NOTE: This book is being reissued with a new cover in January 2020. If you want to read it then, see the links below. If you want to read it now, you can purchase the original paperback through Amazon, just click on the green book cover.
From the publisher:
From New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan comes this hilarious romance about a woman who trades in the comforts of city life in hopes of finding love in a small Scottish town in the middle of nowhere.
Faced with the harsh reality that there are 25,000 more women than men in London, Katie’s dating prospects are at an all-time low. While she’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, it wouldn’t hurt if there were more eligible bachelors.
More likely to get murdered than married, according to gleeful media reports, Katie resigns herself to the fact that there’s no sex in the city for her and decides to head for the hills—or the Scottish Highlands to be exact. Despite the fact she’s never been one for muddy rain boats—and Fairlish is in the middle of nowhere—the tiny town does have one major draw: men. LOTS of them!
But while Katie relishes the chance to do battle with armies of admirers, she’s not excited about going head to head with her shady new boss, Harry. At least there’s the local eye-candy to distract her, including gorgeous newshound Iain. But he is at loggerheads with Harry, and she can’t afford to get on Harry’s bad side any more than she already has.
Life in the country might not be one big roll in the hay, but now that Katie has taken the plunge, can she ever turn her back on the delights of Fairlish and return to city life…?
When I received a review copy of Where Have All the Boys Gone? (I’ll admit the cute cover caught my eye) I assumed it was a new book by Jenny Colgan since it had a publication date of January 2020 listed. After reading it, however, I discovered that it is a reprint and was originally published in 2005. It made more sense once I realized this was a reissue of a much earlier book by Colgan.
All the hallmarks of a Jenny Colgan book are there: a picturesque Scottish town, a heroine who leaves behind big city life, a dash of humor and of course romance, but Where Have All the Boys Gone? is missing a certain amount of polish. I thought the plot had potential, and Fairlish was certainly a quirky town, but unfortunately, this book fell rather flat for me. The writing was pedestrian and at times the dialogue rather stilted. The characters are very one dimensional.
The defining characteristic of the main character Katie, and her best friend Louise seems to be wanting to find a boyfriend. Katie does have two love interests but didn’t have much chemistry with either of them, and they are also very one-dimensional characters. Combine that with a rushed ending and this is ultimately a pretty forgettable story.
Overall, Where Have All the Boys Gone? really wasn’t anything particularly special in terms of plot or characters. If you enjoy cozy romances and books set in Scotland, I would still recommend Jenny Colgan, but start with The Little Beach Street Bakery, The Café by the Sea or The Bookshop on the Corner. Where Have All the Boys Gone? certainly isn’t an accurate representation of her abilities as a writer.
11/19 Caitlin Brisson
WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOYS GONE? by Jenny Colgan. HarperCollins; 1st Paperback Editio edition.