Capturing the Cavedweller’s Heart


TIME TRAVEL:  What happens when a caveman from the Neolithic era of 10,000 B.C. and a present-day archaeologist meet-cute after stumbling into a gateway for time travel? A sweet fish-out-of-water romance begins. Hannah Clayton is single and free to pursue her passion for ancient artifacts with her team in Oregon. She crosses paths with clan chief Thor, whose solitary pre-dinner stroll to clear his head takes him farther than he ever imagined. 

Poignant thumbnail characterizations in the prologue portray Thor, his family, and clan with vibrant authenticity. Introductions of Hannah and her crew are equally engaging and generate an expectation of a grand love story filled with adventure, which unfortunately never materializes. Hannah’s skepticism and Thor’s confusion remain the story’s primary focus. Scene after scene of variations on these two themes, common in time travel romances, significantly slows the narrative pace without a more urgent threat to propel the action. A curse or a legend or deadline for Thor to choose whether to stay in the 21st century or return to his time would have added more substantive content to this charming tale. 

Shanna Hatfield employs skillful subtlety in revealing the evolution of Thor’s ideas about women and children, masculinity, and love. Thor’s explicitly progressive thoughts contrast sharply with the implicit acceptance of sexual harassment in Hannah’s professional circumstances with the wealthy sponsor of the archaeological dig. Dismissing the seriousness of that harassment seems inconsistent with her age and feminist sympathies. The overall optimistic tone combined with a rich sense of time and place in the past and the present make Hannah and Thor’s love story a delightful read. 

Cardyn Brooks