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 turned out to be an undercover Prohibition agent. Now she sees how ugly the underworld can be. Ambushes, bribes, murder, prostitution—maybe Lorenzo, her straitlaced fiancé, had it right when he said it is better to stay far removed. And maybe, if she can understand him and his baffling faith, he will give her another chance.
But Lorenzo isn’t sure he’s ready for that. All his life he has loved Sabina, only to realize she had never felt the same about him. While he’s relieved to see her pursuing God, the Prohibition agent is pursuing her father just as intently, and it falls to Enzo—and his legal skills—to keep trouble at bay. He wants to believe that Sabina can change…assuming they can stay alive until their wedding day.
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 the one could mean losing the other.
Karen Visnosky –
This book is set in the 1920s and the main female character is the daughter of a mobster boss. The action starts right at the very beginning of this novel and goes throughout the book. It is written in third person with some parts focusing on the main female character, Sabina, and others focusing on the main male character, Lorenzo. I was drawn to this book because of the time period it is set in as well as the cover. I also have read and enjoyed other books by this author so I thought this one would be good too. And it is a good novel. The author has a way with words that helps you not only imagine what is going on but you can also feel the emotions that the characters are feeling. I definitely find this book extremely intriguing and captivating.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in order to give an honest review.
Melissa D. –
Roseanna M. White proves she can write in any time period! This latest standalone novel set in 1920’s Prohibition Era Chicago is perhaps Ms. White’s most raw, gritty, emotional work to date and somewhat of a departure from her other books. It completely captures the feel of the Roaring 20’s and the Italian mobster underworld.
Trying to choose between an honest life and their families’ complicated legacy, Sabina and Enzo work to change their future and make their upcoming marriage successful. However, a government agent in love with Sabina is determine to foil their marriage plans and take down Sabina’s father.
This complicated story of revenge, love, and forgiveness kept me turning the pages to see how it all would turn out. It does not hold back from expressing human weakness, temptation, and the seediness of the underworld, yet there are messages of forgiveness and goodness that shine through the darkness. The characters are flawed, complex, and deeply drawn. Even those who could be judged harshly show their humanity.
I loved Sabina’s and Enzo’s relationship. I appreciated how their childhood friendship changed to love then grew deeper as each character goes through real trials that test that love. Sabina seemed naive at first and a little spoiled, yet her character growth is impressive as she becomes more aware of her father’s world and learns what true love is. I grew to love Enzo and appreciated his faith, and devotion to Sabina.
With plenty of heart stopping suspense, romance, the glitz and glam of the 1920’s, and heartfelt messages of faith woven throughout, this book will pull you in and keep you reading til that last page. Highly recommend to Christian historical fiction and romance lovers. Thanks to the author & publisher for the advanced complimentary copy. All opinions are my own and I was not required to provide a positive review.
Kathryn D. (verified owner) –
I always get excited when I hear that historical fiction writer Roseanna M. White has a new book in the works. Shadowed Loyalty, set in the glitzy yet gritty Chicago of the Roaring 1920s, even surpassed my high expectations!
This stand-alone novel tells the story of Sabina Mancari, whose father is the city’s leading mob boss. She is engaged to Lorenzo Capecce, who wants to break away from the cycle of corruption, marry Sabina, and pursue a career in law. While planning his escape from the mob underworld, he has devoted little attention to his bride-to-be over the past two years. Thus, it is not completely surprising when Sabina’s attention is caught by another man, Roman, who is an undercover Prohibition agent willing to do whatever it takes to bring down her father.
White is a master of storytelling, and the wealth of research she did on the mafia and time period is readily apparent. Her character development is second to none. Once again, she has created multi-faceted, flawed yet good-at-heart individuals the reader can relate to and cheer for to do the right thing. I love how the characters grew as the story progressed.
Shadowed Loyalty is intense and thought-provoking, exploring the blurry line that can exist between living up to family expectations and living a morally upright life that honors God. The plot is well-paced and gripped my attention from start to finish, with lots of twists and turns along the way. If you enjoy historical fiction with a strong faith-based message, be sure to put it at the top of your must-read list!
I received a complimentary copy in advance from the publisher but was under no obligation to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.
Labor Not in Vain –
Love, faith, family, and betrayal, set amidst the treacherous glamour of the Prohibition.
