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.

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

Historical fiction
Historical mystery
Literary fiction

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

Historical romance
Crime/mystery/thriller (but nothing too gory or violent)
Dystopian fiction
Short story collections

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.  Authors – please be aware my current turnaround time for reviews is approximately three months.

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 my ratings (see guide below – I round up for the purposes of 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.  


I do not charge for reviews. Where I have received a free copy of a book from an author or publisher, this will be stated in my review. Regardless of whether I have purchased a book myself or received a free copy, my review will be my honest and unbiased opinion. I include links where books can be purchased for convenience, not as part of any affiliate programme.

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 OK read but nothing outstanding

2.5 out of 5          Showed promise in some areas

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

1 out of 5          A really poorly written book