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BOOK REVIEW: The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bad Boy Romance Book Reviews Cinderella Story Filthy Rich Hate to Love Jennifer Lynn Barnes Love Triangles Mystery Rich The Chosen One The Inheritance Games Tragic Backstory
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The Inheritance Games

by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

“Everything’s a game, Avery Grambs. The only thing we get to decide in this life is if we play to win.”


More Details

Series: The Inheritance Game (Book 1)
Find it now: Buy on Amazon | Goodreads
Content Warning: guns, attempted murder, abuse (recounted), violence, blood, death, alcohol

Book Synopsis

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

Read more on the author’s website…

Emmy’s Recap

17-year-old Avery Grambs is dirt poor, under the adoptive care of her older sister, and just trying survive school to make a better life for herself. She frequently sleeps in her car to get away from Libby’s abusive on-again-off-again boyfriend, Drake, and gets pretty high grades in school, aiming to win herself a scholarship. But one day she is plucked out of her normal life by a young gentleman, who claims she has been named as a beneficiary in the estate of a billionaire stranger, she and her sister are flown out to Texas to hear the will read.

She arrives to a cold welcome from the Hawthorne family, and an even colder conversation when she is named as the sole inheritor of the late Tobias Hawthorne’s $42 billion estate (leaving the rest of the Hawthornes nothing but a place to live) – with one condition. She must live in Hawthorne Manor, with the rest of the family, for one year, or the inheritance is passed to charity.

Soon, however, it becomes apparent that this is not just an act of charity for a poor girl, but world of riddles and games – and if she wants to get to the bottom of the mysteries surrounding her sudden fortune, and the secrets of her past – she’s going to have to play the game to win.

“We aren’t normal. This place isn’t normal, and you’re not a player, kid. You’re the glass ballerina—or the knife.”

Tropes & Types

Character/plotline tropes and types you might have seen before that feature – or are similar to – the content in this book.

Character types:
Tragic Backstory, Orphan, Bad boy, Naive women
Plot tropes:
Chosen One, Parents are Dead, Sudden Billionaire, Cinderella story
Romance types:
Abusive, Betrayal, Bad boy

Emmy’s Review

This book is everything I didn’t know that I needed, effortlessly seizing my attention from page one. Certainly, I have a weakness for riddles and games… and secrets. And this story is thick with them. It is delightful, intricate, and will keep you guessing at every turn. It’s a page turner, and to my absolutely delight, this isn’t the first book from Jennifer Lynn Barnes – and doesn’t seem to be her last – my regrets being only that I haven’t found her delicious work sooner.

“That’s the thing, Mystery Girl. I don’t think I’m turning anything into a riddle. I don’t think I have to. You are a riddle, a puzzle, a game – my grandfather’s last.”

This isn’t only a book, it’s a tornado within a hurricane with puzzles and clues in every corner – and a mystery that’s going to keep you hooked. I loved Avery’s charisma, her passion and commitment, and despite the fact she’s a penniless girl down on her luck, who’s suddenly a moving target, who could more than likely go and hide beneath her bedcovers, she’s out and she’s fighting for answers. And bring in the Hawthorne family… their four intriguing sons who have been trained from birth to solve riddles and look for games, this is a truly exciting scene.

Breathtaking doesn’t describe it right… every time a new piece of the puzzle slots into place, the board grows and suddenly the whole game just doubled in size. Death… Money… Mystery… this book has it all.

“Traps upon traps. And riddles upon riddles.”

There was nothing flat about this writing, each character was deeply written with little quirks about their personality and their own problems in a world of intrigue. Every character was full of life, and could leap off the page… reading this book, you can imagine every single person like you know them intricately. There is a small love triangle between Grayson, Jameson, and Avery… but it’s nothing truly established, and I could never tell which boy I was rooting for, because they’re both so deep and troubled and have their own redeeming qualities.

The Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Other books in this series:
The Inheritance Games (Book #1)
The Hawthorne Legacy (Book #2)
Unconfirmed (Book #3)
Series’ by AUTHOR: The Naturals, Raised by Wolves, The Fixer, The Squad

“The more complicated a person’s strategy seemed, the less likely an opponent was to look for simple answers. If you could keep someone looking at your knight, you could take them with a pawn. Look past the details. Past the complications.”

Concluding thoughts

This is a very fast paced book, but it’s refreshing. Although the premise sounds ‘typical’ it’s written in such a perspective that ALL of this is new, and it’s beautiful – let alone the multi-billionaire estate we all wish we had! Learning more and more about Tobias Hawthorne, the billionaire who died and left Avery his estate, is a captivating discovery that will keep you reading – and living through the descriptions of the libraries within Hawthorne House will be like a dream to any vivacious reader. That and exploring the secret tunnels and mazes within this mansion…. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, to anyone and everyone. Go and get your fix now….
If you like mystery and/or romance, you should add this book to your to read list. Or, just get ahead and buy it now on Amazon.

Read my review of ‘BOOK’ on Goodreads       |       View all my reviews on Goodreads

“If there’s one thing the Hawthorne family isn’t, it’s fine. They were a twisted, broken mess before you got here, and they’ll be a twisted, broken mess once you’re gone.”

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