The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Deanna Wadsworth is a hot twist on an old Halloween favorite. Here is a summary and then an excerpt of the book:
Ichabod Crane, town schoolmaster and self-proclaimed supernatural expert, wants to better his situation by marrying the wealthy Katrina Van Tassel. But, there is a rival for her attentions.
Local hero, Brom Bones.
Brom lives to torment and tease Ichabod, leaving the schoolmaster wondering if he is more interested in besting his rival than winning Katrina’s hand. Especially when each time Ichabod goes into the backroom of his favorite tavern – a place men can be men -his imagination conjures Brom’s face on every lover.
Late one night, Ichabod is chased by the legendary Headless Horseman. Terrified the ghost wants his head, he tries to outrun the specter. To his horror, he is taken captive by the evil spirit.
Ichabod awakens, naked and tied to a bed, only to discover the Headless Horseman is none other than his rival Brom Bones! Brom confesses that Ichabod has been haunting his own fantasies and he vows to make Ichabod Crane his in every way.
Ichabod wants to believe the pleasure Brom offers comes from his heart, but he is afraid it is another one of Brom’s tricks.
Though surely an enemy’s touch has never felt like this…
Squinting into the dark room, Ichabod’s vision began to cooperate and he soon could make out shapes in the dark. He was not alone. With him was a tall figure in a long black cape the proportions of which were surely made for a giant. A choked whimper escaped him.
The Headless Horseman had taken him prisoner!
“What is it that you want with me?” Ichabod demanded, unable to disguise the tremor in his voice.
There was no answer. However the air crackled with the menace of what might come. Or perhaps the threat was insinuated by the fact Ichabod was tied naked to a bed. Such was not a customary welcome in these parts, nor did it bode well for the intent of his captor.
The ghost stirred on the other side of the room and the hairs on Ichabod’s scalp and neck rose to sharp attention when he heard the scraping sound of a knife. His eyes, still accustomed to the dark, struggled to work in the sudden glittering orange light which now filled the room. Surely that glow must have come from the pits of Hell itself!
Ichabod thrashed against his restraints, convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that the Hessian was sharpening a butcher knife over a flame to ease with the task of removing Ichabod’s head from his body. But, struggle as he might, he could not loosen the ropes. Collapsing in defeat, he fought to swallow his rising alarm. Dread coiled like a scaly constrictor around his insides and tears began to pour down his face. He could not stop them nor could he contain the trembling of his body.
Seeing no means of escape, he began to plead, “Do not take my head, Hessian, please.”
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is available at Coffee Time Romance for $3.19. Visit the website here.