Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Hellfire and Handbaskets: A Time Traveler's Journey by Kathryn Hills is a stimulating mix of romance and time travel, with an interesting focus on the emotional development of the characters. Rick Hauser is an ER doctor who suffers from PTSD. He has been a combat medic and has seen the worst of humanity’s misery — so he thinks! But when Amelia Pennington, a blue-eyed, charming woman walks in and asks for his help, her beauty gets the better of him.
Rick doesn’t know then that Amelia Pennington had always wanted to be a doctor, but it seemed like society, including her mother, had conspired to make that dream impossible. She is a medical student running from a crazy man, running from the oppressive society of Boston, 1895, thanks to the rune stones that allow her to travel through time. While Rick would rather have nothing to do with a woman at this time, he can’t ignore it when he finds Amelia again sleeping on a doorstep. The attraction between the two is strong. But can Amelia leave her life back in 1895 in Boston and will Rick risk everything for this mysterious woman?
Kathryn Hills has crafted a spellbinding romance with characters that are rich and believable. Amelia’s background is well explored and it is one of the elements that make the conflict strong. She comes from a family that has many problems, including the illness that afflicted her mother, and an evil man determined to make her life a living hell. Rick is a genuinely flawed character, a man haunted by his past and a character that readers feel sympathy for. The plot is cunningly done and the prose delightful. It is interesting how the language changes, even the dialogues in the 1895 setting. The pacing is fast, and the emotional aspect of the conflict is strong enough to keep readers utterly engaged. Hellfire and Handbaskets: A Time Traveler's Journey is a great achievement and literary entertainment that will certainly delight many fans of time travel and romance stories.