Coming from Scotland, Jenny Colgan is a writer of romantic comedy fiction and science fiction. In fact, she has written Doctor Who novels (under the names Jenny T. Colgan and J. T. Colgan).
She published her first novel, the romantic comedy Amanda’s Wedding, in 2000, after working in the health service, but also as a cartoonist and a stand-up comic. Since then, Jenny Colgan published more than 40 novels and counting.
How to read Jenny Colgan’s Books in Order?
Navigate through Jenny Colgan’s book series:
- The Little Beach Street Bakery Series
- The Summer Seaside Kitchen Series
- The Maggie Adair Series (or The Little School by the Sea)
- The Polly and the Puffin Series
- The Scottish Bookshop Series
- The Christmas Bookshop Series
- Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop Series
- The At the Cupcake Café Series
- Other Novels by Jenny Colgan
- Books Published As J. T. Colgan/Jenny T. Colgan
- Doctor Who Books
Reading The Little Beach Street Bakery Series
- The Little Beach Street Bakery (2014) – A quiet seaside resort. An abandoned shop. A small flat. This is what awaits Polly Waterford when she arrives at the Cornish coast, fleeing a ruined relationship. To keep her mind off her troubles, Polly throws herself into her favorite hobby: making bread. But her relaxing weekend diversion quickly develops into a passion. As she pours her emotions into kneading and pounding the dough, each loaf becomes better than the last. Soon, Polly is working her magic with nuts and seeds, chocolate and sugar, and the local honey-courtesy of a handsome beekeeper.
- Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery (2015) – A thriving bakery. A lighthouse to call home. A handsome beekeeper. A pet puffin. These are the things that Polly Waterford can call her own. This is the beautiful life she leads on a tiny island off the southern coast of England. But clouds are gathering on the horizon. A stranger threatens to ruin Polly’s business. Her beloved boyfriend seems to be leading a secret life. And the arrival of a newcomer-a bereft widow desperately searching for a fresh start-forces Polly to reconsider the choices she’s made, even as she tries to help her new friend through grief.
- Christmas at Little Beach Street Bakery (2016) – In the Cornish coastal village of Mount Polbearne, the Christmas season has arrived. It’s a joyous time for family, friends, and feasting, as decorations sparkle along the town’s winding streets and shop windows glow with festive displays. And in Polly’s Little Beach Street Bakery, the aroma of gingerbread cookies and other treats tempts people in from the cold. Though Polly is busy keeping up with the demands of the season, she still makes time for her beekeeper boyfriend, Huckle. She’s especially happy to be celebrating the holiday this year with him, and can’t wait to cuddle up in front of the fireplace with a cup of eggnog on Christmas Eve.
- Sunrise by the Sea (2021) – Marisa Rossi can’t understand why everyone else is getting on with their lives as she still struggles to get over the death of her beloved grandfather, back home in Italy. Everyone loses grandparents, right? Why is she taking it so badly? Retreating further and further from normal life, she moves to the end of the earth-the remote tidal island of Mount Polbearne, at the foot of Cornwall, hoping for peace and solitude, whilst carrying on her job as a registrar, dealing with births, weddings, and deaths, even as she feels life is passing her by.
Reading the Summer Seaside Kitchen Series
- A Very Distant Shore (prequel, 2017)
- The Café by the Sea (2016, aka The Summer Seaside Kitchen) – Years ago, Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up — and she hasn’t looked back. What would she have done on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious… and hopelessly in love with her boss. But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she’s suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking — and finds herself restoring dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a café by the sea.
- The Endless Beach (2018) – When Flora MacKenzie traded her glum career in London for the remote Scottish island of Mure, she never dreamed that Joel-her difficult, adorable boss-would follow. Yet now, not only has Flora been reunited with her family and opened a charming café by the sea, but she and Joel are taking their first faltering steps into romance. With Joel away on business in New York, Flora is preparing for the next stage in her life. And that would be…? Love? She’s feeling it. Security? In Joel’s arms, sure. Marriage? Not open to discussion.
