Title: Inheritance Games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Penguin books
Publication Date: Sept 3rd
Comment: I agreed to review this book in exchange for a free copy from Penguin books and The_writereads. All opinions are my own.
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
Avery Grambs is smart. Smart enough to know to keep her head down and stay out of the way and maybe, just maybe, she’ll live long enough to get a scholarship and get away from everything.
However, her life plan is derailed when multi-Billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and names her as his primary beneficiary.
His daughters and grandsons are furious but no one is more bewildered than Avery herself- she never even met the man. Why is he leaving everything to her?
The Heir apparent, handsome philanthropist Grayson, thinks she’s a con-woman and insists he’ll uncover her secrets. Focussed and driven Jameson thinks she’s a clue he needs to solve, happy-go-lucky Xander is just happy she’s there and cowboy Nash seems way too interested in her sister for her peace of mind.
But there is a mystery here and Avery enjoys solving mysteries as much as Tobias Hawthorne seemed to enjoy setting them. But with danger round every corner, skeletons in the closet and a fortune at stake- is this one puzzle that should be left alone.
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently and have had to labour through a few short stories to get myself motivated. But when this arrived, I was hooked from the beginning and read it in one sitting. Touted as Knives Out (my fave film of the year) meets One of us is Lying this is one book that ticks all of the boxes.
I could Gush. I will gush. It was awesome and I think my fave book of the year so far.
So what would you do I someone left you a billion pounds. I think I’d be very much like Avery- “Uh, thanks but why?”
The idea of an eccentric old man who loves playing games with his grandchildren leaving clues from beyond the grave that he’s had practically built into the house is so fantastic. It’s seriously what I’d do if I had the cash and MULTIPLE LIBRARIES!!!!! Ahem. I can’t deny that might be my favourite part.
Secret passage-ways built into the house which has multiple wings (and one playroom with an actual plane in it) make for a fantastic set and we get to go exploring with Avery as she discovers some of the nuances of her new house.
There’s past loves, current douche-bag ex’s, paparazzi, a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie, a partial love-triangle and more hunky boys than you could shake a Mills and Boon stick at. Seriously what’s not to love?
Every description, from the mind-set of the Hawthornes, to the description of the puzzles and the grounds was all done so tastefully that you never felt spoofed information. There was always way more show that tell and I actually felt like I was watching a film rather than reading a book at times.
The characters were definitely the stand-out in these books. Even the ‘evil’ Thea was multi-faceted and had a likeable side. The only one I actually hated was Emily. Because of reasons.
Of course, Avery was my favourite as she a very down to earth attitude but could also be selfish – as evidenced by her friendship with Max which she gets called out on. She had very real reactions to things and it was easy to follow her train of thought and therefore her actions. In fact, she seemed much more mature than her actual age which made it easier for me to relate to her.
I also adore the fact that, although we never meet him, we gain so much knowledge about Tobias Hawthorne through his actions and the reactions of people regarding him, that he still feels like a major player in the story. At times you could almost forget that he was dead.
I love Libby and Avery’s relationship and, even though Libby does have a dirt-bag of an ex, the two of them are one solid unit; the way sisters ought to be.
Then there’s the boys.
Ho-ly Mills and Boon. I’ve taken the liberty of naming their novels myself.
Grayson- The Heir Apparent’s dark past
Jameson- Solving his mystery Heiress
Nash- The Millionaire Cowboy’s hero complex
Xander- Saving the Hawthornes
Delicious. Ahhh. Wonderful characters. Pretty boys.
In case you couldn’t tell I’m quite a fan of this book. I read it through in one go and am desperate to read the next. I am so glad that, although there were some mysteries solved, that there are others that we still have to uncover.