5 STARS: "When Tymber Dalton is “ on”, there is no one who can touch her readers better. Like her masterpiece, The Reluctant Dom, A Lovely Shade of Ouch takes us directly into the emotions and feelings of her characters. I loved everyone involved in the book, except Abbey’s asshat ex. I wanted to see her let Tilly loose on him, even though prison orange isn’t Tilly’s color. Abbey herself managed to find a way to trust and then love, in spite of her boyfriend’s reprehensible actions. And John is as selfless and caring as any man can be-we should all have our own John to take care of us.Tilly, as always, is a delight. I even liked George, although reptiles aren’t the best pets. The sexual give and take between Abbey and John comes as a surprise at first, but it quickly becomes comfortable, and then hot. The story contains lots of humor and has a great plot-to the point that the sex actually takes a back seat to the story and only serves to advance the relationship between Abbey and John. Overall, a really great read and one that will stay with the reader for a long time." -- Shadow, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
4 STARS: "Smart-ass, bratty subs are not my cup of tea. When Ms. Dalton announced a new book in this series is focused on Gilo, the annoying male submissive, I couldn't think of how this would be a good read. Boy, was I wrong. I loved this book. It is moving and as we learn more about Gilo, I understand better. And once again, I'm reminded that every story has two sides. Gilo is short for John Gilomen. John's day job is a highly stressful one where he's in a position of authority. He's dependable and the one whom everyone relies upon. In his vanilla personal life, he's the same. For a strong man who supports all his friends and workers, when does someone provide the caring and support he needs? So far, John's fine because he's come through a lot in his younger years so he's used to going it alone. This carefully crafted world comes crumbling down when his only best friend from his youth suddenly dies. How do people deal with grief? I'm starting to wonder how many times Ms. Dalton has lost loved ones in her life. Because every few books she writes, someone is trying to deal with the grief of a loved one passing away. The different ways people deal with it are all written in respectful ways and helps open my eyes to how some people's response to death is a way to silence their pain. And yet, their body language screams of loss and tragedy. Ms. Dalton showcases sadness and disbelief in a beautiful and understandable way, even if it is completely different than how I would respond. This new perspective into Gilo's life really makes me like him. He's a wonderful man and a loving serving submissive. He derives pleasure from service and I can completely relate to this desire. I'm much more engaged in this story because I like and admire Gilo. With the introduction of Abbey, I'm enjoying this book even more. Abbey is a person who thinks everything is fine in her life, then a life changing setback shows her who really loves her and who her real friends are. This is demonstrated so well that I even wanted to find this woman and help her out. Ms. Dalton's forte is writing likeable characters who are so realistic. I feel as though I know these people and better yet, if they were real, I'd want to be their friends. They aren't perfect. They are human and they do the best they can to help when needed. Needless to say, the BDSM in this story is great as expected. It's nice to see the service side of a submissive as well as seeing how there is no "one true way". Gilo may be a submissive, but he can also top. He's a Switch! Switches unite! What is nice about the BDSM in here is how Abbey's sadistic dominance is not in conflict with Gilo's top tendencies. The power exchange here is fluid and wonderful to witness. It's all about communication and making it work for the couple involved. Fabulous! This BDSM romance is highly recommended to kinky readers who want to see how labels can be broken." -- BookAddict, The Romance Reviews
John managed to get out of work early Tuesday, hoping to beat Abbey home and get a look at the pieces of George’s large enclosure to see what he could figure out without her protesting that she didn’t want him going through the trouble.
But when he made the final turn onto his street, he spotted her car in the drive.
When he pulled in, he let the car run and turned off the radio. Then he used his work cell to call his supervisor and ask for the day off tomorrow. He used Abbey as an excuse, that she had a doctor’s appointment.
It wasn’t a problem, because he didn’t have any meetings on the calendar and plenty of PTO time he hadn’t even dipped into yet. He could cover his e-mail from home, and they could call him if they needed something.
He wanted to surprise her, to get George settled into a new lanai enclosure. John knew he might be jumping the gun, but he wanted to give Abbey every reason not to want to move again after she healed from her surgery. At least, not immediately.
