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Bitter Rival

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  179 ratings  ·  73 reviews
New York Times bestselling author, J. Sterling brings you her first ever enemies-to-lovers story!

James Russo is enemy #1.
Hating him is in my blood.

Our families have been at war for generations; a bitter rivalry with no end in sight. All I've ever wanted to do was make wine, but one night with James will cost me everything.

I shouldn't be attracted to him... but I am.
153 pages
Published March 21st 2019
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  179 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Karen Mc
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
After the second-chance romance, enemies-to-lovers romance is my kryptonite. The tension and torment are pure pleasure to read. With an enticing blurb and allure of the enemies-to-lovers trope, I was excited to read my first J. Sterling romance! While this story is fun, flirty, and, yes, forbidden, it is mostly sweet. Too sweet for this story trope. It lacks the spicy banter and tension needed for a true enemies-to-lovers story.

Unfortunately, I could not forge a connection to the characters or
Jodie Wilkins
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Omg I was so happy when I found out that I had received an arc for honest review. What can I say about this book, once again Jenn has outdone herself I loved it. I loved the chemistry between James and Julia, the rivalry between the two families and the love omg the love James made me swoon so hard from the very beginning of the book and there were times that I really wanted to slap Julia around the face and tell her to open her fucking eyes and heart to see how amazing James was. The story was ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
review to come when book is published
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KindleFriendsForever

I'm so glad I've popped my J. Sterling cherry! And to top the lot, the topic she’d chosen was really easy to relate to as I do appreciate a good glass or three of vino! I live in wine country and have visited many bodegas, so her descriptive narrative not only helped me connect to her protagonists, but also gave me the feeling of being in their backyard...oops, vineyard.

This low-on-angst-light-hearted love story is addictive reading a
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Julia La Bella and James Russo were brought up on adjoining properties, both Italian families in the wine industry. You would think that because of their very similar backgrounds that they would have a lot in common, and they have, the mutual hate of either family. The rivalry between them virtually ruining their lives.

The main problem is that Julia and James might have been brought up to hate each other, but attraction towards each other is out of their control. Their best friends think that th
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was very excited when I received my first J. Sterling. I remember how I loved the Perfect Game series...not only because I love baseball but the overall story itself was memorable...

This is the story of James Russo and Julia La Bella... both of their families run their own respectable wineries... they're competitors as well as next door neighbors...

This is sort of an enemies to lovers kinda thing but not really... it's a modern day Romeo and Juliet story...

My only complain is that I wish they
Danielle S.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Julia La Bella & James Russo have been raised to hate each other. The generations old family feud is alive and well even though they harbor feelings for each other.

When the sparks start flying they can no longer deny them. Except, Julia tries because her father will disown her and send her packing. James, however, is determined to finally get the girl.

This is a fun, easy to love read. I enjoyed the feel good vibes. <3
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
to be honest, little bit disappointed.
Nancy Metsch
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this very modern Romeo and Juliet story. Everything about this book was fantastic. I cant say too much cause I'm afraid to give away spoilers.
Julie and James were taught from a very young age you don't talk or look at each other. They are the enemy. All from a story that was half told. Everyone that reads this is going to really enjot it
Marina Skinner
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Bitter Rival was an enjoyable story with characters that own a vineyard. Naturally this sort of book is right up my alley, I mean, wine and a book, what could be more perfect??
I loved the characters, the sizzling tension between them and the banter was great as well.
What happens when a long standing feud threatens to keep an impending couple apart??!! You will just have to read it for yourself to find out!
I really liked both James and Julia's best friends, they were a hoot.
Definitely a
Brandy Thompson
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, it was so good. I couldn’t put it down. J. Sterling is an amazing writer. It’s a must read!!!
Heather Confessions Of A Bibliophile Creighton

I can't believe this is J. Sterlings FIRST enemies-to-lovers story! She jumped right into this genre flawlessly! Bitter Rival is a sweet & funny story with just enough angst and conflict to keep you hooked until the very last page.

