After wavering about whether I wanted to read Dracula in Love by Karen Essex (2010), I read StephanieD at Misfit Salon's review. Put up the "sold" sign!
I really enjoyed Essex's expansion of the original Dracula by Bram Stoker, told this time from Mina's point of view, with the goal of telling the "true story" of what happened, an actual rebuttal to Stoker's version of "true events." Essex manages to take Stoker's original story and add a depth and sensuality that brings shades of the best of Ann Rice to mind. Her Mina is so vivid, completely fascinating, and actually more interesting than Dracula. The chemistry between Mina and "my love," as she calls him, is spellbinding.
All of this is done while remaining true to the overall spirit and writing style of Stoker's Dracula. I can't help wondering if he would enjoy the book--or find his own tale overshadowed--if alive today.
Here's a short excerpt from Kindle Location 4203-4215:
I heard a door open, and it startled me. I pulled the covers to my neck.
"Ah, she is awake."
It was the voice. His quick footsteps approached the bed, and he soon stood over me. His presence was different this time. He was more solid and real, more like a man--a human--than in all the previous times he had come to me. He looked anchored inside his body, which let me know that I was not dreaming or hallucinating. At least it did not feel that way. Still, his skin was slightly more luminous than that of an average person, and I wondered if it was noticeable enough to attract the attention of those who passed him on the street. He sat next to me and put out his hand, and I put mine into it. His body did not seem to have a temperature. I realize that is difficult to imagine, but while his hand was a perfectly formed male hand, it was neither warm nor cold, but beyond those things. It was concrete, but it had a subtle and peculiar vibratory quality, like the tremor of a violin string.
He put his fingers over my pulse at the wrist, and then leaned into me, inhaling my scent at the neck. I felt little shivers inside me, remembering the dream in which he bit into me and tasted me. But he soon withdrew.
Now I'm itching to watch the Gary Oldman/Winona Rider/Keanu Reeves movie yet again. . . .
My personal rating of Dracula in Love is an A.