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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

A Shot to the Heart

In which our the characters skate around some issues

Canadian Boyfriend by Jennifer Holiday 

Stars: 4

Ratings: PG-13

Jennifer Holiday’s latest novel was a book that I would have put on my TBR and requested from Libby but then I saw an ad for the audiobook - the part of the eponymous Canadian boyfriend was going to be read by Joshua Jackson. My 20 year old self screamed, well actually my 46 year old self did as well. How perfect was it that Jackson, the Canadian who starred as a hockey player in Mighty Ducks, and played one half of one of my favorite tv couples of all time, was going to do this book. I hit purchase on Audible with all due speed.

Mike Martin is a widower with a young daughter, Gracie, who attends Aurora Evan’s dance classes. Aurora is a former ballet dancer with quite the dragon-like dance mom. When she was in high school and working at the Mall of America, Aurora had a chance encounter with Mike, a Canadian hockey player, and she spun him into her Canadian boyfriend, her perfect excuse in high school for why she couldn’t do all the things that a normal high schooler would. Fast forward about fifteen years later and when Mike Martin shows up at her dance studio, and then wants to hire Aurora to help him with his daughter’s care, well things are just awkward. He doesn’t remember her and she is going to tell him how he inspired her.

This was a cute book, the chemistry between Mike and Aurora is great. I liked that each is trying to grow as a person after facing a lot of heartbreak and hardships in the last few years. Bit of a spoiler alert here, so stop reading if you want. I was intrigued with how Holiday chose to start their physical relationship. I was expecting either more of a slow burn or maybe more conflict but instead we got more of a stop and start to the sexy times. Which in reality I think is a true representation of how things happen for people, especially for someone like Mike who was recently widowed. Mike and Aurora are coming at this from different places, which will of course lead to the conflict which is necessary for any book, but they have adult, grown-up conversations about it. So even though that wasn’t what I was expecting, it felt very true to their characters. I appreciated how it was handled and I loved seeing their relationship grow. 

Pacey Whitter is the boy who buys a wall for the painter girl he is falling in love with. I'm pretty sure Mike Martin would have done something as grand and thoughtful for Aurora. 

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