Book Review: The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Hawthorne Legacy
Series: (The Inheritance Games #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: September 7, 2021
Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: ★★★★


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, 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.


The Inheritance Games didn’t blow my mind, but it did keep me intrigued and I blew threw it in one sitting. Where it lacked, The Hawthorne Legacy thrived. It was so well done and I was again unable to put it down, but this time I didn’t see any of it coming.

The book starts off exactly where the first left us. We know why Avery was brought into the game, or so we think. Barnes was really able to weave this new game into the previous one flawlessly. It didn’t feel clunky or like an add-on but instead flowed well with the original story. You can tell it was really well thought out and meticulously planned. The stakes are the same, an enormous inheritance, but new players have been out in the board.

I think with fast-paced thrillers it can be hard to fully flesh out characters, to get to know them while keeping the game going. I still feel like we barely scratched the surface with the Hawthorne boys, but I do feel like I know them better than I did. Xander is still my scone loving sweetie who made more appearances in this book since it was his game. Greyson was less of a wet blanket but truly the least interesting Hawthorne and don’t even get me started on believing his “chemistry” with Avery. Nash was ever the southern gentleman and I pray him and Libby get together. And then there was my enigmatic Jameson who is still very much a shot of whiskey. We got to see more of who he is beyond the games being played and it only made me love him more.

If yes is no and once is never, how many sides does a triangle have? To me, a well done love triangle is truly never a triangle. You know who the winner is and I’ve always felt I’ve known who Avery would pick. Things heat up with both Jameson and Greyson which is why Greyson loses his wet blanket status. He gained somewhat of a personality this book and I liked his scenes with Avery. They had a connection but I felt they lacked chemistry I saw with Jameson. But then again her and Jameson are so much alike could that even work? No spoilers here.

If you didn’t quite love the first book, this one is still worth picking up. I thought it was extremely well done and I was invested not only in the mystery but the romance. I love a good game and this was one that had obvious clues but somehow managed to keep the twist coming up until the very end. I’m intrigued to see just what the final game will be and just who will come out with the inheritance.

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