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.

My Review

This is not a book I would have chosen if I wasn’t reading with The Pigeonhole. It’s YA, which I don’t normally read, but it sounded interesting. In spite of the teenage characters – I am not a fan of teenagers in books (or in reality – apologies if you are a teenager, I know I used to be a horrible one and I am joking), but even though Avery can be too ‘teenagy’ for my liking at times (well most of the time) she’s not really annoying. I rather like her to be honest. In fact you could shift this story forward ten years and it would still work in an Agatha Christie kind of way (though you’d need a few to die), but they need to be young for YA.

And I did like the Hawthorne brothers, especially Xander, who is really quite cute though he would hate me saying that. Jamieson is handsome and mysterious and Avery is drawn to him first, though secretly I think that if or when there is a sequel, she will end up with Grayson. Just my humble opinion.

It’s a very well thought out and clever story with so many twists and puzzles. Who can Avery trust? Can she trust anyone? If you had inherited all that money, would everyone be out to get you? Or would you suddenly have more friends than before? She is protected by her lawyer Alisa and her bodyguard Oren, but are they even trustworthy?

Then there are the other relatives. The boys’ mother Skye had Nash first and then the rest of them in quick succession and I mean quick. And they all have different fathers. She didn’t waste any time. It’s like flashbacks of Mamma Mia, I’m just glad none of them will get to sing. In fact we don’t know who they are. Maybe we will find out in the next book. Then there’s Skye’s sister Tara and her husband. Thea whose relationship I didn’t quite work out, plus a whole cast of others who are not related but work for the Hawthornes. Phew!

And I nearly forgot Avery’s half sister Libby and her dreadful boyfriend Drake. How important are they to the plot? That’s all for now folks. You’ll have to read it and find out.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written more than a dozen acclaimed young adult novels. She is also a Fulbright Scholar with advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012 and is currently a professor of psychology and professional writing at the University of Oklahoma. You can find her online at www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com or follow her on Twitter @jenlynnbarnes

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