Google+ The Introverted Reader: Did Not Finish: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Did Not Finish: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dracula in Love

Synopsis from GoodReads:
Karen Essex turns on the heat in this transporting and darkly haunting new tale of love and possession that puts forth the question: What if everything you knew about Dracula . . . was wrong?

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 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 fiancĂ©, 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 tor­tured by desire.

I've given this a good college try, but I'm giving up. The sexual assault on page 7 that had no emotional/psychological ramifications turned me off from the start. Then the soft porn on page 46 was my breaking point. I don't consider myself to be a prude, so it wasn't exactly the sex that bothered me. It was more the fact that Mina just goes about her day after being assaulted. I couldn't help but feel that sexual assault was being written off as no big deal and that offended me. I kept reading out of a sense of obligation, but then felt that the soft porn later gave me an excuse to stop trying.

I'll be fair and say that the tone of the book (at least as far as I read) does match the tone of Dracula very well. I was originally interested in this because Mina had been such an angelically good and exalted woman in the original. I thought it would be fun to see her let her hair down a little. I got more than I bargained for, to say the least!

I received an ARC for review from Doubleday via Shelf Awareness.

Read an excerpt.

Find author Karen Essex on her website, her blog (where the first post as I write this is, ironically enough, about the role of sex in Dracula in Love), and Facebook.

Devourer of Books highly recommends it
Book Sake gave it 5 stars
Reading With Tequila gave the book 3 stars
The Crowded Leaf gave it 2 stars

Buy Darcula in Love on


That said, I'm giving away my ARC of the book.  It's practically brand-new, since I only read the first 50 pages!

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  1. I have this book on my upcoming reading list -- I've heard quite a bit about the graphic nature of the scenes. Like you, I'm not a prude either, so I'm interested to see if I will be okay with it, or if it will also make me want to put the book down.

    The old college try, is always a good effort! There's always another book out there to pick up, so no worries!

  2. I have heard good thins about this, but this definitely removed this from my wishlist. The role of sex in this book, as you refer to it, would put me of reading it too.

  3. I am truly grateful that you warned me about the sex and violence. I had this on my list, but just took it off. Can't stomach stuff like that anymore!

  4. I couldn't finish this book either. Like most everybody else, I'm no prude, but I just couldn't stomach this.

  5. I read Dracula, My Love so I'm really curious to read this book to see how it compares.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Have a great day!


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