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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Custodian of the Spirits (The Valley of Heart’s Delight) by Bronwyn Long Borne is a wonderful read and a great treat for historical romance fans who like strong characters. Meet Fiona Lenihan, a widow experiencing a difficult period in her life with her two children. She sets out for California for a fresh start, and everything changes when she meets Kier. Kier Moran lives life on his own terms. He is one of the best trackers and a reputable guide. When he accepts an offer to lead his parents' wagon train to Santa Clara Valley, he has only one plan: take his parents safely to the Valley of Heart’s Delight and get back to his free-spirited life. But everything changes when he meets Fiona Lenihan. Is life worth living without her?
This is not just a tale of romance but a story that explores the human spirit. I loved the way Bronwyn Long Borne writes resilience in Fiona, a woman with a solid background who has grown up in a rural setting. She has experienced moving pain in the past, and now, she is moving to a place where she believes she can have a new start in life. The connection between Fiona and Kier is measured, and the author allows it to develop in incremental doses. The historical elements of the story are well-written, and the reader is transported back in time. The rural settings are vividly described and in incredible detail. The characters are wonderfully written, including supporting ones like Caleb. Custodian of the Spirits is a mesmerizing historical romance with well-written characters and a plot that builds through suspense to a satisfying denouement.