The Promise Me Series by Tara Fox Hall
Author Bio: Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Meseries. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
The Promise Me Series:
I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.
Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial's relentless enemies. Yet Danial needs more; an Oath of forever. But can Sar give Danial his greatest desire?
Excerpt from Promise Me
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. But I want to be clear that I don’t expect you to give me money because we…because we’re—”
“Intimate?” he supplied with a leer. “Lovers?”
I blushed, glad my back was to him. “Yes,” I said curtly.
“It’s my feelings for you that make me offer. I understand you’re independent and used to taking care of yourself. But I want you to have an easier time of it than you had trying to go it alone. I want to take care of you. It’s your right, as befitting your station.”
“As my lover.” He nibbled the back of my neck, his hands sliding down my arms. “That is, if you still want to be.”
Did I ever. God, his lips felt good. I could feel little pricks where his fangs brushed against me…
Focus! “What about the shirt?”
Danial paused what he was doing. “What about it?”
“Did you take some of my life force? Did you deliberately try to seduce me with a spell to get me to feed you?”
He didn’t reply. I shifted back from the fire and made to get up, but he pulled me off balance and I went down, falling into his waiting arms. I struggled in vain as he rolled me over on the carpet and straddled me, holding both my arms over my head with one hand, while the other caressed my cheek. I fumed as I looked at him above me, his upper half silhouetted by the fire. His eyes sparkled, his face in shadow.
“Now, Sarelle,” he purred, “why would I need to seduce you to get you to feed me?”
He stretched down against me. I felt my body betray my anger as my breasts hardened and my breaths came faster.
“You gave me your blood when I was a stranger, willingly.” He leaned in closer as if to kiss me, but remained just out of reach. His dark eyes were locked on mine, filled with desire and familiar arrogance. He bent down to kiss my throat. “You gave yourself to me a night later, with no hesitation.”
His lips moved to the side of my throat. He ran a fang down my neck. I writhed, both in desire and a touch of fear.
“That was a dream. I knew it—”
“You knew nothing of the sort,” he said, his breath warm against my neck. He drew back and used his free hand to start unbuttoning my nightshirt.
“Stop,” I said, my breath tearing out of me.
“Stop what?” he said teasingly. “You want me, just like you have from the first moment you saw me. I can feel your body beneath mine, aching for me. Just as I’m aching for you.”
He continued unbuttoning my top.
“Stop screwing around! I need to know if you—”
“It was your fantasy. A predictable one,” he said, his hand on the next to last button. He paused to run that hand between my breasts, up to clasp my throat. “But I was never in control of you. I couldn’t feed from you—not that I didn’t try. You seemed so willing to let me. But I couldn’t draw any energy from you and I awoke hungry, almost ravenous.”
“Terian was right—”
His hand tightened on my throat. “Why are you so determined to be the victim? Nothing happened that you didn’t choose to happen.” He gave me a half smile, his eyes growing darker. He brought his hand back to my nightshirt and undid the last button. He pushed my shirt to each side, baring my breasts and my lower body as he gave me a slow savoring look. That nimble hand slid up to grip my neck loosely. I knew he could feel how fast my heart beat. “That you could resist and take control from me in the dream amazed me.” His voice was full of wonder and affection. “No one has ever been able to do that. Not with me. Not in three hundred and seventy-five years.”
Broken Promise (Promise Me Series #2)
Shocked at Danial’s betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar’s heart choose Danial, Terian,…or Theo?
Excerpt from Broken Promise
“Sar, you were here last night? Ivan said you gave him the ring, but I assumed you came in the day, to avoid seeing me. Angelica said nothing,” Danial said emotionally.
He was suddenly before me, embracing me before I could stop him. Theo moved closer to us, but I told him with my eyes to keep still, and he stopped.
“Sar, I’m so sorry for Angelica, for what you heard,” Danial murmured into my ear. “She is no substitute for you. I will tell her to leave tonight, that she and I are done, and you’ll never have to see her again. Please forgive me,” he added regretfully.
