This was a real page turner. The heroine is dark haired and ivory skinned, almost eighteen. She has been raised by her grandmother, isolated in a mansion. Her mother died at her birth, at least that is the family story. Her father stopped coming to see her. She was at a girls’ school but was sent away to a brutal co-ed boarding school when her grandmother found out she was sneaking out of the mansion at night. Avery is lonely and all her relatives seem to dislike her. Her cousin Chase once knocked her down at a garden party and tried to force her to eat a worm!
She tries to escape from the boarding school. Just in time, her family lawyer’s son shows up to whisk her back Santa Rosa, California, to a meeting. Her grandmother is ill and wants to find a suitable heir for her vast enterprises. She constructs a series of challenges for all relatives willing to participate. Each round someone will be eliminated. The victor takes over the vast Van Der Meer Enterprises.
As she goes through the challenges, her self-confidence grows. Her “chaparone” is the lawyer’s 19-year old son. They join forces in a jet-setting succession of challenges. She begins to receive threats via texts and email. Will she be able to stay in the competition? Will she find out anything about her parents? And will the thing with the cute guy turn into something more?