Thursday, April 20, 2023

🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 #Review of Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross

Title: Divine Rivals
Series: Letters of Enchantment #1
Author: Rebecca Ross
Format: 368 pages, Hardcover
Published: April 4, 2023
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Reviewer: Crystal
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever.

After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.

To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish—into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.

Shadow and Bone meets Lore in Rebecca Ross's Divine Rivals, an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.

Crystal's Thoughts:

"The two of you have found each other against great odds. And if this is your one and only night with him, then savor it."

Divine Rivals is a beautiful tale of magic and mystery sure to sweep readers away with a journey of finding hope and love in the most desolate of places. 

War is raging between the Gods and Iris Winnow’s brother is in the middle of it. She made him promises when he left, but when Iris’s world begins to crumble down around her, she knows that she can’t hold to them and survive. Her only hope is gaining the columnist position at the Oath Gazette, but she is not the only one competing for the spot. Rowan Condescending Kitt also has his eyes on the position, but not for the reasons Iris assumes. Roman seemingly has the perfect life while Iris's is full of hardships and misfortunes, but nothing is as it seems. Even the war they find themselves thrust to the front lines of. Their only solace, the letters that they magically share. But Iris doesn’t know that it is her hated rival that she has been divulging her most private thoughts to. With each letter though, Roman finds it harder to pretend that Iris is just the competition and harder still to admit that it is him she has been writing to. Because if she finds out, she is sure to stop, and that may destroy Roman more then this war ever could…

I am absolutely obsessed with this book! Rebecca Ross is a new-to-me author, and I forgot that I had this ARC on my shelf until after its release. I am kicking myself for that, because now I need everything that relates to Iris and Roman like I need my next breath! Divine Rivals is one of my favorite kinds of stories, one that is character driven more so than plot. That’s not to say that I wasn’t consumed by the narrative, because I was, but it was Iris, Roman, and all the other side-characters that truly held me enthralled. You can’t help being drawn in by the banter between Iris and Roman, the cute and angsty dialogue, and that delicious slow burn of sizzling attraction. I loved bearing witness to the armor of each of these characters slowly being peeled away as the story progressed and seeing a little deeper into each of these characters and their many layers. There are some heavy moments of guilt and grief that they each commiserate with, and I was moved to tears at times throughout the story because of it. The mythology of the Gods was an interesting aspect as well. I liked how readers learn about the Gods alongside the characters with snippets of past stories revealed. I was immersed in the story and fully invested in its outcome by the end! 

I was not expecting it, but Divine Rivals blew. me. away. The ending was brutal, and I am on pins and needles now waiting for the release of the sequel, Ruthless Vows  (Spring 2024), so that I can find out what happens next! If you enjoy lush writing, rich world-building, and charming, relatable characters, set in a historical fantasy world, than I recommend you pick up Divine Rivals today. This one is a keeper! 

 "I don't know who I would be without you, but you have made me in all ways better than I ever was or could have ever hoped to be."

✔️Slow Burn 0.5 🌶️
✔️Rivals to Lovers
✔️He Falls First
✔️Warring Gods
✔️Magical Typewriters
✔️Love Letters
✔️Hidden Identity
✔️Forced Proximity
✔️Dual POV's
✔️Historical Fantasy Romance 
✔️Upper YA 
✔️Cliffhanger Ending  

*I received an advance reader copy of this title for review consideration, all opinions are my own.

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