It's a modern day Romeo and Juliet, except that this Romeo and Juliet, doesn't die at the end!

James Russo and Julia La Bella were born into a rivalry that spans decades. The feuding between their families has gone on for generations with no signs of slowing, even t
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I signed up to read an ARC of Bitter Rival, I was interested in two things about the book's blurb: (1) it is an enemies-to-lovers book and (2) it's set in the world of wine. Now, I'm not necessarily a wine-drinker, but I love new settings in romance books, and I thought Bitter Rival would offer something interesting. 

Bitter Rival is a modern day Romeo and Juliet without the deaths at the end. The main characters, Julia and James, have been raised next door to each other. Their parents (and
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

"Why was I attracted to the one man I wasn't allowed to be with? Life wasn't fair."

Bitter Rival by J. Sterling is an enemies to lovers romance with Romeo & Juliet vibes.

Jame Russo and Julia La Bella's families have been enemies since before they were born. Having wine vineyards that are literally next door to each other continue to keep the feud alive. However, the feud doesn't stop the connection that form between Julia and James and now
JoAnna G
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enemies to lovers... Sign me up, now. I loved this book and such a great troupe. I loved everything about. Why do you ask? Numerous reasons but the easiest answer is even though these guys hate each other they are so drawn and they don't realize it. Then you have the writing and the pace. The characters are well developed and the setting is beautiful. Not to mention all the wine drinking and tasting. I had the picture of both of the wineries on this land and the hillside cliff. Since both wineri ...more
Rukaiya M.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bitter Rival is my first novel read by the author J. Sterling. And I would be damned if I'd say that she disappointed even a bit. No, she delivered herself perfectly well. Bitter Rival had a light plot over some kind of stupid bet that's been rising feuds between the families of Russo & La Bella since generations. But who's to stop the emotional turmoil between our leads James & Julia. See, even their names has a common characteristic, then why not their hearts? 

Fighting over f
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
A book about wine and enemies to lovers? Sign me up!
Bitter Rival takes wine and two characters, Julia and James, who were born to hate each other and makes a fun and fast paced romance that would be the perfect beach/spring break read.
Julia and James' families have been at war with one another for generations. A little Romeo and Juliet if you will? Their rivalry has been passed down and honestly the current generation have no idea what they are even fighting about anymore. But they know they li
PP's Bookshelf
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bitter Rival by J.Sterling is a enemies to lover story set in backdrop of wine business, grape vines and small town warmth. Julia and James have been warned my their respective families that they can never be friends as they are sworn enemy for decades. But they have deep and undeniable attraction to each other since childhood. The circumstances were never favourable to act on the desires. But James has decided to end the meaningless feud going on for generations and get the girl. This won't be ...more
Sofia Lazaridou
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bitter rival is a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet (sort of) but without the deaths. Yeah, we got a happy ending in this version. There is a feud between James and Julia's families and hatred has run deep for many years. James knew that Julia was the one for him since he was 4 years old (isn't that cute?) and Julia was attracted to him, but they never acted upon their feelings, until now. James was a great hero! He might have been a douche when he was a teenager, but now that he is a grown u ...more
Literary Epic
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I do love an enemy to lovers story and Bitter Rival was written extremely well. I personally found the characters relatable, especially as their rivalry had been passed down through the generations.

Both Julia and James had been forbidden to talk to each other even though they live next door to each other. They both live on vineyards and both families make wine. In theory, they make the perfect match.

But the fathers have none of it and they pay the price. Forbidden love and the fear of losing y
Thuy Taylor
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
James Russo is soooo in love with Julia La Bella but their families are at war with each other forever. Taught at a young age to hate each other, but James fell in love with her when they were preschool age. Their wine vineyards are next to each other, and over the years, they are really aware of one another. They both are attracted to each other, but their old family feud is sooo big, they're scared to even broach the subject of why is there a feud.