“Aren’t you oathed?” I said nastily, trying to push him away. “That was no mere necklace she was wearing yesterday—”
“No, of course not,” Danial said, hugging me more tightly. “I’ve given her no promise. I’m so glad you have come back to me, my love. I missed you so much. I filled our bed with her because I was so lonely for you—”
“You had sex with her because you were lonely for me?” I said sarcastically.
“Sar, I didn’t mean that, I—” Danial was backpedaling fast.
It didn’t matter; it was too late. “Danial, I told you that I needed time months ago. You said you couldn’t wait for me. I came back because I promised you I would, because I wanted to believe that you would wait. But you didn’t. Please let me go.”
I moved back from him, as he reluctantly let go of me. It was on his face now that he was finally getting it.
“I am not here to offer you another chance,” I said tiredly. “I’m here to end what we had, end it completely. Take off the collar. Take it off me and let me go.”
“I will not, Sar,” Danial snarled, his eyes tinged red again. “You are mine. Mine! I want a life with you too much to give you up now, not when you’ve come back to me—”
“Did you hear what I said?” I shouted at him. “It’s over! Do you think you can hold onto me by making me wear it? It’s too late! You’ve lost me, Danial!”
Danial stood up in a quick motion, the redness in his eyes glowing lightly. “Who have I lost you to, Sar? I thought I smelled some other male’s scent on your body, and in your hair. Whose is it?”
“Mine,” Theo growled. “Because she’s mine, Danial, not yours.”
Taken in the Night (Promise Me Series #3)
When Theo disappears, Sar is left bereft, the uncertain guardian of Theo’s newly born werecougar daughter, Elle. As months pass, clues emerge about Theo’s disappearance, yet the twisting trail ends repeatedly without answer. In her grief, Sar turns to Danial and hesitantly begins to build a life with him and Elle.
Excerpt from Taken in the Night
“I should go,” Danial said reluctantly. “It’s late.”
I stopped him, my hand on his arm. “Please, stay with me a little while.”
“Sar—” he began warily.
“Please, Danial. I have to talk to you. Come with me.” I held out my hand.
He sighed, and took my hand. I led him below to the bedroom that had been his not long ago. Danial sat on the edge of the bed with me.
“She understands us,” I said quietly. “I didn’t want to talk in front of her.”
“What is it, Sar?” he said tiredly.
“You remember the Hallows party a year ago?”
“Of course,” Danial said with longing. “I remember being so nervous, worried you wouldn’t show. I remember how you looked in the dress, dancing with me.” He paused. “Why do you bring it up?”
“Because you must be going to have another one soon, unless you’re skipping this year.”
“Yes, in late November,” Danial said edgily. “I closed the business while looking for Theo, and am going to reopen it next year. I need the last months of this year to finish up loose ends of old business.” He sighed. “And I need to hire someone to replace Theo, if such a thing can be done.”
“I want to be there, Danial,” I said. “If you would permit me to come.”
“I had hoped you would be,” Danial said, kissing me gently on the forehead. “I wanted to invite you, but wasn’t sure you’d want to—”
“I know you will invite Samuel,” I said forcefully. “I want to question him about Theo—”
His eyes tinted red immediately. “Sar, that is not what I had in mind. I have already talked to him, and he said he did nothing.”
“I don't believe him, Danial. You weren’t there when he and Theo had words.”
“That doesn’t matter,” he retorted. “He is a Ruler. You cannot question him as if he were a mere human.”
“I certainly can—”
“Sar, I forbid it,” Danial said arrogantly, grabbing hold of me. “And that is the end of it.”
“Who are you to forbid me anything?” I said furiously.
“I’m a man that loves you,” he said furiously back, and kissed me hard, pulling the length of his body against mine as we fell backwards onto the bed.
I struggled, but he kissed me more thoroughly, his lips and body cool against mine. I shuddered in his arms, the feeling of being held and desired making me weak with relief and happiness.