Sabina Mancari is shocked to find out that she was cruelly used by a man she thought she loved, at the cost of breaking the heart of another. As the velvet curtains part she sees the seedy underworld that has given her the charmed life that is all she’s ever known.
A tension fraught novel about the bonds of family and the pain of betrayal. Lorenzo has worked hard to escape the life of crime that he was raised in, only to find himself pulled into defending a Mafioso boss by the woman he cannot forget. I admired Enzo for his determination to rise above what he was born to, he has high moral standards, and I could definitely sympathize with how he felt torn in so many directions.
This book has strong, well developed characters, and the stakes are high. I thought that Ms. White did an excellent job of bringing to life the chaotic glamour of the Mafia, the sting of betrayal and cut of revenge. The characters grew on me even more as the story progressed, and I liked that Sabina is forced to reckon with parts of her life that she had ignored, seeing things as they were and what kind of men Lorenzo and Roman were.
Overall, a gripping read with well realized characters and excellent tension throughout that made the book hard to put down. I liked how Sabina, Lorenzo and Roman were forced to come face to face with questions of family, faith, love and loyalty, and make choices for better or for worse. A thrilling novel you won’t want to miss!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Meagan @ Blooming with Books –
By Roseanna M. White
Sabina Mancari appears to have it all, but she feels unneeded and unwanted since her sister’s death. Allowing these feelings to grow makes her susceptible to a man’s admiration who uses her to get to her father. The man she thought loved her is determined to bring down her father as part of his work as a Prohibition agent. With nowhere else to turn, she calls on her childhood friend and her fiancé of three years.
Lorenzo (aka Enzo) has loved Sabina all her life and looks forward to the day that he can marry her and be free of all ties to the life they grew up in. Enzo knows that the life his family is caught up in is wrong, and he wants to break free, working not for any of Chicago’s families but for himself and Sabina. But when Sabina calls asking for his help in getting her father out of custody, he finds himself caught on the edge of a life he doesn’t want. Worse, the man who betrayed Sabina has caused a rift in their relationship with mere months until their wedding.
As Enzo and Sabina work through everything, they also work to strengthen and rebuild their relationship and the truth they once shared. Sabina has lost her belief in her father’s integrity and honesty, believing that her father was different from the other bosses in Chicago’s Sicilian community.
What’s sad is that the things they were trying to escape in Italy were the very things they brought with them. The underworld of Chicago’s Sicilian underworld was not pretty. If it was illegal or immoral, they most likely dabbled in it. Sadly, the American Dream they searched for was lost in their inability to break the bonds that bind them to the world they left behind. Shadowed Loyalty is a look at Chicago in the 1920s, a world in flux as it is about to change. Prohibition was the reason behind the government’s interest in the families, but this wasn’t the only catalyst for the coming changes, and not all of them were looking to improve conditions for those caught in this dark and evil world. As Sabina and Enzo learn, it is only through faith in God and leaning on prayer that they could break free and withstand the assaults on their souls.
As with all of Roseanna M. White’s works, one can see that a lot of research went into this book. The attention to detail is impressive, and the various characters have a depth to them that brings this book to life. For anyone wanting a squeaky clean read, that is not happening, not if the book is historically accurate. There isn’t anything depicted per se, but abuses and violence are mentioned. I mean, this is the mob, and they profited off the evils of the day.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion ~ all thoughts expressed are my own.
Ashton Dorow –
Roseanna M White’s new book, Shadowed Loyalty, is set in 1920’s Chicago and takes a look at this unique era of history from a fascinating perspective. Sabina Mancari has lived her whole life knowing her father is a Mafia leader, but she’s been blind to the true darkness that hovers all around her. When those blinders are suddenly ripped off and she’s faced with the truth of her father’s crimes, along with other hard realities she’s ignored, her world is turned upside down. Then a complicated and emotional journey for our heroine ensues, full of family drama, murder investigations, and conflicting loyalties.
This book is unique in that Sabina and the hero already have an established relationship before the book opens. Their love story is more one of reconciliation after misunderstanding and forgiveness after mistakes. Different from the typical Historical Romance, but enjoyable and ultimately satisfying nonetheless! There is a bit of a love triangle for a while… I know some readers don’t enjoy that, but don’t let this trope scare you away from reading the book!
