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Review: Bastard’s Brew (A series review of Family Portrait)

by Gillian Felix

  ChangesBanovic SiblingsBastard's Brew

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Firstly I would like to thank Gillian Felix for giving me the opportunity to not only read Bastard’s Brew (through the Blog Tour) but also the chance to read Books 1 and 2 of the series too! This series is like the Sopranos meets Nashville. It was gritty and realistic whilst entertaining and dark.

As part of the Bastard’s Brew Blog Tour I was asked to review 3rd book of the series. As a new reader to this series I was also offered the chance to read books 1 and 2, which I’m glad I did. There was so much detail and family politics/back-story within books one and two that I feel was necessary to understand before book three. It really is like a soap opera while you can enjoy one episode without having to know to much, its always better when you know where a character has come from!

With this in mind I am going to review all three books at the same time.


Title: Changes
Author: Gillian Felix
Book: Family Portrait #1
Genre: NA, Family Saga, Romance

Found: Smashwords
Rating: 2 Voodoos

Out of the three books this was my least favourite. If I’m honest if I wasn’t going to review book 3 I probably wouldn’t have read book 2 after reading this one. It was beautifully written but it had sooo much detail to absorb. Each person was thoroughly explained giving you all the family backgrounds, and there are many characters for you to get to know which, for a story that is only 82 pages long, seems quite heavy to me. My original thought was there were too many characters, but as the series goes on you start to see how they all intertwine. Each character is important, and Gillian Felix does do an amazing job and interweaving a very complex web! If you have been put off by this PLEASE just try reading book two because I promise you its worth it!

This series concentrates on two main families, the Banovic family and the DaCosta family. Both are very famous and wealthy families in their own way but whilst they seem to have the perfect lives to everyone outside, there are many secrets that these families hide, especially from each other!

Out of the two girls I found Adrianna to be the most interesting character. I loved how indifferent she was to her school peers. She is smart, witty and sarcastic in a nasty way. With her very lovely brothers involved the Banovic family were by far the focus of this book. I didn’t really find her parents very interesting but I don’t think you were supposed to. You start to see the significant’s of them in later books. All you have to remember is its ALL about family connections :)

Banovic Siblings

Title: The Banovic Siblings
Author: Gillian Felix
Book: Family Portrait #2
Genre: NA, Family Saga, Romance

Found: Smashwords
Rating: 4 Voodoos

I loved this one! This was my favourite. This is when the Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters. These children are involved in a lot of dodgy connections. I can’t even start to pinpoint what I liked the most! Kevin and his sordid relationship with the malicious DeCosta mother Savi. Or Adrianna’s relationship with the oh so beautiful model Haze who is 21 and doesn’t know that Adrianna is 15! A secret she is willing to do anything to prevent him from finding out! Or even the ever so sweet LeighAnn’s one sided love of Adrianna’s brother Zax. Argh there was just so much to LOVE! All I know is that I devoured this novel in an hour. When Kevin realised that he had feelings for Savi’s step-daughter L’Wren I thought I was going to burst. Especially as L’Wren had a horrible girl-friend beating boyfriend. Let’s just say the ending was amazing and left me reaching for book 3.

Bastard's Brew

Title: Bastard’s Brew
Author: Gillian Felix
Book: Family Portrait #3
Genre: NA, Family Saga, Romance

Found:  From the Author/ Blog Tour
Rating: 3.5 Voodoos

In Bastard’s Brew there was a slight change in pace. Bastard’s Brew concentrated more on Adrianna and Haze’s relationship and Kevin and his terrible Mother-Daughter dilemma. It was nice that it simplified down for a bit and gave you a bit more room to explore these two characters and their relationships in more detail but I missed the nail biting rollercoaster feeling that I got while reading The Banovic Siblings. I’m not saying it was bad in any way at all it was just different. I loved the parts about Kevin. There was something wickedly exciting about seeing what Kevin would do next to try and get out of the blackmail Savi was using to keep him, but also terribly sad because you wanted so badly for him to experience something beautiful and honest with L’Wren. How a woman like Savi could ever have two amazingly gentle and caring daughters I will never know!

I can’t wait to read the next part of this series and get another fix of the dark twisted lives of the Banovic and DeCosta families.



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