Love and Rockets
Byline/Metaline – Use for meta information
Anna Leslie’s pyrotechnic creations might light up the skies on the Fourth of July, but her research and development skills are not lighting up her private nights. Her hard-working, good-girl approach to life isn’t doing much for her outside the bedroom, either. When an ultimatum from her boss pushes her out of her lab, Anna decides it’s time to let loose and start creating fireworks of a more personal nature.
Jay Whitman can’t believe the fiery bombshell in red is Frontier Fireworks’ resident genius. He’s convinced that her passion for rockets disguises a very earthy passion for the phallic, forget the symbol. To encourage her in a new line of research, he volunteers to give his body to science.
It’s an offer she can’t refuse, but Anna quickly realizes this is one experiment that can’t be controlled or predicted. They’re caught up in an attraction that defies all the laws of chemistry and physics, and she discovers that falling in love isn’t rocket science–it’s a whole lot more complicated.
2005 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award winner, Best Erotic Novel
This is great erotic fiction! Jay and Anna are well-developed, sexy characters whose encounters and dialogue– whether at the office, in a canoe or in bed– are fresh, sexy and humorous.” – Romantic Times BookClub, 4.5 Stars
LOVE AND ROCKETS was a genuinely enjoyable, heartwarming and unforgettable book. I can hardly wait for more from the very funny and very talented Charlene Teglia.” – Romance Junkies, 4.5 Blue Ribbons
Charlene Teglia has written a contemporary romance that delivers love, romance, sensuality and humor. I can’t recommend Charlene Teglia’s Love and Rockets highly enough to readers who are looking for a feel good romance.” – Enchanted in Romance, 5 Unicorns
Love and Rockets is a work of art! This is one of those classic romance tales that I find myself drawn to again and again because the story is just too satisfying and dreamy to be read only once.” – eCataRomance Reviews, 4 Stars
Love and Rockets is such an excellent read. I can not wait for the next Charlene Teglia book. This is a definite keeper.” – Coffee Time Romance, 4 Cups
By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this page.
Copyright 2005 Charlene Teglia
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
All rights reserved
“Yes, what did you do, Anna?” A mocking, masculine voice chimed in, startling both women. The source of the voice leaned casually in the doorway in a pose that would have done GQ proud. It artfully displayed the gray wool suit to advantage, which in turn displayed a long, tall male body to advantage.
Unfair, really, Anna thought. That body had enough natural advantages without the model pose and stylish suit.
Her eyes traveled up to the dark eyes that set off the too-handsome face under jet black hair.
It was him.
Anna sighed inwardly. Just her luck. Then again, she’d just known he’d be back to try and get the last word. No doubt he’d spent the night thinking up new and better insults.
Well, maybe the best defense was a good offense, in this case. She loaded her verbal ammunition and fired the first shot.
“Ahh, yes, Mr. Whitman, the not-so-missing link. Why are you here?”
His glowing eyes warmed further, if that was possible. “I came to see if you missed me. Did you miss me, Anna?”
Anna stared back at him in silence.
Jane’s eyes silently begged her for details.
Casually, Jay unwrapped himself from the doorjamb and strolled over to take a look at Anna’s reading material. He perused the titles, then slanted a look at her.
“Honey, if you want to do a little research on the differences between men and women, I’ll be happy to volunteer as your star subject.” He winked and added naughtily, “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.”
Anna scowled at her unwanted visitor. “I don’t want to see yours.”
“Are you sure? That isn’t what you said last night when you blew in my ear,” Jay observed.
At that, Jane’s eyebrows shot up and vanished beneath her bangs.
Her look of amazement deepened when Jay turned his gleaming black eyes on her and informed her, “She’s crazy about me.”
Anna rammed his side with her elbow, since it was conveniently within reach. “That would make me just plain crazy.”
“She likes to play rough, too,” the irrepressible scoundrel continued in a voice that plainly said he liked it that way. “She’s dangerous. She already has me limping.”
“Is that what’s keeping you from leaving?” Anna asked, sweet as poison.
