The Final Gambit

- Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about.

To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets, and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.



“We need to talk about your eighteenth birthday.”


meh, nothing special:

It’s a big pet peeve of mine when a character’s personality is destroyed to justify a decision made by the protagonist. It’s the biggest problem with love triangles; often, an author will overcompensate once a choice is finally made to prove that it was the right choice. Since I didn’t have any particular attachment to any of these characters – they’re all pretty one-dimensional placeholders to further specific plot points – it’s not a dealbreaker for me. It did, however, ruin any hope of The Final Gambit being better than The Hawthorne Legacy.

It didn’t help either that the conclusions – of both this mystery and Avery’s inheritance – were pretty blah.

Yes, of course, an old man with decades of pent-up anger, seeking revenge, who’s already kidnapped several people, will be happy to settle the deal with… seven chess games. What a joke. And, of course, a lawyer who has sacrificed love and given up everything to get where she is would give it all away because an 18-year-old asked her to after a year of bad decisions and spontaneous actions.

It took an already barely believable narrative and blew it out of the water.

Overall, I found this to be a fairly disappointing series – there’s not much I would recommend here to others. Juvenile ‘mysteries’, flat, inconsistent characters, and unbelievable scenarios; I have no desire to return to this series and don’t plan to check out The Brothers Hawthorne when it comes out later this year.



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