The Year is 1800.
A young man makes weapons for the defense of America, still a fledgling nation. He also protects his heart from the allure of a young woman who seems so far above his station in life that he cannot win her.
The lady fights her own war against loneliness and grief. Despite her finery and airs, she is drawn to the young armory worker, who is distant yet disarming.Love is the not the only entanglement. The nation's enemies are afoot. They creep within the very walls where America’s defenses are being forged. Who are they? When will they strike? Who will survive their terrorism?
Intrigue of the heart and intrigue of the times are only part of this compelling story—Book 3 of the Deer Run Saga. This series finale is a gripping mix of romance and deception, faith and forgiveness, transgression and trial.
Why did Father ask me to come here. I just want to go home.
At the thought of home, Susannah nearly burst into tears.
I cannot cry here. Certainly not in view of complete strangers.
She turned away from the kettles, widened her eyes and sniffed sharply. Refusing to give in to her grieving heart, she refocused on the task at hand.
The satiated workers began to vacate the tables one-by-one. Susannah watched most of the men stretch their limbs and pat their leather work belts before heading toward the wood frame of the new church building. But Green Eyes remained at his table, eating slowly.
Clearing away the dirty plates, Susannah felt someone’s hands gently grab her arms from behind. Missus Ashley was at her side, her sparkling smile brimming with mischief.
“Miss Dobbins, why don’t you sit for awhile? You’ve been working so hard and you are still recovering from your long journey to Springfield. Come sit here, my dear.”
Much to Susannah’s horror, Missus Ashley navigated Susannah over to the table where Green Eyes sat. He was obviously laboring to finish his first plate when Missus Ashley plopped Susannah down on the bench next to him, much too close.
She quickly inched away.
“Miss Dobbins, I would like you to meet Mr. Daniel Lowe. He is one of our fine workers at the armory as well as a regular congregant of First Church. A fine Christian man.”
Susannah narrowed her gaze.
She wanted to say, “Is that so?” Only her mother’s training in manners rescued her from inflicting insult.
She cleared her throat.
“So pleased to meet you, Mr. Lowe.”
“There. Now you are acquainted, I shall return to my tasks.” Missus Ashley gave a positively mischievous grin to the two before heading back to the kettles.
An awkward silence followed the departure of Missus Ashley, though Susannah could hear the woman giggling in the distance with another cook.
Side-by-side, they both looked down at the table. Susannah fidgeted with her thumbs and Mr. Lowe nervously rubbed his hand through one side of his hair. Just when Susannah thought she could not take the tension any further, the workman spoke up.
“Miss Dobbins, it is quite obvious how…uncomfortable…you are in my presence. Please do not feel obliged to remain here and entertain me.” His voice was surprisingly smooth and well spoken. Not at all what she imagined.
She glanced up at his eyes, which were fixed upon her. She cleared her throat.
“Mr. Lowe, it is not that I am uncomfortable…” She closed her mouth when he began to shake his head and gave a low, dismissive grunt.
“Please, Miss Dobbins. There is no need to explain. ’Tis quite obvious that I am not…shall we say…well-suited to your station in life.” His face grew sober and he rubbed his head as though it were in pain.
“It is not just your station, sir…”
“Ah, see, I was right.”
She flustered and sat up straighter. “That you are a workman notwithstanding, your behavior of last night was appalling. I find it quite shocking that you would carry on with your drunkenness and then make a mockery of helping to build a church. The Lord’s meetinghouse!”
Mr. Lowe glared back. He kept his voice low but his words were pointed.
“Is it your custom, Miss Dobbins, to display yourself at your window for all to see?”
Susannah gasped and threw her hands across her bodice.
“How dare you accuse me of such behavior! I…I…was merely preparing to retire for the night when I was disturbed by you and your drunken friends.”
His gaze penetrating her to the core, Mr. Lowe leaned closer.
I wish his eyes were not so disarming. He was leaning so close she could feel his breath.
“You seem to so easily pass judgment on me, Miss Dobbins.”
She thought she saw pain glaze across his expression. He continued. “You know naught of me. And perhaps it is better that way…for both of us.”
He grabbed his cloth napkin and wiped it fiercely across his mouth. Throwing it on the table, he stood up and lifted his long legs one at a time over the bench. Grabbing his hammer from his work belt, he stormed toward the construction site.
She sat there for a moment, heart pounding and temples throbbing.
Elaine Marie Cooper is the author of The Road to Deer Run (Finalist in Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Religious Fiction, Honorable Mention in Romance at 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival) and The Promise of Deer Run (Romance Winner for 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival, Finalist in Religious Fiction for ForeWord Review Book of the Year). Cooper is also a contributing writer for Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson and has a short story, “The Tea Set,” in the romance anthology, I Choose You. She is a wife, mom, GiGi to triplets, and a registered nurse. Her historical fiction, Fields of the Fatherless, will be released in 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.
This is a stellar read of the early American period. Elaine Cooper is a gifted wordsmith who brings the era to life vividly and leaves you wanting more. Bravo! — Laura Frantz, Author, Love’s Reckoning
“A plot to wound the baby nation of America, trusted friends who turn into enemies, death, faith, and life, all blend into a tragic yet beautiful tale of life and passion in 1800.” — Lisa J. Lickel, Author, The Map Quest
“It's no wonder Elaine Marie Cooper is an award-winning author. Her writing shines with an artistic flair to blend deep-heart issues with light romance, love and adventure. Danny and Susannah capture the heart with their innocent love, yet honor and faith. Their story resonates with courage, commitment, faith and victory.” —Janet Perez Eckles, Author, Simply Salsa
Legacy of Deer Run is a truly beautiful, heart-warming tale that will appeal to readers who enjoy historical romantic Christian fiction. — Lynn Dove, Author, the Wounded Trilogy
Elaine, why did you write LEGACY OF DEER RUN?
Legacy was the third and final book of the Deer Run Saga that begins in 1777. This novel, set in 1800, brings the story of the British soldier that became an American in Book 1 (The Road to Deer Run) full circle, as we follow his oldest son into adulthood, intrigue, and romance. It was a culmination of my vision to see this story, loosely based on my ancestors, come together as readers could hopefully understand Early America in a way that brings our history to life. It was a joy to recreate in words the lives of those who worked so hard to ensure the success of the fledgling United States of America!