"The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp" by Poppy Dolan

Molly thinks her little brother Sam is a fantastic catch...but she wonders why other women can't see the same in him.  Sam's average relationship is seven weeks long and Molly finally decides that enough is enough.  She begins to coach him on the subtle points of dating.  Along with a wardrobe makeover, she whips Sam into shape, sends him back out into the dating world and before she knows it, he's off travelling the world with his fiancee.

When desperately single friends see the wonders Molly worked with Sam, they begin lining up for her help.  And Molly, who has been going from one disaster business to another, sees the potential for profits and opens up The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp.

Together with her fashionista friend Rachael and bootcamp instructor Josie, Molly begins to turn the lonely men of Manchester into eligible bachelors.  Business is booming but things begin to get complicated.  Clients begin to fall for the girls and vice versa, Molly becomes a little too much of a tyrant running the business, and she begins to fall for Sam's friend Patrick, who doesn't quite like the idea of the bootcamp.  Sometimes men just need a little help...but is Molly the one to do it?

The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp is the debut novel from Poppy Dolan and is a funny, enjoyable story.  The fact that I was laughing out loud from the very first page (and my husband laughed when I read it to him) was a very good sign.  It has a great combination of laughs and romance, a main character who is loveable, and all-around charm.

I loved the idea of the book when I first read about it.  Who doesn't know a guy (or girl) who would be a total catch with just a little bit of fixing-up.  The dating world is a strange and difficult place to navigate!  A lot of us just need a little help sometimes.  And Molly recognizes this and jumps into action.

I appreciated how the secondary stories (Molly's over-achieving mom, Sam's wedding, Molly's married friend) rounded out the book without taking away from the main story.  Poppy Dolan understands the chick lit genre, what works and doesn't, and has written a novel that is right up there with more seasoned writers.  There were a few places that dragged for me a bit, but thankfully they didn't drag so long that I wanted to put the book down.  There were a few moments where I wondered how much more there could be to the story given where I was in the book, but I was pleasantly surprised.

And a quick warning to readers not from England - there will be some references and words that you may not get over here but don't worry about it.  You'll easily be able to figure out the North American equivalent for yourself.

It's always worrying to take the plunge into self-publishing for both the author and the reader.  It's safe to say that Poppy Dolan made the right decision to get this book out there.  The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp is an incredible first novel, one that fans of chick-lit of will enjoy and find unique, and I look forward to what else Ms. Dolan has to offer.

I did receive a copy of this book from the author.  The opinions expressed above are my own and I'm not just saying great things about it to please the author, I really did enjoy the book!  I'd have no problem saying so if I didn't.


  1. Oooh, this sounds like a great read! I'll look out for it!


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