- Christmas on the Island (2018) – It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love-unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings-or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?
- Christmas at the Island Hotel (2020) – The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island’s cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel’s kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before.
- An Island Wedding (2022) – Flora MacKenzie and her fiancé Joel are planning the smallest of “sweetheart weddings,” a high summer celebration surrounded only by those very dearest to them. Not everyone on the island is happy about being excluded, though. The temperature rises even further when beautiful Olivia MacDonald-who left Mure ten years ago for bigger and brighter things-returns with a wedding planner in tow. Her fiancé has oodles of family money, and Olivia is determined to throw the biggest, most extravagant, most Instagrammable wedding possible. And she wants to do it at Flora’s hotel, the same weekend as Flora’s carefully planned micro-wedding.
Reading The Maggie Adair Series (or The Little School by the Sea)
Maggie went to the window and opened it wide, inhaling the lovely salt air of the sea. Why had she never lived by the sea before? Why had she always looked out on housing estates and not the little white hulls of trawlers bobbing off in the distance?
Previously published under the name Jane Beaton. Reprinted in 2022
- Welcome to the School by the Sea (2022) – It’s gloriously sunny in Cornwall as the school year starts at the little boarding school by the sea. Maggie, the newest teacher at Downey House, is determined to make her mark. She’s delighted by her new teaching job, but will it come at the expense of her relationship with her safe, dependable boyfriend Stan? Simone is excited and nervous: she’s won a scholarship to the prestigious boarding school and wants to make her parents proud. Forced to share a room with the glossy, posh girls of Downey House, she needs to find a friend, fast.
- Rules at the School by the Sea (2022) – Maggie Adair’s first year as a teacher at Downey House was a surprising success. After making the leap from an inner-city school in Glasgow, she’s learned to appreciate the mellower pace of the girls’ boarding school by the sea. Now engaged to her longtime boyfriend, sweet and steady Stan, Maggie’s just got to stop thinking about David McDonald, her colleague at the boys’ school down the road. Well, hasn’t she? Can Maggie take a leaf out of the Well Behaved Teacher’s exercise book and stick to her plan for a small but elegant wedding and settled life of matrimony?
- Lessons at the School by the Sea (2023) – School is out, following a bit of saucy scandal at Downey House… Beloved high school teacher Maggie Adair had been comfortably, if somewhat ambivalently, engaged to her dependable long-distance boyfriend Stan. But in the heat of summer, Maggie’s attraction to her colleague David McDonald has caught fire. Now both are facing an uncertain future as they try to figure out how to stay committed to their careers-and each other.
- Studies at the School by the Sea (Coming in 2024) – Beloved literature teacher Maggie Adair loves her life at the prestigious Downey House boarding school on the gloriously sunny, windy English coast. It was there that she found her footing as a teacher and fell in love with her colleague David-the two great anchors of her life. But these days Maggie’s feeling restless, lured by the promise of a different life back in her Scottish hometown. How can you follow your heart when it seems to be taking you in two directions at once?
Reading The Polly and the Puffin Series
- Polly and the Puffin (2015) – Meet Polly and her puffin Neil in the debut children’s book from Sunday Times bestselling novelist, Jenny Colgan. Illustrated throughout and with recipes, activities and rhymes in addition to the irresistible story.
- The Stormy Day (2016) – Polly is waiting for something important to happen. But waiting is hard. It’s even harder when it’s raining and you can’t go outside… Can Polly find enough to do to keep busy ALL day? And what will happen when her puffin friend, Neil, decides to fly off into the storm?
- The New Friend (2017) – Polly and her puffin friend, Neil, have wonderful adventures by the sea. But now the time has come for Polly to go to the place she calls ‘Big School’. It might be fun, it might be exciting, and it’s definitely a little bit scary. Making new friends can be harder than it sounds . . . join Polly on her quest and find out if there might be a new feathered friend for Neil too!
