[Review] “Inheritance Games” Series: Things aren’t always what they seem to be

Elisabeth Lee

It is not everyday a girl without connections or money has a chance to inherit billions while fighting for acceptance and love. But unbeknownst to Avery Grambs, she wasn’t chosen randomly, and her connections transcend any “normal” person.

The ongoing Inheritance Games series by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, was originally published on September 1, 2020, and immediately grew in popularity through social media, reaching a large and immersed audience. Intertwining mystery and romance into a single story, the series included intense plot twists, a puzzling love triangle, and unknown truths waiting to be discovered.

The series currently consists of three books, The Inheritance Games, The Hawthorne Legacy, and The Final Gambit, with a special fourth installment coming soon in 2023. 

In the first book, The Inheritance Games, money, connections, and power had never been accessible for Avery Kylie Grambs. Her mother is dead and her father abandoned her years ago, leaving the seventeen year old with her older sister in the small town of New Castle, Connecticut. For some incredible reason, she suddenly inherits tens of billions of dollars from Texas’ richest man who just died–Tobias Hawthorne. Only, there is one condition to taking the money–she must live in his carefully crafted, riddle-filled mansion, The Hawthorne House, for a single year.  There she meets Tobias Hawthorne’s four grandsons, Nash, Grayson, Jameson, and Alexander. They work together to solve a riddle left by the deceased billionaire, trying to find out why Avery was chosen to inherit the fortune. 

Throughout the book, she makes enemies, develops friendships, finds herself tangled in a love triangle, and navigates her way through the hectic new life all while trying to solve the mystery as to why she became the heiress. The plot is absolutely riveting and addictive, and the reader finds themself unable to put the book down, trying to solve the mystery, only to find themself at a plot twist. However, the end is gratifying, leaving the reader thinking everything was solved.

Then, Barnes published The Hawthorne Legacy, and it was made apparent that there was still so much more to the mystery. Avery and the four brothers go on a relentless hunt to find the dead billionaire’s missing son, Toby Hawthorne. The heiress finds love, discovers perplexing truths about her past, and solves a second riddle that was left unsolved by Tobias Hawthorne. 

At last, in The Final Gambit, as Avery’s time at the Hawthorne house almost reaches one year, a mysterious girl arrives with the power to hinder the heiress’s chance to inherit the fortune. Soon after, Avery comes upon her final riddle from the deceased Hawthorne, and is determined to solve it before the clock runs out.

This book has an intense amount of dead ends, twists, and turns that will make it impossible for the reader to put the book down. It dives even deeper into Avery’s love life, showing her and the brother’s vulnerable weakness and mental strengths. Through her many trials, both external and internal, she figures more about her true self and what she wants in her new life. Finally, Avery’s past has become clear to her, she is thriving in the present, and she cannot wait for what the future holds.

Set to be published in August 2023, The Brothers Hawthorne is the fourth book of the series and will focus on the four Hawthorne brothers. Fans are eager to see what Barnes has in store for some of the most loved and “fan-girled” characters from the series.

If you enjoy a good mystery, self-exploration, love triangles, vulnerability at its fullest, and growing friendships, The Inheritance Games series is a perfect match for you.