Updated: Apr 26
Sabina Mancari never questioned her life as the daughter of Chicago’s leading mob boss until bullets tear apart her world and the man she thought she loved turns out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—all her life, her father sheltered her from his crimes, but now she can no longer turn away from the truth. Maybe Lorenzo, the fiancé who barely paid her any attention in the last two years, has the right idea by planning to escape their world. But can she truly turn her back on her family?
All his life, Lorenzo’s family assumed he would become a priest, but he has different ideas—marrying Sabina and pursuing a career in the law. Despite his morals, he knows at the core he isn’t so unlike his mafiosi father and brothers. Has he, in trying to protect Sabina, forced her into the arms of the Prohibition agent bent on tearing her family apart? How can they rebuild what has so long been neglected and do it in the shadow of the dark empire of the Mafia?
Shadowed Loyalty, set amid the glitz and scandal of the Roaring Twenties, examines what love really means and how we draw lines between family and our own convictions, especially when following one could mean losing the other.
Wow! What a book. I knew going into this book that I would love it, and Roseanna M White's writing didn't disappoint. You are going to LOVE this book. Every book I read by her becomes my next favourite by her. This one is no different. You will feel like you are right in the heart of Roaring Twenties Chicago, amidst the Sicilian Mafia and the corrupt cops of the time. This book is inspiring, romantic, angsty while being heart-wrenching, gritty, and realistic.
While I love all Roseanna M White's books that I've read, this one was truly set apart. Not only was the time period and setting closer to our time but still standing out with the mafia background, the mafia etiquette and Sicilian codes of "honour," and the slang, but it was also a book featuring characters from the seedy underworld of 1920s Chicago. White didn't shy away from complex family relationships, being torn between morality and family ties, between God and the Family (or the mafia).
This wasn't just about defending a criminal. It was about reclaiming his girl.
Enzo is deeply torn between his mafia ties and his desire to live a more moral life, while Sabina is torn between Enzo, her fiance, and her mistake of getting tangled with Roman, an undercover Prohibition agent who is trying to seduce her. This painful relationship between Sabina and Enzo was realistic, with hm struggling to forgive her but also forgiving her all the same. I related deeply to Sabina's grappling with her past relationships and her relationship with her father, and I felt for her. Though sometimes I was confused with all the different POVs, I quickly got the hang of it and deeply enjoyed the book.
I know this hurts. But we can't all be you. You were born a saint. I was born a mafioso.
While there is mentions of violence, it's mentioned without being too gritty or gory, which I always appreciate in White's books. Despite being set in the seedy criminal underground of Chicago, there's no explicit details, only realistic portrayals of real people caught in the dangerous world of the Mancaris, Torrios, and the rising influence of Al Capone. Although the book was realistically dark, it also had hints of glamour, a good dose of grappling with one's faith, and also true, pure love.
She was just beginning to understand that. He would lie, cheat, bribe, steal. Kill.
It was love. But it was a love that suddenly weighed the world.
A note: There was definitely more of a "love triangle" book between Enzo, Sabina, and Roman, which I don't usually particularly enjoy, but White wrote it so well that I ended up liking it and really feeling for Sabina and Enzo, who end up together (duh). The plot and subplots kept me guessing but were still easy to follow. I loved the ending and how it neatly tied up the book, though I wish there was an epilogue!
I love you because you give until you have nothing left, and then you find more. I love you because you see the good in people who have only a sliver of it. I love you because... because you're air to me. Necessary for every basic function. Because without you I feel like I'm going to suffocate.
I received a complimentary copy this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Roseanna M White is a bestselling, Christy Award winning author who has long claimed that words are the air she breathes. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two kids, editing, designing book covers, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of a slew of historical novels that span several continents and thousands of years. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to find their way into her books… to offset her real life, which is blessedly ordinary. You can learn more about her and her stories at www.RoseannaMWhite.com.