- The Happy Christmas (2017) – Polly and her puffin friend Neil have wrapped presents, practiced for the village nativity, and written their lists for Santa. But Christmas is taking a very long time to arrive. And Polly isn’t enjoying the wait. What’s worse, Neil is busy helping to keep an egg warm, so he hasn’t got much time to play.
Reading The Scottish Bookshop Series
- The Bookshop on the Corner (2016) – Nina is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more. Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile – a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.
- The Bookshop on the Shore (2019) – Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her four-year-old son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where shouting football fans keep them awake all night. Hari’s dad, Jaz, a charismatic but perpetually broke DJ, is no help at all. But his sister Surinder comes to Zoe’s aid, hooking her up with a job as far away from the urban crush as possible: a bookshop on the banks of Loch Ness. And there’s a second job to cover housing: Zoe will be an au pair for three children at a genuine castle in the Scottish Highlands.
- 500 Miles from You (2020) – Lissa, is a nurse in a gritty, hectic London neighborhood. Always terribly competent and good at keeping it all together, she’s been suffering quietly with PTSD after helping to save the victim of a shocking crime. Her supervisor quietly arranges for Lissa to spend a few months doing a much less demanding job in the little town of Kirrinfeif in the Scottish Highlands, hoping that the change of scenery will help her heal. Lissa will be swapping places with Cormack, an Army veteran who’s Kirrinfeif’s easygoing nurse/paramedic/all-purpose medical man. Lissa’s never experienced small-town life, and Cormack’s never spent more than a day in a big city, but it seems like a swap that would do them both some good.
Reading The Christmas Bookshop Series
- The Christmas Bookshop (2021) – Carmen has always worked in her local department store. So, when the gorgeous old building closes its doors for good, she is more than a little lost. When her sister, Sofia, mentions an opportunity in Edinburgh – a cute little bookshop, the spare room in her house – Carmen is reluctant, she was never very good at accepting help. But, short on options, she soon finds herself pulling into the snowy city just a month before Christmas. What Sofia didn’t say is that the shop is on its last legs and that if Carmen can’t help turn things around before Christmas, the owner will be forced to sell. Privately, Sofia is sure it will take more than a miracle to save the store, but maybe this Christmas, Carmen might surprise them all…
- Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop (2023) – Carmen is at a loose end. Her gorgeous bookshop is the filming site of a cheesy Christmas movie, she’s been ousted from her sister’s house, and the love of her life has just flown thousands of miles away. It’s threatening to be a very unjolly Christmas indeed! But when the elderly owner of the shop comes to Carmen with a Christmas wish that threatens to never come true, Carmen knows she must buckle down to get the funds to save not only his trip, but the shop itself. While fending off a shady tatt-selling businessman, Carmen discovers wonders to the shop she could have never imagined, and opens a labyrinth of bookish backrooms for the customers to get lost in.
Reading Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop Series
- Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams (2012) – Rosie Hopkins thinks leaving her busy London life, and her boyfriend Gerard, to sort out her elderly Aunt Lilian’s sweetshop in a small country village is going to be dull. Boy, is she wrong. Lilian Hopkins has spent her life running Lipton’s sweetshop, through wartime and family feuds. As she struggles with the idea that it might finally be time to settle up, she also wrestles with the secret history hidden behind the jars of beautifully colored sweets.
- Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop (2013) – It’s a white Christmas in England, and Rosie Hopkins is feeling festive: Her sweetshop is festooned with striped candy canes, luscious chocolate boxes, and happy, sticky children, and she and her boyfriend are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their families. But when a tragedy strikes at the heart of their charming town, all of Rosie’s plans for the future seem to be blown apart. Can she and her loved ones see their way through the difficult times?
- The Christmas Surprise (2014) – Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little English sweetshop she owns. But when fate deals Rosie and her boyfriend Stephen a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it’s going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their friends to hold them together. After all, don’t they say it takes a village to raise a child?
