The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The basics

Title: The Inheritance Games


Series: The Inheritance Games #1

- The Inheritance Games (2020)
- Untitled (2021)

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Goodreads Summary:

She came from nothing. Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future. Then an eccentric billionaire dies, leaving her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything. Now she must move into the mansion she's inherited.
It's filled with secrets and codes, and the old man's surviving relatives - a family hell-bent on discovering why Avery got 'their' money.

Now there's only one rule: winner takes all. Soon she is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing. But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

Here is a spoiler summary of what happened in The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes to help refresh your memory before you read the sequel.

What happened in The Inheritance Games?

  • Avery is living with her sister, Libby, and her abusive on-again off-again boyfriend, Drake. And also partly in her car. Avery is called to the headmaster’s office when she gets a perfect score in her physics test, and she is accused of cheating. She takes a new test there and then to prove she is just that good.
  • The following day Avery is called into the office again, and this time there is a young man called Grayson waiting for her. Libby is also there. Grayson has come to take Avery to his late grandfather’s estate, as Avery’s presence is required for the reading of the will.
  • Avery has no idea what’s going on but she and Libby head to Hawthorne House via private jet. Libby had been getting letters but she thought they were spam.
  • Avery arrives at the House and the will is read. Zara and Skye, Tobias Hawthorne’s two daughters, are left with 100k. The grandsons: Nash, Grayson, Jameson, and Xander, are left with 250k each. And Avery gets the rest, which amounts to about $48 billion. Avery has no connection with Tobias Hawthorne, so she has no idea why she has inherited this.
  • The inheritance does come with some conditions. Avery has to live in Hawthorne House for one year in order to inherit, and she also can’t kick the Hawthorne family out.
  • Avery gets a security detail led by Oren, and a whole law firm that is run by Alisa and her father.
  • Avery has to go to school, of course, so she starts at the school that the boys go to. Here she meets Thea and Rebecca.
  • Avery and the boys think there’s something to the letters that Tobias Hawthorne left them, as Tobias Hawthorne was always into games and riddles. Avery works closely with Jameson, and with a bit of help from Xander they figure out that Tobias didn’t have a middle name, even though he signed the will with one.
  • Drake speaks to the press, as does Libby’s mother. There’s no secrecy in this house…
  • The discover that there is another will that’s written in red ink, so Avery goes to check it out.
  • Avery figures that the boys’ middle names must mean something. The first one, Westbrook, leads Avery and Tobias to a bridge on the estate. They find the number 8. They continue to follow the clues, and they end up in the forest, where Avery is shot at.
  • Oren rushes Avery to the Laughlin’s cottage while he scopes the place out. Avery speaks to Rebecca, who speaks briefly about her dead sister Emily. Emily used to date Grayson and Jameson before she died. She had a heart transplant and her heart gave out.
  • Avery and Jameson kiss. It’s probably the adrenaline.
  • Once Oren has given the all clear, Avery heads back to the House, but they keep the shooting incident a secret.
  • Grayson tells Avery all about the foundation that she’s inheriting. It sounds pretty great to be honest, although Grayson insists that Avery can’t just look after individual people, like Harry from the park, but she’s responsible for more than that now.
  • Alisa and Oren take Avery and Thea dress shopping as there’s an event coming up. On the way home, a car chases them. Oren admits to using Avery as bait. The driver – and the shooter – turns out to be Drake. But who let him onto the property?
  • Avery solves a few more clues to whatever game Tobias Hawthorne set up. She gets the numbers 1, 1, and 0.
  • Jameson gets very upset with everything that’s going on and says he doesn’t want to play the game any more. They all start talking about how Emily died. She jumped off a cliff, seemed fine, but then her heart gave out when she was back on shore. Jameson saw this happen, after he broke up with her.
  • Avery and Xander head to the tunnels and find that they need everyone down there to unlock the box. Xander goes to get his brothers.
  • Rebecca shows up as well as Grayson. They realise that Drake had been working for Skye, who let him into the tunnels and told him to shoot Avery. Grayson says he will deal with his mother.
  • The other brothers arrive and they open the box. There are a bunch of photos of Avery in there. Avery realises that she met Tobias Hawthorne at a diner when she was a child, and he asked for her name. It seems to be a coincidence that Emily died on Avery’s birthday, 18th October (18/10), but the numbers are to do with Avery’s birthday.
  • Avery realises that Toby is Harry, the homeless guy from the park.
  • Xander’s letter from his grandfather congratulates him, as he was supposed to get the brothers together and make sure they complete the puzzle. Xander dunks his letter underwater, and a message telling him to find Toby appears.

That’s what happened in The Inheritance Games! Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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