Kensington-Gerard Detective Series

one-night stand
kickass heroine
female lead
colleagues to lovers
friends with benefits

The Kensington-Gerard Detective series follows the careers of NYPD Homicide Detectives Jessie Kensington and her partner Zachary Gerard as they fight crime in the city that never sleeps. Jessie is a good detective, but is damaged with commitment issues that have a fearsome grip on her present. Gerard’s been around law all his life as seen through the eyes of his father, a hotshot attorney with a reputation for racking up not guilty verdicts on his son’s cases. That only adds to their already tenuous relationship.

Greed, betrayal, s****l tension, threats on their lives, abductions, and missing witnesses makes for an ongoing parade of cases that seem unsolvable, but the fascination of seeing the evidence mount, regardless of setbacks, the pieces of the puzzle always seem to fit into a nice neat little package. In the end, persistence on Zach’s part opens Jessie’s mind to the fullness of a life her heritage has denied her. THE KENSINGTON-GERARD DETECTIVE SERIES IS CREATED BY K. T. ROBERTS

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NEW YORK CITY August 23, 2007 Run Jessie, run! Her muscles screamed with pain and exhaustion. To stop was not an option...not now. She had to get away from whoever was chasing her. Run, dammit, run. White-hot pain engulfed her lungs, and the dryness in her throat made her tonsils feel swollen. She curled her tongue and squeezed her mouth to create saliva, then swallowed. She ran up the hill and then down the other side. When the dirt shifted under her feet, she slid but managed to stay upright. The wind kicked up, and Jessie coughed to expel the dust she inhaled, never letting up on her pace. "Where the hell am I?" she screamed, unable to see what lie ahead. Her parched throat burned with every breath, yet she continued to run. She pushed the thought away. His raspy breathing and the thunderous pounding of his feet told her he had gained on her. She must have slowed down without realizing it. The intensity of pain in her legs grew stronger. She willed them to move faster, but they refused to cooperate. "Oh, God, please help me." She turned her head to look over her shoulder and saw him a few feet behind her. A surge of adrenaline took over, and she sprinted forward, then tripped over the uneven terrain and fell to the ground. She tried to stand, but a sharp blow to the center of her back caused her knees to buckle and sent her sprawling forward. Pain shot through her nose when her face struck the hard surface. She squeezed her eyes shut to block out the pain. Blood gushed down her face and into her mouth. The disgusting taste of copper made her gag. When his evil laughter echoed in her ears, she knew it was all over. He was going to kill her. Fear, thick as the blood running down her face, froze her to the spot. She lay on the sparsely grass-covered ground helpless, and released a low, tortured sob, afraid to fight back. He reached for her arms and pulled them behind her back. She could feel the sharpness of a rope cut into the skin on her wrists. A trickle of fluid ran down the side of her hand. Blood? Was it her blood? Or was it his sweat? The latter disgusted her and made her want to heave again. "Oh God," she gasped, her heart hammering out of control, so loudly she could feel the vibrations throughout her body. She whispered a silent prayer hoping whatever was about to happen would be swift. He jerked her to an upright position, whirled her around, and forced her onto a large boulder. The black hooded cape he wore concealed everything except his piercing eyes. She focused on them trying to identify her assailant, if not for the police, for herself...so she would know who was stalking her...know who wanted her dead. The click of the hammer echoed in the still of the night and made her cringe. If she hadn't already been sitting, her legs would have given out when he pressed the cold steel of a gun barrel against her cheek. One last chance for someone to hear me went through her mind, and she heard herself screaming at the top of her lungs. Detective Tate Kensington, known as Jessie James to her peers, jerked her eyes open and forced herself to roll over onto her side so she could scan the room. Her muzzy thinking made her unsure of where she was. Pressing her hand against her heart, now pounding against her ribcage, she sat upright and took in deep breaths and tried to calm down, then slowly pushed herself back up against the headboard. Lowering her head into her hands, she tried to remember all the details, but as with most dreams, details never came. The floor creaked and she could feel her pulse quicken again. Without moving, Jessie narrowed her eyes and peered into the darkness, trying to ascertain whether someone was in her room or if it was her insomniac neighbor upstairs. When footsteps tromped overhead, she concluded it was her neighbor and chalked it up to her paranoia and the aftermath of the nightmare. She blew out a hefty breath of air and flopped back down on the pillows and willed her heart rate to calm down. The sound from her ragged breathing broke the silence. Damn! If this was a dream, why did the sensation of that gun against her cheek feel so real? And why had she smelled a hint of gunpowder? Her hand instinctively reached up to touch the spot on her cheek, the very spot at which he'd pointed the barrel end of that gun. Relief washed over her when her fingertips touched the smoothness of her skin, reinforcing that it was indeed a bad dream. Still feeling nervous, Jessie reached over and pulled open the drawer on the nightstand and touched her Glock. Thank God, it was still there. The shrill ring of her phone made her jump sending her heart on another race, beating so fast she wondered if it would burst through her chest. She raised her hand to answer it, then pulled back. The sensation of dread refused to go away. When the ringing stopped abruptly, she blew out a sigh of relief until a few seconds later, her cell phone rang. Seeing her partner's name flash across the screen, she blew out another breath and answered, glancing at the clock on the nightstand. A low guttural groan escaped her lips. "This better be good, Zach." "Uh-oh, somebody's grumpy." "What did you expect on my only day off? A thank you note for waking me in the middle of the night?" She ran a hand over her face and tried to clear the cloud of fog from her head. The last thing she wanted was her partner, or the guys in the department for that matter, to know how freaked out she'd become over a dumb dream. Not that she thought Zach Gerard would tell anyone, but men talked just as much as women...maybe even more. They'd been partners going on three years; knew each other pretty well, but there were some things you didn't share with someone whom you worked with so closely, regardless of how much you liked each other. "So? What do you want?" she asked. Zach cleared his throat when she finished her tirade. "Are you done yet?" "Yes." "Good, because we have a homicide out at Central Park; more specifically, Bow Bridge." She pictured his handsome face as he spoke...rugged, yet still that devilish boy inside just begging to come out when he was playful, and his damn toffee-colored eyes that seemed to look right through her. And as if that wasn't enough, the deep cleft in his chin that jutted out when he got pissed. Yeah, Zach Gerard was a gorgeous hunk of a man, but she'd told herself a million times getting involved with a playboy type was the furthest thing from her mind...at least, most of the time. His smile, his body...they did things to her mind no other man could claim, but being dumb and foolish about getting involved with a partner, the way she had with Harwell many years ago, had left a substantial scar, and almost ruined her career. Although, she had to admit he sure was tempting. "Oh man," Jessie forced her mind to listen to his words and not the sound of his sexy voice. "You mean the lieutenant couldn't give it to Santori and Paige?" "I believe his words were, "no exceptions." He's expecting to see the entire team present and accounted for by the time he arrives, which no doubt will be within the hour, so get that cute little ass of yours out of bed. I'll be outside in ten minutes." The phone went dead.

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