Reading the At the Cupcake Café Series
- Meet Me at the Cupcake Café (2011) – Issy Randall can bake. No, more than that – Issy can create stunning, mouth-wateringly divine cakes. After a childhood spent in her beloved Grampa Joe’s bakery, she has undoubtedly inherited his talent. When she’s made redundant from her safe but dull City job, Issy decides to seize the moment. Armed with recipes from Grampa, and with her best friends and local bank manager fighting her corner, The Cupcake Café opens its doors. But Issy has absolutely no idea what she’s let herself in for. It will take all her courage – and confectionery – to avert disaster . . .
- Christmas at the Cupcake Café (2012) – Life is sweet for Issy Randall, owner of the Cupcake Cafe. Taught how to bake by her beloved late grandfather, she is proudly carrying on the family tradition with her London eatery. Not only is business thriving, but the icing on the cupcake is that she also happens to be head over heels in love. Plus she’s surrounded and supported by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don’t seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment.
Other Novels by Jenny Colgan
- Amanda’s Wedding (2000) – Amanda’s old school friends, Mel and Fran, are shocked when the social-climbing queen of mean announces her engagement to a laird (Scottish lord). It doesn’t matter that Fraser McConnald has worn the same pair of Converse sneakers for the last three years and that his castle is a pile of rubble with one gas heater-she’ll be the wife of an actual laird! But Mel and Fran can’t just sit back and let the sweet and gentle Fraser marry Amanda, especially since Mel had a huge crush on him back in University. Something must be done!
- Looking for Andrew McCarthy (2001) – Now that Ellie is 30, she has to admit that things haven’t quite turned out the way she had anticipated. When did horrible flats, difficult relationships, and meaningless jobs take over? And where is Andrew McCarthy now? Ellie is determined to get her idol to unravel some of life’s great mysteries.
- Talking to Addison (2001) – Holly is a frustrated florist whose life doesn’t exactly seem to be coming up roses. Fleeing the houseshare from hell, she moves in with Josh, a sexually confused merchant banker; Kate, a high-flying legal eagle with talons to match, and the gorgeous Addison, who spends his days communicating only with his computer and those who worship at the altar of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Holly’s desperate to have a one-to-one with Addison, but can she drag him away from his monstrously ugly, not to say jealous internet ‘girlfriend’ Claudia, or will they just continually get their wires crossed?
- Working Wonders (2003) – Gwyneth Morgan loves her job. And she’s good at it – she’s never faced a challenge she can’t handle – until she meets Arthur Pendleton and his motley crew. Gwyneth sets Arthur a challenge that makes his heart sink. His team can’t even find their own desks, let alone win a prestigious competition. Pitted against his ex-girlfriend, as well as his love rival and deadly enemy, Arthur is forced to break the law and overcome massive obstacles as he embarks on his quest to achieve the impossible – and maybe, just maybe, win the heart of the enchanting Gwyneth. As Gwyneth learns some surprising revelations about the man she’d once considered just an inept colleague, she’s forced to reconsider. Is it possible that Arthur is her knight in shining armor?
- Do You Remember the First Time? (2004) – As her best friend Tashy cuts into her wedding cake, 32-year-old Flora realizes she is disillusioned with life. Suddenly, her well-paid job, cozy flat, and stable relationship with sensible Olly don’t amount to a whole lot. Flora wants to be 16 again. She closes her eyes and wishes. Her wish has come true. Waking up the next morning is a shock. But now Flora has the chance to right some wrongs. Trading crow’s feet for pimples, love handles for a torso Britney Spears would kill for, and dull dinner parties for house parties where White Lightning and snogging are the order of the day, Flora revels in a life where things are far less complicated and just much more… FUN.
- Where Have All the Boys Gone? (2005) – Where have all the men gone? Faced with 25, 000 more women than men in London, and gleeful media reports that it’s statistically more likely for single women to be murdered than getting married, Katie is reached an all-time low. But all is not lost … Another hilarious high-concept romantic comedy from Jenny Colgan. While Katie’s glad it’s not a man’s world anymore, she’d be quite pleased if there were more men in it – or at least single ones, anyway.
