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Living in the Past

Published Date: February 14, 2018

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Available as an eBook



320 pages


Do you ever wish you could turn back time?

Grace Nicholls has a few reasons for wanting to turn back the clock … although an archaeological dig at a Bronze Age settlement on the Yorkshire moors is not what she had in mind. But encouraged by her best friend Tabitha, that’s exactly where she finds herself.

Professor Duncan McDonald is the site director and his earnest pursuit of digging up the past makes him appear distant and unreachable. But when a woman on the site goes missing, it seems that his own past might be coming back to haunt him once again.

As they dig deeper, Duncan and Grace get more than they bargained for and come to realise that the past is much closer than either of them ever imagined …

Available as an eBook on all platforms.

Jane Lovering

Jane with award copyJane was born in Devon and now lives in Yorkshire. She has five children, four cats and two dogs! She works part-time and also teaches creative writing. Jane is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and has a first class honours degree in creative writing.

Jane writes romantic comedies which are often described  as ‘quirky’.

 Her debut Please Don’t Stop the Music won the 2012 Romantic Novel of the Year and the Best Romantic Comedy Novel award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association.  

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Customer Reviews


  1. Saarah N
    Saarah N at

    Very entertaining!

    This is a very wonderful choc-lit novel. It’s hilarious while still quite serious in its exploration of grief, family, and moving on. A valid defence for giving this book some of your time.

    I tend to read choc lit when I want to give myself a little bit of a break, these books always give you that! I was, however, pleasantly surprised with this one. I am a huge history fan, and archaeology is something I’ve always wanted to become involved in. That, and time-travel. Alas, I’m not quite ready but getting there, I think (talking about the archaeology, obviously!) Though this book deals in both 😉 but isn’t sci-fi, thankfully. I reserve that for the TV as my imagination has its limits.

    About the story: Grace is a teacher and a widow. Ever since she lost her husband to cancer, she’s only seemed to drift through life. But all this is set to change when her friend signs both of them up as volunteers for an archaeological dig… Can she move on from her past, maybe find someone else?

    I related to some of the themes in this book, particularly the subject of moving on. I feel Jane Lovering did a commendable job in writing about this. It can be difficult to deal with people who don’t allow you time and space or even an environment where you can just speak about it. Murky waters definitely, for both sides. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard “there’s no manual for this sort of thing, dear.” I suppose that’s why people join support groups.

    Anyway, this book is definitely for those who love verbal sparring. It’s very much a light hearted novel, well written and, one I do recommend.

  2. Ruth N
    Ruth N at

    Paranormal books rarely appeal to me. If I had realised the subject matter of ‘Living in the Past’, I probably wouldn’t have downloaded it, thereby missing a fascinating read. The plot moves between the present times set in a muddy archaeological dig on the Yorkshire Moors, back to the same location 2000BC. Both mystery and romance for a compelling and entertaining read, recommended.

  3. Stacey R
    Stacey R at

    History teacher Grace is still trying to get back on her feet two years after experiencing a personal tragedy. Her friend Tabitha invites her on an archeological dig over break to distract her from her pain. Grace gets more than she bargained for when she meets Duncan, the director of the dig, and learns of his tragic past that may not be completely in the past.

    I enjoyed this novel very much – it has romance, it flows well, has interesting characters, and a good dose of mystery.

    I was provided a free advance copy of this book in return for an honest review and I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this novel.

  4. Yvonne Greene
    Yvonne Greene at

    Thoroughly enjoyed this story with its strong characters and twists (some of which happened 4000 years ago!). Nice mixture of tragedy, love, humour and hope. This is the third novel which I have read by Jane and I have enjoyed all of them! Highly recommend!

  5. Gill L.
    Gill L. at

    Jane Lovering never disappoints me. This novel is a worthy addition to her portfolio, with her trademark dashes of humour and extremely likeable characters, with very human failings.