He turned back to her and shook his head in mock dismay.
“Come on, you can’t try to hide something like this. An office romance never stays a secret, and in our case it’s likely to make headlines. So be nice and give me a kiss.”
The outrageous flirt dared her with his wicked eyes while he offered her his sexy mouth. Anna stared back and refused to respond. Undeterred, he shrugged and said, “Okay, you can kiss me later. But don’t blame me if we get caught in the elevator.”
He poked through her books some more and pulled out the guide to becoming a bad girl.
He tutted and wagged a finger at her. “Now here’s something you don’t need. But if you do want to be bad, little girl, I’m ready, willing and able to help.” The innuendo in his voice was heavy enough to fell a bull moose.
Anna pushed him back and peered around him to catch her assistant’s eye. “Jane, would you mind excusing us for a minute?”
“Make that at least ten. Maybe fifteen.” Jay thoughtfully eyed the desktop, then the counter space as if considering the amorous possibilities. “Better yet, let’s go to a little hotel I know.” Anna glared. “We’re not going to a hotel.”
Jay looked deeply disappointed. “A real bad girl would. A really, really bad one would suggest it.”
“I’ll just go run those copies down the hall,” Jane offered. She scooped a sheaf of papers off the photocopier by her desk to corroborate the excuse. As she left, she mouthed, ‘I want to know everything’ behind Jay’s back. She disappeared and closed the door behind her.
“Nice girl,” Jay observed. “Thoughtful, too.”
Then he turned back to her and moved closer until he had Anna pinned in her chair.
“You didn’t answer me. Did you miss me?”
“If I say yes, will you go away?”
“I don’t know. Say ‘yes’,” Jay suggested as he pretended to consider the question. “I think I’d like to hear that, anyway. The way you said it last night.”
The clipped, sarcastic tone was a world away from a breathy, impassioned moan of sensual longing.
He gave her an impatient look. “No, that won’t work. You’ll have to kiss me, instead.”
His lips closed over hers with warm persuasion, and Anna felt a distinct tingling sensation that spread from her lips to a point low in her belly, leaving heat and a hunger for closer contact in its wake.
Soft, tempting nibbles tasted the full curve of her mouth in a slow, thorough exploration. With a low groan, Jay wrapped her long braid around his hand and used it to pull her closer. Then he stroked her lips with his tongue.
Anna partly opened her mouth to protest and he took advantage of the moment to swirl inside and taste her deeply.
So this was a French kiss, Anna thought in shock. He had his tongue in her mouth and was coaxing hers to play.
It was research, after all, she reminded herself.
He’d offered to be a subject himself.
She gave him her tongue.
Then she wasn’t really sure what happened, but somehow they were on her desk and he was laying half on top of her. His deep, wet kisses were getting hotter and hotter and her books fell to the floor with a crash.
The sound penetrated the sensual haze clouding Anna’s mind and startled her to awareness. This experiment had clearly gotten a little out of hand. She started to struggle under his weight. Dazed, Jay recognized her withdrawal and lifted his head. Impassioned black eyes bore into amethyst depths. “My God,” he grated in a hoarse whisper, “I knew you were good.”
Anna didn’t know what to say to that, so she didn’t say anything. Instead, she touched a tentative tongue to suddenly dry lips.
Jay groaned at the sight and took her mouth again in a thoroughly seductive kiss, penetrating her velvet lips with his tongue in slow, thrusting strokes.
Anna didn’t know what might have happened next if Jane hadn’t come back in and cleared her throat.
She looked up in shock at her amused assistant.
“Uh, maybe I should have made it twenty?” Jane asked meekly, trying to suppress the smile that tugged at the corner of her mouth.
Anna turned her blank, somewhat wild stare on Jay. What had happened? Had she actually been passionately necking with the mouthy man for fifteen minutes? On one level, Anna decided it was good to know that his mouth was good for something besides verbal skirmishes.
Jay stared just as blankly back at her. Then he helped her up.
“I’ll be back to pick you up for lunch,” he stated in a flat voice.
Then he kissed her again. Hard.