I love James and his growing love for Julia. H
2OCC Reviews
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gemma
Bitter Rival was a short read that was about a forbidden romance between two families that hated each other over a bet that went wrong between their great grandfathers. It did take me a bit to get into the story but I did find it to be entertaining. I think it was the perfect length for this story and the right amount of angst within the story.

Julia did everything her parents asked of her without question and sometimes I found myself yelling at her for not standing up for herself with her dad.
J_Mc 251
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very quick read (less than a few hours), but it was just that fun and light. A refreshing take on Romeo and Juliet (which the characters reference a few times), it is the story of James and Julia, son and daughter of feuding families who have adjacent wineries. Everybody knows that James and Julia are meant for each other, but the family feud (and their own stubbornness) keeps them apart. I liked the characters, I liked the backstory, and I liked how they unraveled the feud and figure ...more
Amy [The Little Bookworm]
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
J. Sterling is a new to me author and I absolutely loved this enemies to lover romance.
James and Julia grew up right next to each other, however, they were also told they could never be friends, so dating was definitely out of the question.
Their families have been at war with each other for generations. James and Julia were raised to hate each other. This story was a very modern Romeo and Juliet romance. They claim to hate each other, but there is a fine line between love and hate.

James wasn’
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Bitter Rival by J. Sterling
“Family feud, 5 stars”

Oh, how I love a good family feud. Romeo and Juliet, Hatfields and McCoys, give them all to me especially when love is in the air. Bitter Rival falls under that category. Julia and James are supposed to hate each other. Their families have been feuding neighbors for generations. Only there is a fine line between love and hate and these two are straddling it. Will they be able to convince their families to lay down the weapons and find love?
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was HOT! BRB with my review!

March has been crazy for me & having this book to read made it a little bit better! J. Sterling has outdone herself again. Straight from the start the chemistry between Julie and James was intense, but them denying it made it that much better.

Their best friends kept telling them to open their eyes and see what is really going on but they were hard headed for a while. They hated each other, their families hated each other and that was that. Nothing more,
Lisa Stinson
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much. It really was a fun book to read. Fantastic enemies to lovers romance book.

James and Julia were raised being told they were supposed to hate each other. And for a while the did, as did their families. But as time went on, James starting seeing Julia in a new light and was hoping she would feel the same. When he decided to tell her one night, his plans didn’t work out like he hoped and he walked away with a broken heart.

Julia kept at her resolve to hate James, even
Diane plourde
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it

This was a great 4 star enemy to lover story. This was a quick read full of bartering.

Julia’s family and James family have been enemies for as far as can tell. They have been at each other’s throats since they were kids. Now years later James makes his move because he has always loved her. She can’t resist him.

It was a short read that kept me on my toes. There’s was a lot of description about vineyards and such which I thought the author seemed to know what she was talking about. Due to the s
Jodi Bird (Ruby Red Romance Review)
4.5 STAR Review by Jodi for Ruby Red Romance Review

I love J. Sterling. I love reading her books and when I heard about this one, I knew I needed to read it. I enjoyed this story, but I've read a couple like it lately.

James and Julia were from rival wineries. They have been brought up as enemies. The last person either of them should want is each other. I loved watch these two fall. I loved getting to know more about the inner workings of these two families. I loved that their friends pushed the
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-s
I love J. Sterling. Ever since I read The Perfect Game series. She knows how to write and write well.
She also knows how to write couples that you fall in love with almost immediately.

This book is short, sweet and to the point. Julie and James have hated each other forever, stemming back generations, only they have the great chemistry.
James is the best. He is super sweet and charming, not the jerk you'd imagine for having a family rivalry. Julie is an award winning wine maker and beats out James'
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New Adult Book Club: J. Sterling ARC Giveaway! 14 46 Mar 19, 2019 08:29PM  
I write to give myself and others hope- hope that true love really does exist... hope that even when you think love isn't meant for you, it can still find you... and hope that there really are good guys out there who will fight for the right woman and never give up.

I live in California with my only son, Blake. If you can't find me sitting behind a computer screen, then there's a good chance I'm s
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