As always, Roseanna has crafted secondary characters that feel as well written as our main characters, and interwoven beautiful spiritual threads that make the reader reflect on the message being conveyed. My favorite quote that I just had to bookmark was, “The job of a candle was to shine despite the fact that the darkness could never comprehend it.” I felt it perfectly summed up the theme of the story—shining light in the darkness, forging a path through the night, no matter how thick and unyielding that darkness is. ❤️🕯✨
**I received a copy of this book for review from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own**
Tina at Mommynificent –
While I have loved everything I’ve read by this author and this book is very well-written, it wasn’t my favorite of her books. I struggled with the murky morality of even the good characters, and the bad ones were very, very dark. My teens have enjoyed many others of Mrs. White’s books, but they won’t be reading this one for quite a while as the violence, sex, crime, and prostitution are beyond their years. I felt the author wrote everything tastefully, but you still know what’s happening, and my imagination is too vivid for me to really enjoy books like this one. I do want to emphasize that I don’t think the author crossed any lines; she did a great job writing the events of this time period in as clean and tasteful a manner as she could have to remain historically accurate. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
I did appreciate the themes of forgiveness and perseverance in prayer for those we love who are not following the Lord. I found that aspect of the story inspiring and encouraging. While I am not Catholic and everyone in this story is, I found I was able to relate to their journeys of faith despite our differences in theology, tradition, and practice.
I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book from the author as part of her launch team.
Jackie L. (verified owner) –
Whenever I think of the “Roaring 20’s”, I think of glitz and glamour with a lot of grittiness thrown in. Gritty because as the styles were changing, so were some of the morals and characteristics of the world. And we see all of those gritty changes playing out in this book.
The first chapter drops you right into the story and action. We meet characters that are struggling with choices some that they made and some that others made for them.
Sabina, Lorenzo, Roman, and Sally are all different people with different backgrounds and different lives. All four are trying to decide how to make each of their lives different. The choices that they each make affect those around them, sometimes positively and sometimes negatively.
My favorite character was Lorenzo. I liked the fact that he was trying so hard to be an honorable man, a light in the darkness. I was frustrated by some of the choices other characters made. But I liked the character growth and the ending so I guess it was a good frustration.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
This book is outstanding! Set in 1920’s Chicago, this book captures the life of families who are involved in the mob. I have not read other books so centered around the mob and I found that aspect of it thought provoking. Living in Las Vegas where the mob has also played a role in the industry- it was even more intriguing to me. It is such a family-centered business and yet so many dark aspects.
Sabina Mancari is the daughter of one of the mob bosses and has been friends with Lorenzo since they were children. His family is also part of the business but he has chosen to distance himself from the mob and plans to practice law. Sabina and Enzo have been engaged for 3 years. However, during this time, Enzo has been in law school and largely not able to spend much time with Bean. Plus he finds her a huge temptation and chooses to deny any kissing etc in order to remain worthy of her. She, however, takes this as rejection. I enjoyed discovering with these two characters where, if anywhere, there relationship is to go from these misunderstandings. Meanwhile, Sabina is coming to better understand the family “business” and realizing just how blind she has been. These realizations have a big impact on her views of her father and Enzo’s family.
I really enjoyed all the relationships in this book! Siblings, parents, romantic, police/mob etc etc. Fascinating and thought provoking! I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys an intense historical romance novel!
I received a complementary ecopy of this book from the author. All thoughts are my own.
Anna Deaton –
What a roaring story! Roseanna M. White wrote a thrilling narrative of family, love, and loyalty set in 1920’s Chicago. Sabina is the daughter of a mafioso in Chicago, in the early 1920’s. In this story she grapples with her worth, her faith, and how to honor God while loving her law-breaking family. Lorenzo Capecce is the son of a mafia lieutenant, and has felt the call of God on his life since he was young. He learns how to follow that call while continuing to love and honor his family and the love of his life, Sabina. Both characters had to learn how to forgive, to stand against temptation, and communicate well as a couple. As with several other books by Roseanna, there were actually 4 character POVs in this novel. She does a good job of helping you see the antagonist’s perspective and motives. There was also a love triangle, which is honestly one of my least favorite tropes. But it was done well. As usual, the historical descriptions were also well done and accurate. This was such an exciting story- if I’d had the time, I could have read it in one sitting! This is one you don’t want to miss!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
Shadowed Loyalty was a poignant story about coming up in a mob family. Roseanna M. White tackled a dark and sinister time in Chicago’s history by focusing on several families who had moved from Sicily and were now entangled in some less-than-desirable pastimes. Sabina plans to leave the lifestyle behind to marry her childhood best friend, Lorenzo, but as she is growing up, her heart is tested. Can Lorenzo be free from the associations his family has made and is he too late to win Sabina’s devotion? Enter a world of concealments and bribery and see if any good can survive in the underworld.
