Friday, July 01, 2022

Blog Tour: The Sweetheart Locket by Jen Gilroy

When Willow and her mother Millie are gifted a DNA test, they think it is a bit of fun, but they know that it is going to say that they are pretty much English through and through. It is therefore a surprise when it shows that they have strong French, Italian and Jewish ancestry.

Millie has no interest in finding out more as she left her past behind years before when she moved from England to America.   However, Willow has always felt like she is missing something, a connection,  so she decides that she is going to try to find out more, especially about the grandmother she never met and only go to know through letters.  

One of the few things that Willow inherited from her grandmother is a sweetheart locket which she treasures. The locket symbolises the great love story between her grandparents Will and Margaret. Will was an airman in WWII and Margaret, the woman who waited for him, then lived in the village, worked for the local church, gardened and generally lived the life of an entitled English lady. 

So why is there a ring and a love note hidden in the bottom of the locket box?

When she visits her late grandmother's home village, Willow finds a grave that reveals that it is not only her grandmother who has secrets and she is determined to get to the bottom of all the secrets 

This is a dual timeline novel, where we alternative between Willow and her search for truth, and her grandmother's story. Margaret or as she chooses to call herself then, Maggie's story starts in 1939. When we meet her, she is meant to be getting on a train which will take her to the port to get onto a boat to take her home to her family in Canada. Somewhat rashly, Maggie decides to tear up her train ticket and stay in London to 'do her bit' in the upcoming war. Maggie signs up to join the armed forces, and to do whatever she could. Early in the war she meets her friend Evie and her brother Will, and soon they are inseparable. 

I really enjoyed Maggie's story, which led from doing secretarial work to eventually being recruited for the SOE (Special Operations Executive), a secret organisation which trained operatives to operate behind enemy lines. But working for SOE in any capacity, means keeping your work secret from everyone, both now and in the future.

As much as this is about Maggie's work it is also about her personal dilemnas. When Will goes missing, presumed dead, she eventually forms a new relationship, but when the war ends everything is complicated. I really enjoyed the way that these final parts of the story worked out. It was maybe a it bit too neat, but I liked it.

As always, I enjoyed the historical aspects of the story more than the contemporary aspect, but it wasn't an uneven ratio as it is in some books. I enjoyed watching Willow grow and realise that there was a chance for her to redefine her own life, starting with her relationship with her mother.

I hadn't read Jen Gilroy before, but I will definitely give her another go as I enjoyed her writing, and I enjoyed the fact that Maggie was a Canadian character. I have read lots of books where the character is Australian and living and working in Europe. It does seem as though this book was a change of direction from her normal books. I do hope that she writes more historical novels.

About the book:

The Sweetheart Locket

What if the key to your present lies in the past?

London, 1939

On the eve of the Second World War, Canadian Maggie Wyndham defies her family and stays in England to do her bit for the war effort. Torn between two countries, two men and living a life of lies working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE), Maggie's RAF sweetheart locket is part of who she is...and who she isn't.

San Francisco, 2019

Over twenty years after Maggie's death, her daughter Millie and granddaughter Willow take a DNA test that's supposed to be a bit of fun but instead yields unexpected results. Willow has always treasured her grandmother's sweetheart locket, both family heirloom and a symbol of her grandparents' love story. But now she doesn't know what to believe. She embarks on a search for the truth, one she doesn't know will reveal far more about herself...

A gripping and heart-breaking dual timeline novel about love, loss and buried secrets, The Sweetheart Locket is perfect for fans of Lorna Cook, Rachel Hore and Suzanne Kelman.

Purchase Links

Universal Amazon link:

Other links (Apple, GooglePlay & Kobo) via Hachette:


About the author

Jen Gilroy writes sweet contemporary romance and dual timeline historical women’s fiction—warm, feel-good stories to bring readers’ hearts home.

A Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® finalist and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon award, Amazon named her third book, 'Back Home at Firefly Lake,' a 'Best Book of the Month: Romance' in December 2017.

A dual British-Canadian citizen, Jen lived in England for many years and earned a doctorate (with a focus on British cultural studies and social history) from University College London. Returning to where her Irish family roots run deep, she now lives with her husband, teenage daughter and floppy-eared rescue hound in small-town Eastern Ontario, Canada.

When not writing, she enjoys reading, ice cream, ballet and paddling her purple kayak.

Visit Jen online at

Social Media Links –




Giveaway to Win 2 x Kindle copies of The Sweetheart Locket (Open to UK / Canada)

*Terms and Conditions –UK & Canada entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds fabulous! I had an ancestry DNA test a few years ago and had some surprising results. Any book about these tests are automatically put on my TBR list.

    1. Oops. I am not anonymous. I guess I clicked on publish too fast and did not enter my name.