Danial moved, rolling me from my side unto my back, his kisses intensifying. He shifted suddenly, pressing down with his hips. I felt his erection pressing firmly to my belly, and I shuddered, my mouth opening to let out a gasp. He saw the opportunity and took it, sliding his tongue into my mouth to taste me. I trembled, and then kissed him back for all I was worth.
Danial broke the kiss, his black eyes staring at me beneath him as he pulled off his shirt. I arched my back, pulling my sweater off over my head. All I’d needed to do was kiss him, and I wanted him so badly I could taste it.
Taken for His Own (Promise Me Series #4)
After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.
Excerpt from Taken for his own
“What about what you did to me?” I whispered, gazing at him and biting my lip.
“That wasn’t a whim,” Devlin said, dropping his eyes. “That was my bad judgment. Sadly, it wasn’t the worst mistake I’ve made in my life.”
Devlin didn’t answer. I reached out and took his cool hand in mine.
“When you lead others you must do whatever you have to in order to save your people,” he said with a sigh. “Compromising values should matter less than saving lives.”
“I agree with you,” I said. “If you rule others, you have a responsibility to them above the responsibility to yourself. But even then, I think your family should come first.”
“They should,” Devlin said in a cracked voice. He swallowed hard. “But the past can’t be undone.”
I squeezed his hand. “What happened to Danial wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes, it was,” he said softly.
“How is it your fault?” I said curiously, easing closer to him.
“Because I should have known what the thing was when it attacked. I didn’t know anything back then, except strategy and tactics. I was too concerned about rising through the ranks as fast as possible, so I could leave my family behind and become someone important.”
“What did you want to be?”
“A commander of men, either soldiers or police.”
I was surprised that Devlin would want to uphold the law or spend his life guarding others. Yet it made sense. When he’d taken me from my house years ago, he’d insisted on taking me to Danial, because I wore the choker. He was here putting himself in danger now to keep me safe.
“I knew something had attacked a few people on that road in that last month,” he continued. “I knew that there was a chance we might be attacked transporting the prisoner. But the road was the quickest way to our destination. I’d been assured that if I made the journey in good time, I’d get the promotion I wanted, and Danial would get my old position.”
“You aren’t at fault for what you did. It wasn’t for an evil reason.”
“Yes, I am,” he said despondently. “It was my greed and pride that doomed us.”
Carefully, I reached for Devlin and put my arms around him. He tensed at my touch, then relaxed.
“You did the best you could. You aren’t damned.”
“Yes, I am. You have no idea what I’ve done.”
I shifted uneasily.
“And I wouldn’t want you to,” Devlin added, his arms snaking around me loosely. “My ends have always justified the means, no matter what they were. I’ve done great evil in the hope of averting worse evil. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not. Still, it’s likely that given the chance to do my life over, I’d do the same things, make the same choices. I’d find myself here, at this same point in time, a fallen king.”
“In case you’re wondering,” I said deliberately. “I’m waiting for you to add into your speech somewhere that you regret everything you did to me while you were king…um, ruler.”
“I regret hurting you,” Devlin said quickly. “Yet I don’t regret coming for you that night or taking you to Danial.” He looked up at me. “You might not have gone back to Danial after Theo went missing, if I hadn’t. Theoron might not be here. I can’t regret any action of mine that led to him being born.”
I didn’t reply, considering his words.
Devlin laid his head against my chest, and his arms tightened on me slightly. We lay there like that for a few moments, not speaking, then I slipped into sleep.
I woke sometime later when Devlin stirred. According to the bedside clock, it was almost dusk.
“I have only one regret,” Devlin said finally, propping himself up on his elbow, his expression intent.
“What’s that?” I said, covering my yawn with my hand.
“That it wasn’t me you found in your quarry that night,” Devlin said, kissing the back of my hand with cool lips. His golden eyes locked on mine, transfixing me, as he drew my hand away from my face.
He was going to kiss me. My lips parted as my breath caught in my throat.
