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Don’t you just love a good read?

There’s nothing quite like settling down with a cup of coffee, on the couch, with a moreish book! Or even better, lying on soft green grass in the shade with that non-putdownable novel! My idea of peace and quiet!


So, if you are looking for good books to read, why not browse through the YEI Book Reviews page, which is getting quite lengthy! Keep referencing it in 2023 – there will be a lot more coming. There you go, you’re sorted!

We also love to hear your reports on the books you have ready, so mail in your book reviews to and we will publish what we can.

A New Year is time to reminisce. So, the YEI team have put together a list of what we consider to be the best top five reads from 2022. Take a look and tell us what you think…

The Last Hours in Paris

Author: Ruth Druart

I just love World War II stories and Ruth Druart writes the most moving, uplifting, terrifying, heartbreaking  stories, and manages to weave the current day in with the times of the war and the liberation.    

Ruth Druart has only written two books.  Her debut novel was While Paris Slept, and this, The Last Hours in Paris, is her second.  She had me hooked right from the beginning with her amazing stories of the power of love and forgiveness and the intricacies of war.

This story starts in Paris in 1944 and involves a Parisian girl and a German soldier. Fast forward twenty years where Josephine Chevalier uncovers a secret that shakes her to the core.  Determined to get to the truth, Josephine follows a path that leads her to a betrayal so deep that the lives of the characters are changed forever.

Well written, well researched, highly recommended and a riveting read.

One Last Secret

Author:  Adele Parks

I wasn’t too sure about this book at first, but so glad I persevered as it became unputdownable!    It is a blisteringly provocative novel about power, sex, money and revenge.  Not the kind of book that I would normally even attempt to read.  However, Adele Parks, as Lucy Foley says, nailed it!

Dora has led a very difficult life through various circumstances and finds herself in the escort world.  However, this is soon to radically change as she has found someone who she can love and trust and will give her the opportunity to turn her back on the escort world.  But she has one more job, one more client.  The book takes us to a beautiful chateau in the south of France, an idyllic spot for a last job.  But it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems and Dora is trapped with the one man she has never forgotten and the situation becomes terrifyingly apparent that this job could cost Dora her life. Actually a very good read, something quite different, but nevertheless worth the read.



Charlene – in search of a princess

Author:  Arlene Prinsloo

As you may have picked up, I am a royalist and an avid reader of royal and aristocratic autobiographies. 

I didn’t know too much about Charlene Wittstock from Benoni, so I was keen to learn more about her life.

Arlene Prinsloo, the author is South African and a veteran journalist who has worked for several media and covered royal  news as a blogger for Sarie and Netwerk24.

I was a little disappointed that the stories did not come from Princess Charlene herself, but this is a book where the author sifts fact from fiction in a revealing unauthorized autobiography of Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene.  Nevertheless, an interesting read in which the author follows in the footsteps of Charlene, from humble beginnings in Zimbabwe, Johannesburg and Durban to the Olympic Games.  It covers Charlene’s romance with the bachelor prince, her fairytale wedding and her journey becoming a mother to the twins, Princess Gabriella and Prince Jacques.  Princess Charlene has been in the eye of the paparazzi and much speculation and many rumours have circulated around this bubbly, down-to-earth South African.

An interesting book to read if you are interested in the princely Grimaldi family from Monaco.

Next in Line

Author:  Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer is a master storyteller who churns out unputdownable thrillers.         

He is probably high up on the list of one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

So it comes as no surprise that Archer’s latest thriller is a page turner. 

The story is very topical and about the elite Royalty Protection Command who are entrusted with protecting the most famous family on earth – the Royal Family from the UK.  A renegade organization has the security of the country, and the Crown, in its sights, and it’s up to Detective Inspector William Warwick and his Scotland Yard squad to protect The People’s Princess and her family from impending disaster.

Jeffrey Archer has had a career in politics and is well versed in the nitty gritty of Britain’s establishment, and this story feels real, is extraordinarily fascinating and nail-biting stuff.  Highly recommended and definitely worth the read!

Whatever Next?

Author: Anne Glenconnor

If you are a royalist, or a lover of autobiographies or just enjoy reading about the different   lives that people lead, this is a must-read.

Anne Glenconnor was born Lady Anne Coke in 1932.  She was the eldest daughter of the 5th Earl of Leicester. She was a Maid of Honour at the Queen’s Coronation and was appointed Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret in 1971.  She retained this role until the Princess’s death in 2002.  She married Colin, Lord Glenconnor in 1956.

One often can assume that if you are born into an aristocratic world, one’s life must be easier.  Isn’t it interesting that so many stories of royals and aristocracy are coming to light, and that in fact, their lives are polar opposites to what we might think.

Whatever Next reveals that Lady Glenconnor’s life definitely was not always golden or glittering.  Her husband was unpredictable ranging from abusive to charming.  She tragically lost two of her sons and nursed a third back from a coma.  She mastered the art of keeping the peace, became well versed in diplomacy and etiquette, got through all the worst moments in life and celebrated the best of them.   She moved between royal palaces and the jungle of Mustique, with ease, grace and a sense of adventure.

In addition, and a lesson to us all.  She became an author very late in life, in her 80s and has since written four books – two autobiographies and two novels.  She is living proof that life can be an adventure and one can achieve at whatever age you might happen to be, and whatever your background is.  This story is also a treasury of hard-won wisdom, and richly entertaining proof that staying open to every new adventure sets an inspiring example for us all.

A riveting read and highly recommended.

Reviews by Marilyn Hallett, YEI



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