The Family Protrait
By Gillian Felix
Rating 3 stars
Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.
In this new adult novel you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance. You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack.
You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?
The Banovic Siblings:
College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.
Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?
Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.
The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving.
When L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.
“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi
Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?
Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart.
Book 1 - Changes
There is a lot going on. There are many characters to meet, different ways they are connected, and events to keep track of. With all that is going on in the book it is not overwhelming; it actually made for a very fast paced read.
So here's a bit of a rundown. The Banovic's. Adriana is 15 and newly unemployed. Kevin is living a double life. Zax is a star athlete as well as smart. Robin is regretting the decision to cut himself off from his late father. The DeCosta's. Leighann is a burnout teenage singer. Savi is Leighann's manager/mother who loves the money and privileges of Leighann's talent more than she she loves her daughter. Oh, and then there's the dead private investigator.
Should you read it? Maybe. Who should read it? Fans of contemporary family conflict fiction.
Book 2 - The Banivic Siblings
The book picks up right where the second on left off. Again there is a lot going on. In this book the members of the families have met but they still don't know how deep connections with some of the others go. Again, very fast paced.
This is harder to rundown without giving things away but I'll try. Kevin seedier side has met his match while he's falling for a girl is in her in bad situation. Adriana is falling for someone who she knows she shouldn't mostly because it's a bad situation for him. Zax is hung up on a girl that he can see what's in front him. Leighann is having the similar problem as Zax. L'Wren, surprisingly not as put together has Leighann thinks. Savi continues to think she's a victim. Robin struggles to learn the family business while his wife Jayne is hiding that she got laid off. Whew!
Should you read it? Maybe. Who should hear it? Fans of contemporary family fiction as well as readers of the first book.
Book 3 - Bastard's Brew
Continuation of the second book. All the same issues from the second book but in more detailed. The exception is that Leighann has let go other crush. She wasn't in the story as much this time around. Adriana is forced to pay for an act she committed but she is still selfishly lying to Haze. Haze is the guy I said she shouldn't be dating.
Should you read it? Maybe. Who should read it? Fans of contemporary fiction as well as readers of book 1 & 2.
The series as a whole. I like the characters. They are written nicely. I like the story. However, I do have some issues. Each book/volume is around 100 pages so they go by fast not a bad thing but something you may want to think about. What I don't like is that these are not volumes, they are episodes. Theses episodes are basically a soap opera. The volumes and nothing has been resolved.
As a kid my great other and two if her daughters watched the soaps. I stopped obviously once I started school but for a short time got back into it when the made the soap opera channel. Again I stopped. Why? I like endings and hate things to be drawn out. When I read a book I want there to be a "bada bada that's all folks" moment. Exceptions multi-book series i.e. Harry Potter. Here's the thing with books in a series, they have to have at least one subplot come to a satisfactory end. That doesn't happen in The Family Portrait volumes. So you may be asking, are you going to read vol. 4? No. There's nothing from these past volumes to lead me to think that things will wrap up in volume 4.
Should you read the volumes? Maybe. See the following question. Who should read them? Fans of suspense as well as soap opera fans.
Last 2 cents:
Good story. √
Good characters. √
Satisfactory plot endings. X
Gillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.
Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.
Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children's and women's rights.