Immortal Confessions (Promise Me Series #5)
At the turn of the 19th century, former aristocrat turned lowly vampire Devlin Dalcon gets by on his supernatural charms until he meets bride-to-be Annabelle. Smitten by Anna’s forthrightness, intellect, and bravery, Devlin risks his life to spirit her away to Fontainebleau, France. There Devlin begins his ascent to power in a desperate bid for wealth and social standing for himself and Anna. Forging alliances with other supernatural leaders, he usurps the vampire Lord of Fontainebleau, amassing many enemies during his brief reign. Within a few years, he and Anna are again forced to flee for their lives to America. Living in hiding, Devlin is determined to amend his ways. But when tragedy strikes, Devlin’s dark side, never fully extinguished, emerges rampant, securing him the bloody throne of America even as his malevolence and loneliness consumes him.
Excerpt from Immortal Confessions
Now we were getting somewhere. “Explain this, as I’ll need to know. What are the rules in this city, besides no killing?”
“Not many. Don’t kill humans, unless they attack you, and even then, make it look an accidental murder by stealing from them. Don’t trouble the richer citizens at all, not for any reason. Don’t bother the other supernatural citizens—”
“The sorcerers and witches, the goblins and the faeries,” he said, bored. “There is also a family of werevultures that inhabit this town, near the edge. Them, too.”
Werevultures? Was he kidding? “So there are no werewolves?”
“As a rule, not here in the cities, though there are sometimes one or two that pass through,” he said with something like relief. “I’ve heard they stick to the countryside. Most weres do, as it’s easier to blend in there.”
Weres, he called them. Hmm. “What are they like?”
“The ones I’ve talked to say they miss the forest, or the water, or their caves—”
“Werebats, mostly. They are the most prevalent werecreature around these parts. There is a large colony near the river.”
“Are they off limits?”
Quentin took a deep breath. “I’m glad you brought this up. Technically, no, they aren’t. They have an agreement with Guy, the City’s Lord, to stay out of the city, and he leaves them alone. But some stupid vampire hunter attacked them last week, killing a bunch of their women and children when he mistook them for vampires. It happens often, I’m afraid. The other werebats killed him, but they’re raging now. They are killing any vampire they can, primarily ones they find alone, in retaliation.” He looked over at me. “It’s them I need you to guard me against.”
“Won’t that die down quickly, though? Surely the bats can be made to see it was not our fault?”
“Guy is not diplomatic,” Quentin said with a sigh. “Things are going to get worse before they get better. Besides, at heart, he’s a coward. He knows that there are more of them than there are of us, enough so it’s close to three to one in their favor. Because of those odds, he will not make them stop. This has happened before, Devlin. The attacks will continue until the bats feel they’ve taken enough blood back.”
I thought about that. There was a huge opportunity here for not just the means to support Anna and myself, but to gain real power. Still, I needed to understand much about this world and this city before I’d be ready to proclaim myself king of it.
Promise Me Anthology #1
With Every Goodbye (Sarelle)
Sarelle McGarran loves her new country life, her pets, and her husband, Brennan. When she loses him to a tragic climbing accident, Sarelle must fight depression, financial hardship, and her family and friends' good intentions to embrace a new destiny all her own.
Heart's Bells (Theo)
College students Theo and Casey are in love, but Theo's father's ambition for his artistic son stands in their way. When Theo's family is attacked by a werecougar on vacation, he alone survives. Now afflicted himself, will Theo dare endanger the one person he loves most, hoping their love will endure his new animal nature?
Total Eclipse of the Heart (Heather, Devlin, Ulysses)*
Heather is a hardworking college student studying to be a nurse. When she meets the vampire Devlin Dalcon, infatuation quickly becomes obsession. Will Heather heed Devlin's warnings, or let herself be destroyed by her dangerous desire?