That maybe, once she’d healed up and could focus on something else, maybe she’d want to focus on him. On seeing if there was a chance for them to have a relationship.
He had kicked himself in the ass for the past four years, that he’d taken time away from Venture and ended up losing a chance to build something with Abbey. But at the time, work had been crazy, a series of public incidents, as well as hearings and protests on rate hikes, and he hadn’t wanted to tempt fate.
By the time he’d made it back to the club, she was an item with Tom and his chance had passed.
This time, he wouldn’t give up without a fight.
And if part of that fight was building the best damned tortoise enclosure in the state of Florida, he’d gladly roll up his sleeves and do it.
* * * *
Wednesday afternoon, Abbey sat in her car after leaving work and cried. With the AC blowing in her face, and her head resting on her hands on the steering wheel, she sobbed her heart out. Over her pain, over her situation…
Over the fact that a man who claimed to love her could so easily turn his back on her and walk away, while a man who was almost a stranger could open his house up to her and suddenly become akin to family.
And she wasn’t even sure what to do with that with John.
She wanted this out of her system now, before John got home later. It had hit critical mass in her brain when one of the administrative assistants, who hadn’t heard about her sudden life change, asked her how Tom was when Abbey was in HR and filling out change of address paperwork.
It’d taken every ounce of will she’d had not to burst into screaming tears right there.
Sitting there, it took her a good fifteen minutes to get it out of her system. She knew if she went home and broke down crying and John was home that he would hear her and want to fix it for her.
And likely tell Tilly.
Which might mean interstate felony assault charges for Tilly if she hunted Tom down in Dallas and ripped his balls off over it.
Prison orange is not Tilly’s color.
That was something Abbey had to keep reminding herself when she questioned why, exactly, she was holding her friend back from extracting revenge on Tom.
She stopped by Tom’s house first—she couldn’t think of it as her house anymore—and checked the mail. She took his inside and left it on the counter, where she’d left his other mail, and didn’t linger.
There was no reason to.
When she got to John’s, she pulled into the driveway into her now-usual spot and shut the car off.
Maybe she’d even have a little energy to try to cook dinner for John for a change. He’d texted her during the morning to check on her.
Nothing from Tom.
Then again, why would she expect anything from Tom? Why did she even want him to text her? So she could delight in not wanting to text him back?
Man, I have issues.
She went inside, took a pain pill, and changed clothes. Before she settled herself on the couch, she grabbed some romaine and headed for George’s enclosure.
At first, she thought he was in his house. She called for him, but he didn’t come out. When she gritted her teeth and leaned in to lift the house up, he wasn’t there.
“George?” She started digging through the substrate, raking through it with her fingers, thinking maybe he’d dug himself in or something, but he wasn’t there.
Now fear started to set in. “George?” She walked around, even going opening John’s bedroom door and walking in there to see if she could find him.
With a lot of pain, she got onto her hands and knees and looked under the couch, under the chairs, under the table, under her own bed since her bedroom door had been open.
Panic, and now tears, set in.
She fumbled at the sliding glass doors and threw them open, terrified that somehow, he might have gotten out and into the pool, when—
She froze. Only because she realized the table and chairs that had been in the far corner of the lanai were now moved and wedged in between the hot tub and the pool.
At the far end of the lanai where the table and chairs used to be, apparently not complete but in progress, lay George’s outside enclosure.
In progress, because it was twice as big and now an L-shape, and was only half-filled with substrate and plants from the plastic storage tubs. Partly under the roof overhang, and partly in the sun, not only had John enlarged the enclosure, he’d put new weed barrier cloth underneath it, with hardware cloth under that for strength and support. She knew that because George was currently sunning himself on a patch of the black weed barrier and the hardware cloth was barely visible underneath it. It looked like John had wrapped it around the edges on the outside and stapled it into place.
That was where John found her standing ten minutes later when he arrived, unexpected and dressed in shorts and a T-shirt.
