blog tour + arc review | the final gambit – jennifer lynn barnes

The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series: The Inheritance Games #3
Expected publication: August 30, 2022 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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.

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Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tour for choosing me as one of the participants in the #TheFinalGambit tour. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you’re interested in the other tour stops, check out the schedule!


The final mystery has been solved. Avery will find out why she is chosen to be Tobias Hawthorn’s very risky gamble. While gathering clues about this last game they are playing, Avery has to deal with Hawthorne’s complicated past that she has been dragged into. The Hawthorne grandsons are faced with difficult truths about their grandfather’s history, but it’s obvious that Tobias brought them up to be great humans. 

A girl resembling Emily suddenly appeared in front of Avery and the Hawthorne grandsons. Worried for Grayson and Jameson, Avery has no idea if she can trust Eve who seemingly had no motive other than finding Toby Hawthorne, the father she came to know. 

It’s nice to see that Avery stayed down-to-earth despite inheriting billions of dollars. Even the solution to her inheritance was very Avery. I wasn’t too surprised about how Avery dealt with her money and the whole last villain aspect of The Final Gambit was interesting. I’ll miss reading about Avery and the boys solving clues after clues, and putting puzzle pieces together while exploring the Hawthorne estate. 

“The move–it’s called the Queen’s Gambit. Whoever’s playing white puts that second pawn in a position to be sacrificed, which is why it’s considered a gambit.”

As for characters, they are all endearing in their own ways. It’s such a contrast from The Inheritance Games when the boys realized a stranger was the heir to the Hawthorne empire. Now, they’re all extremely protective about Avery, bringing her into their conversations, and trusting her judgment in things (when it doesn’t endanger her life).

If you’re thinking about the love triangle, it’s pretty low-key. Grayson is still shaken by Emily’s betrayal and while he has feelings for Avery, he’s keeping his distance. As for Avery and Jameson, there’s some insecurity within the relationship but nothing too alarming. The couple talked about their feelings multiple times throughout the book too, so that’s great. While I definitely have a softer spot for Grayson, Avery and Jameson make a nice pairing. 

“You were the clay, and I was the sculptor, and it has been the joy and honor of my life to make you better men than I will ever be.”

Great end to the entire trilogy. I loved how Jennifer Lynn Barnes planted the clues throughout Hawthorne House for the characters to find. The Hawthorne boys are so into games, puzzles, and mysteries, much like Avery. For this trilogy, I focused more on the mystery thriller part than the romance so I don’t have any complaints regarding that. I just love a mystery and Jennifer Lynn Barnes provided me with more. I hope she writes more books in the mystery genre!

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