Seeking Crystal by Joss Stirling, published by Oxford University Press on 4th October 2012
Crystal Brook has always been the dud Savant in her family; paranormal powers just aren't her thing. Dropping out of school with a clutch of 'E' grades and no future, she lives in the shadow of her high-flying sister Diamond. On a trip to Denver, a chance encounter with the dashing Benedict brothers leaves Diamond head over heels in love and engaged to be married. Crystal, on the other hand, is unimpressed by their charms . . . in fact no boy can annoy her as much as Xav Benedict! Back in Venice, their families assemble for Diamond's wedding and a powerful enemy seizes the opportunity to attack. Crystal and Xav must join forces to save their loved-ones, unlocking a secret that, until now, has lain deeply buried...
The Benedict brothers are back in this new instalment of the series by author Joss Stirling. I adore these books! I can't express how much I love them and how ridiculously happy they make me feel when I'm reading them. The romantic in me loves the idea of having a Soul Finder, someone who makes you complete and will be devoted and dedicated to you for the rest of your life. Having seen the two youngest brothers Zed and Yves find their other halves, it's now the turn of the joker and healer of the family, Xav.
'Seeking Crystal' is unique because not one but two of the Benedict brothers are matched up. The story begins with Crystal's older sister Diamond meeting her Soul Finder, Trace. Cue immediate wedding plans between the two. This of course brings Crystal together with Xav, although the two don't exactly get on at first. There's plenty of friction between them from the start, which later turns into lots of lovely kissing!
One of the things I really like about this series are the wonderful settings that Joss Stirling chooses. So far we've had America and London and now it's the turn of the beautiful Venice, which makes a gorgeously romantic backdrop for the story. There are some fantastic descriptions of the city and I could easily imagine floating down the river in a gondolia with a handsome boy by my side!
In this book, we find out more about the bond between Soul Finders and what it can do to someone when they have loved and then lost their other half. This is explored with sensitivity and compassion and really touched me. The bond they have is so special and unique that it can almost destroy them when it is broken.
Although probably not my favourite of the series (that honour goes to 'Stealing Phoenix'), I still thought this book was captivating and altogether fabulous. I want to know now if the other Benedict brothers will find their Soul Finders. I think there could definitely be more in store judging by the tantalising glimpse at the end of the book. I can't wait!