I continue to have great respect for this author, but this book is not for everyone. I am giving it a strong warning for young readers or someone who does not want details about mob behavior and choices. With the crimes and lifestyle that was promoted during the 1920’s timeframe, some of the sin-filled characters made me want to cover my eyes and hide from those ugly truths. Yet, the harshness of the personal choices had redemptive moments and my distrust to some of the characters changed by the closing page. I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher and I am sharing my opinion.
Shadowed Loyalty was such an exciting read!! The suspense, and romance were woven in perfectly. AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT LORENZO PLEASE?????😍😍😍He was a total cinnamon roll and was absolutely amazing. I love him so much.
Anyways, I was drawn into the story from page one. Immediately, I wanted to know more about the characters and their world. I loved the setting and time period. The descriptions were vivid and easy to imagine. The writing style was beautiful and engaging.
This wonderful book was full of danger, suspense, plot twists, action, sweet romance, and exciting characters. But not only was the romance sweet, it was deep and touching. It was built on a foundation of understanding, forgiveness, and trust and that is what made it so perfect.
All of the characters were so lively. I really related to Sabina in a lot of ways. You all already know how I feel about Lorenzo…🤣 Roman has the potential to be a decent guy, I think. There were several times I wanted to punch him. But just ahhhhh!!! 😍 this book was amazing!!
@roseannamwhite , can we get a sequel please???
Roseanna M. White, who is one of the best Christian fiction writers in my opinion, has expanded her writing territory. While sticking to her tried and true historical fiction genre, Shadowed Loyalty ventures into the theme of prohibition era mafia families. This was a first for me, and I quite enjoyed this read. First off, being of Italian background myself, I found the cultural elements throughout to be quite accurate. Historical elements were also true to the time which gives evidence of the level of research conducted in order to write such a novel. Readers will not find this book to be cliché. There is a lot a realism in both the characters and the plotline. I found this refreshing. Characters are complex, develop well, and feel relatable. The plot line developed to a good climax and while there is a solid conclusion, not every ‘i’ is dotted, nor is every ‘t’ crossed. Again, this is what made the book feel so much more realistic, while still leaving me with a satisfying conclusion. There are some dark themes in this book (as would be expected with a mafia theme). I would say that while evil is mentioned, it is not glorified. Evil/sin is not all resolved by the end either (which would not make this book realistic), but readers are left with a hope that God’s light would shine in the dark places in the time to come. I recommend this novel to historical fiction fans, especially those looking for an era/theme less commonly covered in Christian fiction.
I received a complementary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Jennifer K –
I didn’t exactly know what to expect when I heard that Roseanna White had written a 1920’s Chicago mafia story but I was impressed. This story clearly demonstrated her story telling abilities. I appreciated the balance and pace of the action, romance, suspense and family scenes. As the flawed main characters wrestled with hard questions regarding faith and choice in regards to relating to their mafia family, beautiful lessons emerged and added depth to this already interesting story. I also enjoyed how interactions with supporting characters presented opportunities for enrichment when the main characters carefully listened. The author suggested some practical ideas of how to bring light to a sometimes shadowed and dark world and that was probably the best part. I think that a sequel might be very interesting! I was given a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Wow! This book was incredible. I was scrolling through the Libby audiobook app just to find a book I could listen to while I cleaned. I am so glad I chose “Shadowed Loyalty.” Over the next week I was listening to this while cleaning, driving, laying in bed, etc! It was SO good! I didn’t realize when I chose it that the book would have an element of faith in it, but I thought that was so encouraging! I especially loved the part where Sabina realizes that Jesus became nothing for us, so that we could be like him, and how she and Lorenzo decide they can be lights in the darkness. I loved how the book was encouraging to me in my faith, but without taking away from the actual story. I loved this book and the audiobook narrator was incredible. Thank you!