Dracula in Love, by Karen Essex, is the sensual, yet terrifying, story of Dracula told by Mina Murray Harker, the one female who knew Count Dracula better than anyone. The author takes you back to the darker side of Victorian England. The horrible way women were looked upon and treated during this time period by itself is enough to give you chills. The females had more to fear from the men of that day and age than they did from vampires.
The story opens in June 1890 in London, England. Mina is a teacher of etiquette at a private school for girls. She longs to be good. Through her schooling, and now her teaching, she has learned the proper ways of women and how to find a suitable husband. She is confused by the vivid, sensual dreams she is having, dreams that cause her to sleepwalk out into the night; sometimes in these dreams she is intimate with this dark, mysterious stranger. She fears that the headmistress will discover her sneaking back into the school in the wee hours of the morning,so her grass-stained garments are hidden away until she can attempt to remove the stains. She also fears that Jonathan Harker, her solicitor fiance, might discover her wanderings and decide that she isn't fit to be his wife.
Mina, even though she isn't doing it on purpose, is not the only one sneaking out at night. She finds that her close friend, Lucy, who is engaged to be married, is willingly sneaking out during the dark, nighttime hours to meet another man. Lucy has lost a great amount of weight and isn't eating well. Her lover apparently deserts her and she marries Arthur, her fiance, only to find that he has wed her only for her money. He has her committed to the dreaded asylum where they “treat” her with blood transfusions. It is their belief that a woman is weak. The way to give a female a stronger disposition is to transfuse male blood into her system. This transfusion and other 'treatments' that Lucy is subjected to lead to her untimely and unnecessary death.
What takes place inside the walls of the asylum is horrifying. Mina's stay in the asylum, her wanderings down its creepy hallways and through its chilling rooms is enough to give you nightmares. She didn't like the asylum, but she volunteered to help out there to make sure they treated her husband with care and to find out the truth about what happened to Lucy.
Since childhood, Mina has heard this voice that calls to her, tells her to come home, and drives her out into the night. This voice, known as 'her servant and her master', has watched over Mina her entire life. This being rescued her from the asylum before they killed her, just as they killed her friend, Lucy. Mina is about to once again become acquainted with the owner of this voice. Mina is about to rediscover her true identity and just what she is capable of. Then, she will be faced with an extremely difficult choice. To find out what that choice is, you must read the book.
If you are a woman, this story will make you thankful that you did not live in Victorian England. It was a dark and terrible time for females.
This very well-written vampire story is definitely for adults, not children. Some of the scenes are very sensual and somewhat graphic. If you are interested in the myths and legends surrounding Dracula, you will enjoy this book that delves deep into many of them. I purchased my copy of this book from Amazon. If you would like your own copy of this book to read and enjoy, I have provided a link to Amazon below.