In 2012, just before my debut mystery was published, I went to a workshop about women and book reviews. The panel said the majority of reviewers were men.
After the discussion, I approached the woman from the newspaper. Learning I was with a small publisher, she declined, describing the room full of books that were available to her.
Barbara D'Amato was signing books and I had a chance to talk to her. I asked her if she would look at my book, Judge vs Nuts. She agreed!
My publisher flat out refused to believe Ms. D'Amato would read my book and discouraged me from following up. It took many requests to get her to send a copy of the book.
Ms. D'Amato went to great lengths to do the review, and it is spectacular.
The lesson was not to be afraid to ask. The second lesson is that writers helping writers has amazing results.