Night Shift (Jordan, Heather) * and Just Business (Tony, Thane, Danial, Devlin, Nate, David, Jordan, Angelica, Lash)*
When the mortal teen Angelica witnesses careless vampires draining accident victims on the hospital night shift, she runs to her bosses, mobsters Tony and Thane, for protection. While angered at the problem, Devlin also sees possibilities for expansion with Tony and Thane…if he can maneuver everyone into place in time.
Partners (Danial, Devlin, Angelica, Theo)* this is an extended version
Vampire investigator Danial Racklan finds more than his target when the suffering werecougar Theo crosses his path one evening. For Theo is not only a man with a past as tragic as his own, but also destined to give Danial something he's never had before: a partner he could trust.
State of Grace (Nate)*
Made a vampire by accident, timid Rodney has been reduced to feeding on animals to survive. Befriended by a veterinarian, Jackie, Rodney goes after her the night she attempts to thwart a dogfighting ring alone. But can he kill others of his own kind to save Jackie's life?
Sonata (Devlin, Nate, David)*
When Nate challenges Devlin to seduce a human woman using limited words, the handsome vampire agrees to the bet, figuring to let a musical composition do the work for him. But Mary Ann, the woman in question, has an agenda of her own.
Night Music (David and Krys)*
Grieving Krys Markman has come to lose herself in family memories at Letchworth State Park, and try to figure out her next step. Yet the unearthly beautiful music she hears each night stirs her soul to romance. Can its creator, the attractive vampire David Helm, heal her broken heart?
Tears and Rain (Terian, Kyle)
Terian has come west, seeking his friend and former mentor Colin in an effort to forget his unrequited love for Sar and increase his magical skills. Instead, he finds a harsh lesson in the bonds of family, along with fresh purpose and determination.
Heart's Solace (Theo and Tasha)
When the badly wounded cougar comes to her father's country estate, Russian teen Tasha names him Nazdeha, the word for hope. But as time goes on, Tasha discovers that the animal is instead a werecougar named Theo, whose only thought once recovered is to return to his family. Scared that Theo is doomed to die if he leaves, Tasha bespells Theo with Heart's Solace, a magical love potion given to her by a mysterious cloaked figure.
*These stories link together to tell a wider story
Excerpt from With Every Goodbye
“Make love with me.”
I blinked, then turned over in bed. My husband Brennan was lying next to me. Daylight streamed through the double windows, giving his short light brown hair reddish highlights. Damn, but he always looks sexy in the sun. “What time is it?”
“7:23AM; the perfect time.” His warm blue eyes blinked once, his facial expression teasing.
I stretched, yawning. “Have you been awake long?”
“I don’t usually get up before you do,” he said, chuckling. “I was watching you sleep.”
I snorted. “And you were suddenly inspired to lust?”
“Something like that.”
I slipped my hand beneath the sheet, searching. Brennan straightened suddenly, grunting.
I stroked his hardened flesh. “Tell me you love me.”
Brennan made an attempt to look stern. “I wouldn’t have married you if I didn’t, Sar.”
I let the corners of my mouth curl up just a hint, my hand not stopping its motion. “Come on. Say it—”
“I love you. I’d go to the ends of the earth for you.” He grasped my free hand in his, threading his fingers through mine. “Don’t stop.”
“Sorry,” I said cheerfully, straddling him. “Like you just said, it’s the perfect time for making love.” I brushed my lips over his, then pressed harder. Brennan groaned again, then pulled me close, rolling over onto me. I giggled, then sighed in bliss, feeling his lips kiss their way lower.
God, it was great being married.
COMING IN NOVEMBER
Her Secret (Promise Me Series #6)
Release Date: Nov 2013
In a desperate effort to halt her transformation to vampire, and stop her longing for the sultry Devlin, Sarelle willingly takes a drug to kill her desire, even as Danial prepares for the introduction of their son Theoron at a Vampire Gathering on New Years Eve. Faced with Theo’s betrayal at the eleventh hour, Sarelle must either trust in Danial to save her, or join forces with Devlin, revealing her secret desire for him.