    Grace was widowed at an early age a couple of years ago, and has obviously been struggling to come to terms with losing the love of her life, with the help of some good friends. She is persuaded by these to volunteer for a couple of weeks on an archeological dig in Yorkshire, during her school holidays (she is a teacher). Duncan is the leader of the dig – a bright but bristly man, who finds relationships challenging because of his own history. With the help of a supernatural twist, they somehow manage to connect – can they surmount their problems and succeed together?
    Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out… (it’s worth it!)

  6. LostinbooksSam / Mummy Sam
    LostinbooksSam / Mummy Sam at

    Wow …. there’s living in the past and living in the past

    This is a time slip novel set in the here and now and a couple hundred millennia ago …. in the Bronze age!

    A very well written and cleverly characterised novel.

    We meet Grace a recent widow who is still coming to terms with her late husband’s death. Life just isn’t fair. He was her rock. Her life. Her everything.

    Her best friend Millie has spent the last two years trying to help coax he out of her sadness and the school’s summer break seems the perfect opportunity to get Grace away from the life she was consumed in and take her off on an adventure…. to the freezing cold Yorkshire Sales on an archaeological dig!

    Little did Grace know that that meant being knee high deep in dirty water sieving mud ….

    In comes Duncan… Mr no fun Scot professor who shouts orders – is generally always grumpy and very very short tempered. Not to mention he has a huge Police following….. but I won’t reveal the details of that!

    I enjoyed journeying between the here and now and BC2000 … if not a little odd to begin with, but the story was engrossing and left me wanting to know what happened next.

    I wasn’t disappointed.

    #choclit #kirstyferry

  7. Els Ebraert
    Els Ebraert at

    A fluently written and heartfelt story that takes you on a journey to the Bronze Age and back. Can answers be found a few hundred years ago on questions still being asked today? And if so, who will be able to find them? And will proof be needed in order to be believed? Can love find its way into the hearts of two people who are afraid to love and being loved? Are we in for a happy ending or will all be lost?

    The answers to these questions and much more will be revealed in this wonderfull book. And then there was that last sentence … I truely hope the author wrote it with a sequel in mind, because all I could think was : please, give me more. I want more …

  8. Jo Lambert
    Jo Lambert at

    Jane Lovering is a very unique voice and brings both drama and humour to the romantic fiction she writes.
    Living in the Past centres on a dig which takes place in North Yorkshire during the summer holidays. Young widowed history teacher Grace still mourns the loss of husband Jamie who died of cancer two years ago. Her friend Tabitha suggests a break away but the thought of working on an archaeological dig – somewhere which conjures up images of heavy rain and plentiful amounts of mud – holds little appeal.
    Despite her initial reservations Grace joins Tabitha at the dig. When Tabitha’s partner Millie arrives on site and she has to move out of their tent she is offered a room with Professor Duncan McDonald, the dig leader; a large, scruffy unapproachable man. When one of the dig members goes missing and the police arrive to interview Duncan, Grace learns she is not the only one with a troubled past. Despite still mourning husband Jamie, Grace has her witty moments. She’s also a strong, compassionate character. Discovering her ability to move between present day and the past she uses it to help Duncan find closure on a situation that has haunted him for fifteen years. An incident he has never stopped blaming himself for. It has a bit of a domino effect too. As Grace becomes more involved with helping Duncan so her preoccupation with Jamie and the past gradually begins to fade.
    Duncan is not your usual Choc Lit hero either. In fact he’s anything but. Scruffy and more often than not covered in mud, at the beginning of the story he’s distant and unapproachable. But meeting Grace causes a shift in his attitude and begins to mellow him. And when all that mud is showered away, Grace discovers underneath his worn jacket, baggy jumpers and faded jeans there’s quite an attractive man lurking…
    The title Living in the Past has been well chosen. It not only relates to the fact the story centres around an archaeological dig, both characters are also in some way tied to previous events in their lives. Well deserving of five stars…

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