How to Write and Submit a Book Review for HRM


Welcome to the Historical Romance Reviewer team!

Reviews are a vital component of HRM and without our wonderful reviewers, we’d be lost! As you get started, please keep a few guidelines in mind:

  1. Reviews should be approx. 200- 300 words written in 3-4 paragraphs (paragraphs are made of 3+ complete sentences). Think of how you would describe the book to a friend using a conversational tone. An introduction or overview of the basic story/characters is welcome so that readers know what to expect, but please don’t include spoilers. Feel free to give a leading quote or header at the start (think of those review blurbs that go on a movie poster) but it’s not a requirement.

  2. Ultimately, the review serves two masters - Reader and Author.  The reader is looking for your honest opinion and recommendations. The author is praying for 'take-away' phrases that they can use to market their book and promote their brand.

     Basically, about three to four full paragraphs at most with a header, please. The Header is a condensed opinion- one or two sentences that summarizes your recommendation.  It's the hook for your review.  Then subsequent paragraphs talking about the premise/plot of the story to let people know what to expect and a final paragraph is where you can expand on your opinion of this read.  

     Tell us WHY you loved or didn't love this book. What was your favorite element? What makes this book stand out from other stories? Was it hard to put it down? Etc. Feel free to be creative.

    Don't be afraid of word limits. We'll edit if we need to but brevity (if you're too succinct) makes it much less appealing to readers.

  3. Honesty rules.  Include your overall rating and your rating of the heat level. You can rate books in ½ point increments (for example,  3 ½ cups if you feel it’s been fair and good). Your rating will reflect your judgment and it will be honored by HRM. We do ask our reviewers to err on the side of diplomacy when describing an author’s missteps but if you have a DNF situation, simply let us know. If the novel contains something inappropriate/taboo (i.e. pedophilia, bestiality, etc.) please advise HRM immediately.

  4. We’ll send you a quick email to let you know you have a book on the way. Please let us know when it arrives and we’ll expect the review within two weeks.  If you have any delays or issues, don’t hesitate to contact Renee. Life happens so communication is key.

  5. When you submit your review, please indicate if you are ready for another book. If your pace is high and you can handle multiple assignments, let us know. We’d rather not overwhelm anyone so unless otherwise indicated we will only assign one book for review to you at a time.

  6. Unless you tell us specifically otherwise, we will use your first name and a last initial to identify you as a HRM Reviewer.  This protects you from unwanted attention or feedback from an author if you dislike their work, however if you wish to be Completely Anonymous, simply let us know. If you prefer to be Known, you can also advise us on how you prefer to be identified.

  7. If you have any questions, about the rating system or reviews for HRM, please contact us at

To get started, please email your complete Mailing Address to Charlotte. We will keep it on file and if you have a change of residence, please alert HRM immediately. Below is a quick review of the rating scale with some expanded descriptions.

Overall Rating is measured in tea cups- How Much You Liked the Book (half increments ok)

1 = I didn’t care for it. Not recommended at all. Poorly written/conceived.

2 = It was okay. Probably not one I would recommend. Multiple flaws but not a total loss.

3 = Fair. Professionally written but there are still some issues.

4 = Good. I liked it. I would recommend it to a friend.

5 = Loved it! I’m wild about it and I cannot stop telling my friends.

Heat levels are measured in fans- How Hot Does It Get?

1 = Sweet, kisses only.

2 = There was some hot kissing in there, some tension, but nothing beyond that.

3 = Pretty spicy. Groping and kissing, ribbons came undone but I didn’t see anything happen beyond that.

4 = Spicy. Sex scenes were steamy but appropriate to the story. Language is descriptive but not coarse.

5 = Hot! Explicit sex scenes and extremely descriptive, frank language. Erotic, kinky and/or unconventional moments abound. Where’s my fan?

Once your review is submitted to HRM, please don’t share that review outside the Magazine until at least 30 days after the issue is released containing your review.