Title: The Hawthorne Legacy
Series: The Inheritance Games #2
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Genre: YA, Mystery
Published: September 7th, 2021 (Little, Brown BYR)
Synopsis: The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions—including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.
Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, two of the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture—by any means necessary.
With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, Knives Out-like family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.
Following the shocking events of The Inheritance Games, Avery and the Hawthorne brothers continue to seek out Tobias Hawthorne’s motive in leaving his entire fortune to a random girl. Being the Hawthorne heiress is no joke however, and with a fortune in the billions at stake, things are getting more dangerous by the day for Avery as enemies are emerging on all sides and she has no idea who can be trusted.
I really wanted to reread The Inheritance Games before this because it’s been such a long time, but I didn’t have the time. However, since The Hawthorne Legacy picks up exactly where the first book ended, and there is a bit of a recap, it was easy to recall the major facts. Not so much for some of the more minor characters though. It was wonderful to return to the secret filled halls of Hawthorne House however, as the mystery continues to thicken. The plot was brilliant and I was particularly impressed at how skillfully the author has put together the series of events and reveals in such a way that as a reader, I didn’t know which hints were real and which were just red herrings.
While there were still puzzles aplenty, with the plot slowing down considerably, there was much more time devoted to character development in this book. Avery and the Hawthorne boys continue to dig into their pasts, looking for the answer as to why Tobias Hawthorne chose Avery to leave his fortune to, and how she is connected to them. The Hawthorne brothers, mostly Grayson and Jameson, continue to be as mysterious as ever. I love their characters and how unpredictable they continue to be, though I must say, after the thoroughly convoluted piece that the romance turned into, I’m kind of over it.
Given what has been revealed by the end of this book, I have to say that this series could have easily wrapped up as a duology and avoided the rather painful second book syndrome present for much of this installment. The pacing was choppy, dragging out certain scenes and racing through others, and reading this book took much longer than a 350 odd page book ought to have taken. But the bottom line, I think, was that The Hawthorne Legacy had some pretty big shoes to fill considering how good The Inheritance Games was, and it unfortunately falls short in comparison.
Most of the action takes place in the last quarter of the book, and with the bombshell reveals, it’s quite clear that there are more of Tobias Hawthorne’s schemes yet to be uncovered. Overall, I did enjoy this book a lot, even if not as much as book one. It’s pretty clear that this book is laying the groundwork for the finale and I can’t wait to see how this series ends. Highly recommended!
Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Other reviews in this series: