Click here to read reviewer Michael Leonard's take on Dracula in Love.
Dracula in Love is a step up in vampire novels. Using the original Bram Stoker Dracula as a skeleton, Essex fleshes out the bare bones of the granddaddy of all vampire stories into an easily readable, very enjoyable thriller set in Victorian London.
Practically every previous variation of the Stoker classic has painted Mina as the helpless hapless victim. Dracula in Love takes readers into a more believable and therefore much more erotic storyline.
In this incarnation, Mina is a participant, not a puppet. This one key change makes the dynamic between Dracula and Mina sexually charged far beyond what is possible when she is portrayed as only a mindless victim who follows blindly when called by his voice.
A particularly interesting focus in this youth-obsessed age is that by succumbing to Draculaís overtures Mina obtains eternal life at the height of her youth and beauty. Dracula in Love can be viewed as a cautionary tale of what happens when people give their all to try to stop time.
The plotís pace quickens just as Minaís pulse rate does in the presence of the infamous Count. The attention to detail is testament to the enormous amount of research that Essex obviously conducted. Readers are indeed transported back to the time of hansom cabs, buttoned-up boots and women struggling into corsets, crinolines and bustles. You can almost smell the chamber pots being dumped into the street and the horse dung that traveling by hansom cabs must have left on the thoroughfares.
If you are a fan of vampire novels, you will like Dracula in Love. Fans of the original Dracula by Bram Stoker will find that this novel has a delicious bite that will leave you as breathless as Dracula does Mina.