Monday 6 May 2024

Carole's Monday. Canadian boyfriend


Author: Jenny Holiday
Narrator: Joshua Jackson & Emily Ellet
Title: Canadian Boyfriend
Genre: Sports romance, Contemporary, fiction
Format: Audiobook
Published: January 30, 2024
Where I got It: Audible

A charming and heartfelt romance about a woman who comes face to face with the fake Canadian boyfriend she made up as a teenager.

The fake Canadian boyfriend. It's a thing. The get out of jail free card for all kinds of sticky social situations. “I can't go to prom; I'm going to be out of town visiting my boyfriend in Canada.” It's all over pop culture. But Aurora Evans did it first. Once upon a time she met a teenage hockey player at the Mall of America. He was from Canada. He was a boy. She may have fudged the “friend” part a little, but it wasn't like she was ever going to see him again. It wasn't like she hurt anyone. Until she did—years later—on both counts.
When pro hockey player and recent widower Mike Martin walks into the dance studio where Aurora Evans teaches, he's feeling overwhelmed with the fact that his wife may not have been exactly who he thought she was and the logistics of going back to work. As one of the few people his angry, heartbroken daughter connects with, Aurora agrees to be a pseudo nanny to help him navigate the upcoming school year and hockey season. To his surprise, she turns out to be the perfect balm for him as well. Aurora gets him. The real him underneath his pro jersey. And yet, he still finds himself holding back, unable to fully trust again—especially when he finds out the secret Aurora’s been hiding from him.

Picked this for book club because why not? We needed a little bit of fluff, plus this matches up with a couple of my reading challenges. Win-win-win. 

Here we follow Aurora (aka Rory) and Mike. The two met years and years a mall. From there it was history. Rory found herself a fake Canadian boyfriend so she wouldn't look like a loser at her school. Time went on and she slowly moved on. However, things changed when they met again. Mike is a star hockey player who thought he had it all until his wife died in a car accident and now he is a single dad who is picking up the reigns his wife left behind. Which includes getting their child to dance class. Enter in the teacher....Aurora Evans. He's overwhelmed and she's great with kids. Maybe she can be a nanny while the season goes? However, will they be able to fully trust each other? They both have secrets and guilt. 

I did really like this one. There is a lot of mental health talk in here (so be prepared) but it was fitting. Rory was a ballet dancer with a Godzilla of a Ballet-mom. Poor thing did develop an eating disorder and anxiety issues. Poor thing. 

Mike, of course, is dealing with his wife who passed and he uncovered that his wife was not FULLY telling the truth. There is guilt and anger and sadness. Plus, dealing with a sad daughter? Oof. 

They both have a lot on their plate, but it was nice seeing them become friends first. They def are super supportive of each other and I loved it!

However there was ONE thing that bothered me. When Rory's whole "fake boyfriend' thing came out (yes not a know it will) he.....acted like shit. I won't spoil anything but I was SO annoyed at him. Yes, how and when she revealed her big ol' secret wasn't great.'s not that big of a deal. Yes, he felt like she betrayed his trust by not telling him the truth right away. But like dude....chill.

Besides that whole exchange, I really liked this book. Great characters. Lots of internal things for them to fix. I loved Rory at the end. So proud of her. This was very sweet. 

The narrators were great. It was a duo set so it was fun to hear them sound like they were actually conversing. He would read Mike's dialogue and she would read Rory's. It was nice. I wonder why duo narrators don't do that more?

All-in-all, this was a nice sports romance dealing with mental health issues. I think Mike was overdramatic at the end, but it was resolved and they made up. The narrators were great and I def recommend listening to this. 

I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 


- Audiobook #21
- Romance Reading Challenge #13 (Sports romance) 

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