“Playing All the Angles” by Nicole Lane
Blurb: Dominic Phillips is an enjoyable distraction from fashion designer Eve D’Amico’s loneliness, but there’s never been anything more between them than hot sex. Since he desires no commitment from her either, it’s pretty much the perfect arrangement…except for the fact that he’s dating her sister Isabelle.Eve’s grown used to being the promiscuous black sheep of her family ever since an unplanned pregnancy at age fourteen, and Isabelle is the only one in the D’Amico clan who doesn’t treat her like a second class citizen. Eve doesn’t exactly revel in the idea of hurting her sister if the truth ever comes out.Just when she starts hitting it off with the sexy new neighbor next door, her world is turned upside-down when Dominic reveals his plans to marry Isabelle. As if things weren’t complicated enough, life decides to throw another surprise her way, and Eve is suddenly trapped with another secret to add to a much more shocking one from her past, both of which threaten to destroy every relationship she’s ever hoped to have. She must soon decide whether to reveal the truth and save her sister from a man who’s incapable of commitment, or to keep her lips sealed and secure her own place in the family. For now, though, she will dance around that decision for as long as she can, keeping everyone in check by Playing All the Angles.
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“Your sister is a right piece of work, you know that?” Dominic said, looking up from the paper to watch Isabelle at the stove as she made breakfast.
“You know which. The one who hates me.”
Isabelle turned to look at him. “Eve doesn’t hate you.”
“She doesn’t much like me, either,” he said, folding the paper. “Of course, she’s not fond of her own family, so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”
She frowned. “They’re too hard on her. She’s living her life the way she wants to. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“She’s living life to spite them, more like. Doing whatever she can to piss them off.”
“If she wanted to do that, she’d flirt with Doyle. That’s the one thing that would send Alora over the edge.”
“You think?” Dominic laughed. “I think her ignoring him sets Lora off. If she gave him attention, it would validate Alora’s taste, especially since she’s always on about what a slag Eve is. Ignoring Doyle makes Alora look like a fool.”
Isabelle put her hands on her hips. “You’ve thought a lot about this.”
“I’ve been watching, yeah.”
“She ignores you, too. I don’t feel any less validated.”
“Well, look at me. Then look at Doyle. Of course you feel validated.”
She snorted a laugh. “Is that what all this was leading up to? You want me to tell you how handsome and wonderful you are?”
“You don’t have to ask, you know. Didn’t I make it clear last night…and this morning?”
“Hmm, I dunno. It’s still a bit fuzzy. I think you might need another demonstration for it to really stick.”
She leaned over and kissed him. “After breakfast.”
“Now.” He pulled her over by the ties on her robe, then dug his hands into her hair as he kissed her. He had managed to get the robe off and had her on his lap when the smell of burning bacon interrupted, and Isabelle leaped away to move the frying pan from the stove. He followed, flicking off the burners before grabbing her and carrying her back into the bedroom.
From the bed, Isabelle watched their reflections in the mirror above the dresser as Dominic drove himself into her, his face buried in the curve of her neck. Her eyes traced the lines of his body from his muscular shoulders, down his back, to his thrusting hips, and she marveled that this man was in love with her.
A glint from the stone in her engagement ring caught her attention, and she slid her left hand down his bicep, watching the diamond solitaire glitter. Her hand looked so small on his arm. He was cut out of marble, tall and broad, making her long angles soft by comparison. Everything about him made her soft, she thought as she wound her arms and legs around him, pulling him closer, wanting more. She could never get enough of the feel of his skin, his body rocking against hers.
Dominic lifted his face to look into her eyes, tender and warm, before dropping his mouth to hers. For a few seconds, Isabelle lost track of everything but her building tension and the sound of her own breath. He made her feel things she hadn’t felt before. He made her forget there had ever been anyone else.
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**About author, Nicole Lane:
Nicole Lane is a graduate of the Danielle Steel and Judith Krantz school of romance. The grander the drama, the higher the stakes, the better! This balances out the fact that her everyday life with her little family in North Texas is extremely mundane and quite contented.
Find her on Facebook at TheOutsideLane!
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**Click HERE to check out Nicole Lane’s other stops on her Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!