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Devil’s Night Bride

“The skin trauma emergency turns out to be a lie! She never expected the patient to be a shameless man who would force himself on her, in a hospital ward of all places! How could someone with so much money and a high standing be so depraved?” (Devil’s Night Bride, Chapter Two)

“She can’t become a nurse any longer. That man had left a deep shadow in her mind. Every time she gets a whiff of the smell of disinfectant, she unconsciously recalls the horrible experience of those nights…Since that incident, she constantly feels frustrated with her weakness and helplessness. She needs to become stronger. She wants to become a policewoman and put all the bullies in prison. If she meets that man again someday…She would bring him to justice herself!” (Devil’s Night Bride, Chapter Six)

On only her second day as a nursing student, Katrina is chosen to aid an important and mysterious patient. Once alone in the room, she realizes that he is not injured; with a gun to her back, she is forced to undress. Doused with a potent drug, Aaron Wilson rapes the young nurse despite her pleas for mercy. His men expect her to return the next evening; if the effects of the drug aren’t worn off through sexual activity, they may cause permanent damage to their boss.  Katrina is abused and tortured at the hospital and when she returns home, she is bullied, blackmailed, and threatened by her adoptive family.

Four years have passed and Katrina is now a policewoman. Framed for theft, she is kidnapped by Mr. Wilson’s men and is held captive in his villa. He refuses to release Katrina, though she denies having stolen from him and tries to escape the compound several times. Despite their past encounters, neither Katrina nor Aaron remembers each other.  When will Katrina realize that she has been kidnapped by her rapist? Will Katrina and Aaron forget the past and fall in love?

This novel doesn’t seem to know what it wants.  Katrina is both compelling and kind of an idiot.  She has the strength to work through her trauma, but accepts her lot in life without any fight against the pain and injustice she faces. She could tell her adoptive father about the abuse she faces at the hands of the family, but she doesn’t want to stir the pot. Though I can hardly blame her for a wary world-view, she accepts her situations with frustrating simplicity, even when she does something to change her life. Katrina is a frustrating character because the reader never knows what she is going to do. Her deviations between strength and weakness do not feel natural; she doesn’t pick her battles in a realistic way.

Katrina has had an extremely difficult life. Adopted after spending her early years in an orphanage, she is hated by her adopted siblings and mother.  Though her Uncle Anderson treats her well, his daughter forces Katrina to break up with her boyfriend and his son tries to rape her.  She has clearly had a very difficult life and the fact that she has decided to become a police officer and defend others like her is compelling.  She wants to protect others in a way that she was never protected. Coupled with the attacks at the hospital, Katrina faces a great deal of trauma throughout the story.

I did enjoy the fact that Devil’s Night Bride seems to offer its readers two possible love interests. One is a kidnapping and raping abuser, while the other appears to be a devoted and faithful childhood love that would do anything for the protagonist.  Gee, I wonder which the readers will root for.  However, not everything is as it seems in this novel, though it goes too far when humanizing the actions of Aaron.

I struggle to root for a love interest who abuses and tortures the novel’s main character.  How can the reader forgive Aaron’s actions, even when the novel works so hard to convince them that this love story is sweet and special? Years after a brutal attack, Katrina is finally enjoying her life, only for Aaron to enter it once again and turn her world upside down. Personally, this type of romance is unattractive to me, so I cannot recommend it. If you enjoy rape-to-love stories, Devil’s Night Bride will be perfect for you.

The novel occasionally victim shames its female lead, though the pain inflicted upon her is not of her own making.  She was chosen, seemingly at random, to fulfill the needs of a man she had never met.  The novel acknowledges that Aaron could have driven the poison out of his body in the red light district, but he is too posh to consider this an option.  However, he is not too high and mighty to rape an unsuspecting nurse, ruining her life. Devil’s Night Bride does not look on Katrina with sympathy and understanding; the novel pities the protagonist in the worst way.

Overall, I was not wowed by Devil’s Night Bride. Though it writers a romance over five hundred chapters, this completed novel cannot escape its violent beginning. Alongside the novel’s violence and lack of chemistry between Katrina and Aaron, the writing was unspectacular and at times too simple.  While some may enjoy this work, Devil’s Night Bride did not thrill this reader or capture her interest in any way.