Published by Entangled Publishing on February 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Hidden or Mistaken Identity, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Format: eBook, Paperback
Amazon | B&N
Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It's a very You've Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can't be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena's family out of business. Elena's mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money's so tight Elena's going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can't win this game.
The girl Oliver's fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She's his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad's business rival, and the one girl he'd never even think of kissing. She's definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.
When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine's Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they'll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.
Happy Book Birthday week to Julie Hammerle and her new novel Any Boy But You (released February 13th)! Fans of Gilmore Girls, Pokemon Go, and You’ve Got Mail will love the story about Elena Chestnut and Oliver Prince.
Now to brighten this Valentine’s Day, I have a special treat for you. An exclusive excerpt chosen by Julie Hammerle from new novel, Any Boy But You. Enjoy!
Elena snapped her fingers in front of Oliver’s face. “The seven kings. Who were they?”
He sighed, slowly dragging his eyes away from the Santabucks window. He was not about to jump to attention just because it was what Elena Chestnut wanted him to do. The world on Main Street outside was much more interesting, anyway. Several of his fellow students—and a few of North Pole’s adult residents—were dashing through the snow, trampling decrepit, months-old Santa hats and Christmas wreaths, frantically catching Stashes. “I don’t know who the seven kings were,” he said. “Isn’t that why you’re tutoring me?”
“I want to be here as much as you do.” Elena’s brown eyes were hard, unflinching. She had put her long, dark hair up in a bun, which was held in place by a pencil. “I’m only tutoring you because your parents are paying me. I’m not doing this for my health.”
“At least you’re getting paid.” Oliver let his eyes drift again to Main Street outside. The little old lady who owned the diner on the edge of town—Mags Something-or-other— was jumping up and down over catching a Stash. The red ball of her stocking cap slapped her in the face. He, Oliver, had made that happen. He’d inspired an elderly woman to risk breaking a hip on an icy sidewalk. But he was being forced to give up control of his creation.
Elena handed him a stack of blank index cards. “Yeah, and the better you do, the more money I make. What do you get?”
He glared at her. “I get my life back.”
She frowned like she was tempted to ask him more about this, but she didn’t. Oliver gave her credit for that. “So,” she said, “this next quiz is as good a chance as you’re going to get to do that.” She opened the textbook in front of her. “It’s all history, no translation. There will be no Latin on the Latin quiz. Magister Parker just wants to make sure we have the background down before we start translating Livy’s words. What do you know about the kings of Rome?”
Oliver shrugged and folded his arms. “You’re the tutor. Shouldn’t you tell me? This would go a lot easier if you just gave me the answers.”
She sucked in a deep, calming breath of air, like she was trying to keep it together. “You’ll learn nothing if I feed you the answers.” She tapped on one of the notecards in front of him. “Write ‘Romulus’ on this side.”
Oliver rolled his eyes. This was such a waste of time. There were so many other things, better things, he could be doing right now. “You know, you don’t have to sit here with me. I am fully capable of learning this on my own.”
“Your grades and the fact that your parents felt the need to hire me as a Latin tutor would suggest otherwise.” She tapped her pencil on the notecards again. “And after you write ‘Romulus’ on this side, take out your notes from class today and write everything you know about him on the back.”
“I didn’t take any notes. And I don’t have a pen.”
Elena pulled the pencil out of her bun and tossed it at his chest. Her long, dark waves cascaded around her shoulders and her eyes flashed savagely, like she could eat Oliver alive and enjoy doing it. He, however, was saved by an actual bell when his sister, Stan Stashiuk, and Harper Anderson entered Santabucks.
Grinning, Regina and her entourage sauntered over to his table. “Hey, Ollie. On a date?” Then she noticed who the girl sitting across from him was. “With Elena Chestnut?”
“She’s tutoring me.” He scratched the name “Romulus” onto the back of his notecard.
“Your parents are paying me to be in his presence,” Elena said, “otherwise I’d be absolutely anywhere else.”
Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle is a mix of a Romeo and Juliet tale with You’ve Got Mail. It shows that romances in small towns may be more complicated due to family history, but are just that much sweeter.
Elena Chestnut and Oliver Prince hate each other, because they are supposed to. Their families own rival sporting good stores, and like Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers, their families have been in a feud for as long as they’ve known, but neither Elena or Oliver know all the reasons why.
Falling for each other, in disguise, was definitely not part of the plan. Elena is driven by her commitment to her family but rankles at what she has to give up. Oliver is driven by his passion for computers, but loses it because of bad grades. The game Oliver creates to drive business for his family’s store gives Elena an opportunity to, surreptitiously, win something for herself. Little do they know the person they are chatting with in the game, and opening up to is their mortal enemy.
One of the great things about this book are the ebbs and flows of their relationship, the effect that finding out separately that they were chatting with a hated enemy but still having some of that bond with the formerly anonymous person they were talking to. As it turns out their families histories with each other is even more complicated than they ever knew, which adds to the dynamic and richness of the story. In the end the future of their families businesses and their future together depends on putting the past where it belongs and moving together into a new future.
Overall, Any Boy But You by Julie Hammerle was a good novel filled with humor, romance, and a bit of mystery (in regards to the family feud). I happily recommend.
(I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review.)