These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
The book is promoted as a star-crossed lovers, almost like Romeo and Juliet, but it is not the different take on this famous tale as it is marketed to be. Yes, there are two rival families and the children of both fall in love but the real story is not so much in the ill-fated love but the “monster” that is in Shanghai. The two former lovers, Juliette Cai and Roma Montagov, must work together and without their families knowing about it to solve what is happening to a city they both love so much. The monster is spreading a disease and just when they think it is solved they learn it really is not what they thought it was and who they thought was behind it was just as big as a surprise. The cliffhanger to the second book is another plot twist and one that leaves the reader eagerly awaiting the next installment. It is recommended that you get both books at once so there is no waiting for the second book, and you can just jump right in.
Character List/Book Summary:
Juliette Cai – Scarlet Gang, daughter of the current ruler and while she is a female she is the best choice to take over the gang when her father passes the crown. Back in Shanghai after 4 years studying in New York City. Manages to kill the Larkspur and the monster, so she thinks. Still has feelings for Roma, dislikes her cousin trying to steal the gang from under her, and upset her parents pretend not to see the real threats and have her deal with it. Has a deadly reputation and has earned it.
Roma Montagov – White Flower, his father has shunned him after finding out about his affair with Juliette even after 4 years Roma is only sent on “minor” tasks by his father. Beats Dimitri in a boxing match in front of many White Flowers and realizes they are cheering for him and the gang will be his one day if he wants it. Upset that his father does not seem to care about Alisa (his sister) or the disease that is in the city.
Lord Cai – Juliette’s dad, has instructed his gang to not start fights with the White Flowers.
Rosalind Lang – Juliette’s cousin, burlesque dancer, saw the monster one night. Tries to help Juliette but her fear holds her back.
Kathleen – Juliette’s cousin, Rosalind’s twin, the secret to her past is something that her father is ashamed of and forces Kathleen to be someone else. Uses a jade necklace to help hide herself, and has gotten so good at copying others to hider herself she can pick up easily on actions and possible weaknesses of others. Eager to help Juliette and support her in trying to stop the monster.
Walter Dexter – British merchant who wants the Scarlet Gang’s help with a new product “Lernicron” a type of opium he claims. Denied by Scarlet, but hopes that she will meet with his son.
Alisa Montagov – Roma’s sister, 12 years old, was warned not to get close to the madness by Roma once he had an idea of how it was spreading, but did not listen. Was put in a coma after she catches the madness to keep her from killing herself.
Lord Montagov – head of the White Flowers, favors Dimtri over Roma and ignores his daughter completely. Hides away instead of dealing with the monster and the disease.
Zhang Gutai – Secretary General of the Communist Party, bad at his job if the rumors are to be believed. Communists claim he caused the madness/disease
Tyler Cai – Juliette’s cousin, same age as she is, but very immature and wants to fight and react without knowing what the cause is or what the consequences will be. Orphaned. Juliette has to put in his place about how he should not plan on taking over without a fight from her. Sees Juliette and Roma together after they have questioned the Larkspur
Dimitri Voronin – Lord Montagova’s favorite after Roma was caught with Juliette 4 years ago. Fights in the ring that the White Flowers own and running betting for.
Marshall Se – Roma’s best friend, recognizes Kathleen at the Communist meeting and saves her from danger. Supports Roma in the White Flower gang. Juliette’s secret at the end of the book involves him.
Benedikt Montagov – Roma’s cousin, Marshall’s roommate, and supports Roma in the White Flower gang.
Lorens Van Dijk – head scientist of White Flower’s lab, discovers that the Larkspur’s “vaccine” contains Lernicron. Dislikes birds, creates potions for various things.
Paul Dexter – asks to see Juilette while trying to strike a business deal about the Lernicron. Mentions he runs errands for the Larkspur but does not know his name. Administers the vaccine to Juliette so she does not catch the madness.
Larkspur – rumored to have a cure for the madness, unknown who or what he is. Juliette thinks she killed the Larkspur only to find out the secret behind who it really is too late.
Qi Ren – Zhang Gutai’s assistant, often pretends to be Shang for meetings.