Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Title: Dracula in Love 
Author: Karen Essex
Publisher: DoubleDay
Publication Date: August 10, 2010
Hardcover, 372 pages
ISBN: 978-0-385-52891-7

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 pas sionate affair and her rebellion against a force of evil that has pursued her through time. 

Mina’s version of this timeless gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into the dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and locked asylum chambers where she led a secret life, far from the chaste and polite lifestyle the defenders of her purity, and even her fianc√©, Jonathan Harker, expected of her. 

Bram Stoker’s classic novel was only one side of the story. Now, for the first time, Dracula’s eternal muse reveals all. What she has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than ever imagined. The result is a scintillating gothic novel that reinvents the tragic heroine Mina as a modern woman tor tured by desire.

This book was not as I expected. I admit, I had some preconceived notions before reading this novel. The story of Dracula is fairly well known so it's was hard not to already have certain expectations.  I'm a huge fan of Dracula stories and was intrigued by this one. First, I love the cover.  It's dark, gothic feel invites you to dive into this book. As I said before, the storyline was not what I expected. Karen Essex took the tale we are all familiar with and mixed it with Irish folk/faerie tales.  This made for an interesting story.   The plot is mysterious and very sensual. The story is told from Mina's point of view, some of which is in diary entries.  The only part of the story line that drove me crazy *SPOILER ALERT* was several mentions of how feeble and weak women are. I'm not a feminist but I did want to beat some of the characters over the head with my copy of this book. According to Karen Essex, this came from actual physicians notes.  I am glad that I was born in this time period because they would have definitely locked me up!  *SPOILER OVER* Karen uses  many of the same characters we have all come to know  but also introduces us to some new ones. I really like Kate, she has lots of gumption. I am sad to say, I didn't really care for Jonathan. To be honest I was pulling for Dracula the whole time. Overall I liked the story. It was a compelling read. This was the first novel I have read by Karen Essex. I definitely want to check out more of her work. Her other novels include Stealing Athena, Leonardo's Swans, Kleopatra, and Pharoah.  For more information of Karen Essex  click here

*picture and summary taken from goodreads
*I received this book from Random House in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinions on the book.


  1. Great review! Been eying this book for awhile and maybe will have to add it to my TBR...:)

  2. I read it earlier this fall and had really mixed feelings -- I wanted so badly to love this book but it really fell apart for me in the end. I liked the historical twist of the novel, the way Essex pointed how Victorian society (and Stoker) viewed women, but I felt like she then turned Mina into this total passive wilting flower!

    This is what happens when I get too excited about a book and my expectations are way out of control. :/

  3. Really enjoyable review; your comments in the spoiler section made me smile :)

    I have never read Dracula; have to remedy that I think.


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