Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross Book Review

Divine Rivals By Rebecca Ross Book Review

Divine Rivals is a poetic romance set against a divine backdrop. It’s everyone’s favourite black and white movie with feuding lovers fighting it out in the newsroom mixed with World War II and Percy Jackson. Interestingly the disparate worlds work together. Probably because the most important part of the story is the romance.

There’s a melding of genres and worlds in Rebecca Ross’ Divine Rivals. Historical Fiction meets Greek Mythology meets Romance. It’s the exchange of letters that ties it all.

The Plot

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.

The Review

The story begins in a newsroom. It’s reminiscent of the fast-talking, chauvinistic, smoky dens of the 1940s. Everyone refers to each other by their last names. Iris and Roman are fighting for a columnist position and fighting with each other and obviously with
their attraction to each other.

I guess there was meant to be the fast-talking, cool-as-a-cucumber, witty verbal battles that you see in the old movies. The author gave it a good shot, but she’s better at sweet and poetic than witty dialogue.

The letters are where it’s at. They’re little interludes of poetry where Iris shares her soul unknowingly with Roman. The language is beautiful, if a little flowery at times.

When the action moves to the war front the excitement and pace picks up. There’s an especially moving moment when Iris comforts a dying soldier who is the last of his platoon from the same small town.

My one quibble, and I tried to move on from this but I couldn’t, was how terrible of a war correspondent she was. She was there to share the news and the facts of the war, but there was hardly any focus on this, and she only seemed to do it once. There’s one bit where I really wanted Iris to pull her big girl pants on and send a short message to her paper so they could alert her town to what was transpiring, but she didn’t, and it annoyed me.

We’re seeing it right now in world events where people are literally risking their lives to get the news of what’s happening out to us. I just wanted her and Roman to remember their jobs instead of just each other.

But it’s like this because the war correspondent story is only secondary to the love story going on. Rebecca Ross writes this beautifully. Iris falls in love with two different men (who are the same man) and it works so well. They even rush into things at the end (which I usually find a bit icky), and she just makes it romantic.

I’ll be interested to see if the magical/god part gets more air time in the next book. In this one, it was just something odd on the edge of the love story. Don’t get me wrong, there was enough of it to make it fully part of the story, but it was just part of the odd, melded world. From the ending, I am assuming we will see and learn a lot more about the gods and their magic, which I’ll be looking forward to.


Divine Rivals is a poetic story about enemies to lovers and love during the time of war. The premise is interesting and the love story and love letters are where it finds it’s strengths. Definitely picking up the next book when it’s out.

— Bliss
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Hi, I'm Bliss, the reader and writer behind Books For Bliss. Discover book reviews, lists for your next great read, or a story to make you feel great. It's all right at your finger tips; happiness on a page. Read More