Four weeks post-op, the doctor cleared Abbey to do any activities she comfortably could without causing herself pain, as long as it didn’t involve lifting anything heavy. She still couldn’t go back to work yet, but it meant she could finally drive again, and light housework, like cooking.
And she’d quit taking the pain medication the week before after tapering herself off of it the week prior to that. Now she relied solely on over-the-counter meds, relieved to be free of the heavier meds.
It also meant she and John could finally take that last hurdle and leave it in the dust. They’d made each other climax in nearly every way imaginable without it involving actual coitus and were running out of options.
After Tilly took Abbey home, Abbey set about preparing for that evening, putting a roast in the oven and getting everything ready. She thought about digging out a piece of lingerie from one of her boxes before realizing how stupid that was.
She stripped naked, walking around like that, meeting him in the hallway when he returned home.
“Well, this is a nice surprise,” he said.
She led him into the living room, kissing him. “Put down the laptop.”
He grinned as he left it and his lunch bag on the couch. “Is this Ma’am talking?” he asked as he loosened his tie.
She grabbed his tie before he could get it off and led him to the sliders to the lanai. “Nope. This is me talking.”
It was still daylight out, but the eight-foot privacy fence meant they could run around buck naked in the backyard if they wanted. The pool was also safe. She led him to the stairs and slowly started backing down them, letting go of his tie. “Join me for a dip.”
He pointed at the house. “I’m not really in the mood for a swim—”
“We won’t be swimming. Doctor said I can do anything I want to do, except work, that doesn’t involve lifting. As long as it doesn’t hurt.” She tipped her head toward the pool. It took him a moment to process that. When she saw the aha look hit him, she smiled and nodded. “Yeah. That.”
He stripped faster than any man she’d ever seen, cannonballing himself into the pool before popping to the surface and swimming over to her.
She wrapped her arms and legs around him, reaching between her legs to find his hard cock, moaning as she impaled herself on his shaft. His moans echoed hers and he held still like that for a moment in the warm water, kissing her.
“Wow,” he whispered. “So, so good, baby.”
“Shut up and fuck me, Sir,” she whispered back. When he kissed her, she sucked his tongue into her mouth, rough, her hands grabbing his hair.
He dug his fingers into her ass and started fucking her, fumbling around at first until he got them into shallower water and firmer footing.
It wasn’t as good as getting pile-driven into a nice solid mattress, but it was still damn good. Good enough that when she came, she bit down on his shoulder to stifle her moans so they didn’t scare the hell out of the neighbors barbecuing next door on their back porch.
“Fuck, baby,” he gasped, taking a couple of last, hard thrusts inside her before falling still.
They stayed there like that, motionless for a moment. Then he began to chuckle.
“You didn’t warn me you’re a biter.” He kissed her.
“Is that a problem?”
“No, not at all. Feel free to dig your nails in, too. Fair warning, don’t do it too soon or it could backfire on you.”
He nuzzled noses with her. “Yeah. It’ll make me blow every damn time.”
He arched the eyebrow at her again. “I can see my girl might need a ball gag in her mouth and leather mitts on her hands when I decide to give her a marathon fucking session.”
He led her over to the steps, where he sat on the third one down. “Come here, baby.”
“What about dinner?”
“Oh, this won’t take long. I’ve been fantasizing about getting my cock inside you for too damn long. You’ll probably get several more out of me tonight, until we work this out of our systems. Hell, this is almost like the first time all over again.”
“Technically, it is the first time.”
“You know what I mean.” He grabbed her hair and pulled her into his lap, facing him. Sure enough, he’d started getting hard again already.
This time, he settled her onto his cock, one hand playing with her nipples, the other between her legs and playing with her clit.
He nibbled and sucked on her lower lip. “Come on, girl. Give me another one.”
Had sex ever been this fun before? Sure, it’d felt good with other people, but the sheer joy, that was something she could never remember feeling with anyone else.
With his hard cock embedded inside her cunt and pressing on all the right places, she let his fingers and his damn sexy voice draw her closer to release. She’d fantasized about this ever since they’d stumbled over the line from friends into lovers that morning in the shower.