lots of sex.

Giveaway Time!
One lucky reader will win a paperback copy of Dracula in Love!
  • There will be one winner.
  • This giveaway is open to US only.
  • You do not have to be a follower to enter, though it is always appreciated, please let me know if you are a new follower so I can check out your blog.
  • Giveaway will run from October 29, 2011 to November 5 , 2011
  • Winner will be chosen by
  • Winner must contact me with mailing address within 48hours of being chosen or give up prize to next chosen winner.
  • To enter fill out: THIS FORM

Good Luck,


  1. Thanks for the giveaway. I have heard some good things about this book.

  2. Oh this sounds really cool! I can't enter the giveaway (Canadian) but I just want to say I enjoyed your review and will def. check this one out if I can find a copy.

    Xpresso Reads

  3. Hi there! Thanks for the wonderful review (I'd say for the giveaway too, but I'm European so... can't enter!)

    Still, back to the review: I've read Dracula My Love, which might be somewhat similar to Dracula In Love in that both explore an alternate role for Mina Murray. I must say, I didn't quite like my read because I could not understand Mina - Dracula, in that novel, was amazing and she was just not up to par. Victorian society is as it was, but there are extremes that I just couldn't comprehend in the way she reacted to Dracula and her love for him.

    In that regard, I think I'd enjoy Dracula In Love far better, because it looks like this Mina has a greater personality. But, the comment about the ending makes me think that perhaps that's not so different. That Dracula will still end up in the short end of the bargain, and while I don't particularly care for Stoker's (that one never captured my interest) I've grown fond of the gentleman - and of the vampire! - in him in the versions.

    That's why I wanted to thank you: your review has given me a much better view on the book, and helped me figure out whether I'd enjoy this book or not. So, Great Job!

    Ron @ Stories of my life

  4. I'm loving the sound of this, Mina Harker was always a favorite literary character for me (although more so in Alan Moore's The Extraordinary League of Gentlemen) and I'm intrigue by what the ending is if it's cause so much argument! Shame I can't enter the giveaway as I'm in the UK : (
    Great review.


Thanks so much for the comment love!