Shanghai in the 20s, a mysterious madness, gang wars… and a doomed romance!

These Violent delights by Chloe Gong
Series: The Violent delights #1
Copy provided by Simon Schuster Canada
Pages: 464
Top 3 Genres:
Historical, Young adult, Romance
My rating:
Set it on fire/ If you have nothing else to read/ you need to read it/Run and buy it.
To buy the book:
Add to: StoryGraphGoodreads

Hey bookdragons! Today I am part of the blog and booksta tour organized by Simon and Schuster Canada for These Violent Delights, on the White Flowers side! This book was definitely a dare for me, so out of what I would usually go for, a historical romance with star crossed lovers… usually not my fav. But I was curious enough by the Shanghai setting, and the mystery elements, to try it and I have ZERO regrets! These violent delights was a very good surprise and here are a few reasons why you should add it to your TBR 😉

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

These Violent Delights in aesthetics

What I loved in These Violent Delights

(+) Shanghai: what a fascinating and incredibly rich and ruthless city!
(+) especially in the 20s, after the Opium wars, with British and French pretending they could dominate the city, Communism rising and Chinese trying to keep the rights to their country
(+) which opens the door for the author to talk about colonization and how Europeans felt entitled to the world
(+) Juliette, so much more interesting than the naive and sweet Juliette from Shakespeare! She is a killer, she is a fighter and doesn’t back away when she wants something!
(+) LGBTQIA characters well integrated to the time period (which is not always a success, but here it works super well!)
(+) the gang dynamics and internal issues, adding so much tension to the story
(+) the mysterious madness contaminating all of Shanghai, is it supernatural? human-made? how to stop it before it is too late? So much mystery!

In a few words

What a great surprise! Why did I think this was not my style of book? No idea! It was captivating, lush, and poisonous all at once, in a Shanghai where history was being made, wars were fought, and love was found!

See you for a cup,


*Photo credits from Unsplash:
Photo by Cody Chan on Unsplash
Photo by Dex Ezekiel on Unsplash
Photo by
𝗔𝗹𝗲𝘅 𝘙𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘳 on Unsplash
Photo by Charles Postiaux on Unsplash
Photo by DANNY G on Unsplash

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