Review of Where Have All the Boys Gone?

A reissue of a 2005 Jenny Colgan novel when jokes could be made about all kinds of things that offended people before the PC police started waving banners.

Sascha Darlington

Where Have All the Boys Gone?

Jenny Colgan

January 7, 2020

William Morrow Paperbacks


Blurb: 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…?

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One thing that strikes me about the reissued Jenny Colgan novels I’ve read in the past year or so is that they are irreverently funny. If you’re easily offended, you will be offended. And, if you’re set on reading them because you’re expecting Colgan’s gentle little village novels that she’s currently writing and you’re easily offended, you have been warned.

While at the beginning there were a few chuckles provided by pun-loving Louise, Katie’s flatmate who has lost the man she lived with and loved to, unfortunately, Katie’s younger sister, Clara, who is gently termed a free-spirit. And then I had one of those huge laugh-out-loud moments while I was reading on the treadmill. Yep, not everyday that you’re laughing while on the treadmill, but there I was.

Katie and Lousie who both consider themselves city girls and love London find the charm of the tiny, very cold, rural Scottish village. For Louise, much of the charm is the number of eligible men. For Katie, it’s discovering the beauty of nature and the beauty of local journalist, Iain.

The novel is fast-paced with Katie falling into all type of situations: funny, frustrating, cringe-worthy, sweet.

The interactions between Katie and Harry are frequently extremely funny and sometimes touchingly romantic with swoon attached.

If you’ve been reading Colgan, you might figure out the ending well beforehand, but that doesn’t take the fun out of reading Where Have All the Boys Gone?.

Like My Very ’90s Romance, which I read and reviewed last year (see my review), Colgan goes a little hard on overweight people in wording that made me cringe. Be aware of this if fat shaming is a trigger or huge pet peeve.

All in all, Where Have All the Boys Gone? is a novel I highly recommended as long as you have a very broad sense of humor and enjoy slap-stick rom-coms.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


rating: 5-butterflies

5 out of 5 butterflies


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