Review & rating policy

About me

My name is Cathy and I love to read.  I have an MA in English from the Open University so I may occasionally toss terms like intertextuality into my reviews just to prove it!   I wrote my dissertation on John Buchan, one of my favourite authors – if you think he’s only about The 39 Steps, you need to read some of his historical novels (for example, Witchwood) or the elegiac Sick Heart River.  Whatever the genre, more than anything I crave good writing.

My review policy

I’m happy to receive advance reader copies and review copies (ebooks should be provided as .mobi files for Kindle).  Please read the list below before submitting requests.

Group 1 – My preferred genres (I’m likely to accept most review requests)

Historical fiction
Historical mystery
Literary fiction

Group 2 – Genres I read occasionally (I’m likely to accept a few review requests)

Crime/mystery/thriller (but nothing too gory or violent)
Science fiction (dystopian)
Short story collections
YA (but only in Group 1 & 2 genres)

Genres I do not read (please don’t submit review requests)


I can’t promise to review books immediately but I will try to do so in advance of publication or within a reasonable time.  I pride myself on writing detailed reviews that are thoughtful, honest and constructive as I respect the effort that goes into writing a book.  I don’t include ratings in my reviews but on my Reading List pages you can find the ratings I gave on Goodreads/Amazon.   I share my reviews on Facebook and  Twitter.  I am a NetGalley reviewer with an 80%+ feedback ratio.

Authors – I have a low tolerance for books that have poor punctuation and grammar or have not been properly edited or proofread.  It will result in a low rating and it’s unlikely I will publish a review or even finish  your book.  


To connect with me, visit my Contact page.

My rating system

5 out of 5                Absolutely loved it, amazing writing, plot & characterisation

4.5 out of 5             Nearly perfect, great story, writing & characterisation

4 out of 5                 A high quality example of its genre

3.5 out of 5              Lots of good points but some aspects could have been better

3 out of 5                  An entertaining read

2 out of 5                  Really not my thing or lacking in key areas

1 out of 5                  A really poorly written book

My suggested further reading

Here are some links to further resources about books and reading:

John Buchan – one of my favourite authors: The John Buchan Society

Goodreads – find and recommend books: Goodreads

NetGalley – read and review new books before they are published: NetGalley