- West End Girls (2006) – The streets of London are the perfect place to discover your dreams . . . They may be twin sisters, but Lizzie and Penny Berry are complete opposites – Penny is blonde, thin and outrageous; Lizzie is quiet, thoughtful and, well, definitely not thin. But they both share a desperate desire to DO something with their lives. When out of the blue, they learn they have a grandmother living in Chelsea, who asks them to flat-sit her King’s Road pad while she is in hospital, the girls’ ambitions finally seem to be falling into place. But, as they soon discover, it’s not easy to become an It Girl, and west end boys aren’t at all like Hugh Grant . . .
- Operation Sunshine (2007) – Evie needs a good holiday. Not just because she’s been working all hours in her job as a receptionist for two high-powered plastic surgeons – but also because every holiday she has ever been on in her life has involved sunburn, arguments and projectile vomiting – and sometimes all three at once. Why can’t she have a normal holiday, like other people seem to have – some sun, sand, sea and (hopefully) sex?
- Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend (2008) – Sophie Chesterton is a girl about town – she knows all the right people, goes to all the right parties, and wears all the right clothes. But deep down she suspects that her superficial friends and lifestyle don’t amount to very much. Her father is desperate for her to make her own way in the world, and when after one shocking evening her life is turned upside down, she suddenly has no choice. Scraping a living as a ‘glamour’ photographer’s assistant, living in a hovel on the Old Kent Road with four smelly boys, eating baked beans from the can, Sophie is desperate to get her life back. But does a girl really need diamonds to be happy?
- The Good, the Bad and the Dumped (2010) – Now, you would obviously never, ever look up your exes on Facebook. Nooo. And even if you did, you most certainly wouldn’t run off trying to track them down, risking your job, family and happiness in the process. Posy Fairweather, on the other hand . . . Posy is delighted when Matt proposes – on top of a mountain, in a gale, in full-on romantic mode. But a few days later disaster strikes: he backs out of the engagement. Crushed and humiliated, Posy starts thinking. Why has her love life always ended in total disaster? Determined to discover how she got to this point, Posy resolves to get online and track down her exes. Can she learn from past mistakes? And what if she has let Mr Right slip through her fingers on the way?
- The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris (2013) – As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris. It’s a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime – to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier.
- The Summer Skies (2023) – Morag MacIntyre is a Scottish lass from the remote islands that make up the northernmost reaches of the UK. She’s also a third-generation pilot, the heir apparent to an island plane service she runs with her grandfather. The islands-over 500 dots of windswept land that reach almost to Norway-rely on their one hardworking prop plane to deliver mail, packages, tourists, medicine, and the occasional sheep. As the keeper of this vital lifeline, Morag is used to landing on pale golden beaches and tiny grass airstrips, whether during great storms or on bright endless summer nights. Up in the blue sky, Morag feels at one with the elements.
Published As J. T. Colgan/Jenny T. Colgan
- Resistance Is Futile (2015) – Connie’s smart. She’s funny. But when it comes to love, she’s only human. As a brilliant mathematician with bright red hair – Connie’s used to being considered a little unusual. But when she’s recruited for a top-secret code-breaking project, nothing can prepare her for working with someone quite as peculiar as Luke.
- Spandex and the City (2017) – Mild-mannered publicist Holly Phillips is unlucky in love. She’s embarrassed beyond belief when the handsome stranger she meets in a bar turns out to be ‘Ultimate Man’ – a superpowered hero whose rescue attempt finds her hoisted over his shoulder and flashing her knickers in the newspaper the next day. But when Holly’s fifteen minutes of fame make her a target for something villainous, she only has one place to turn – and finds the man behind the mask holds a lot more charm than his crime-fighting alter-ego.
Doctor Who Books
- Dark Horizons (2012)
- Into the Nowhere (2014)
- In the Blood (2016)
- The Christmas Invasion (2018)
- The Triple Knife and Other Doctor Who Stories (2018)