Treading the Traitor’s Path: Out Bad (Neither This, Nor That, #2) by MariaLisa deMora
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Fate is a fickle mistress. No matter a man’s desires, she tends to give with one hand, and take with the other. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter to her, as long as there’s balance.
Ralph Lewis, otherwise known as Po’Boy, made one decision that changed the trajectory of his entire life. On the losing end of a schoolyard fight, he’d been on his back in the dust, glaring up at the boy who’d flattened him. Had watched unbelieving as that same boy stretched out his hand, offering to help Ralph to his feet. Against every instinct, he had accepted.
In that instant, he went from friendless pariah to having a partner and ally. For the first time in his life, he was respected… and feared. Po’Boy spent the next decade defending his position at his best friend’s side. Life was good. Fate has a way of taking back the reins, though.
A long-ago action places him directly in the crosshairs of their enemies, and circumstances force Po’Boy’s hand. Members of motorcycle clubs, men like him who live an outlaw’s life don’t treat kindly with traitors, and in their world, that is what Po’Boy has become.
With events threatening to pull him away from everything he holds dear, he’s made to walk a careful line to keep those he loves safe. Bound by silence, for his brothers’ sake, he’ll suffer through the worst thing that can happen to a man who lives and breathes the brotherhood. Out Bad.
Po’Boy opened his eyes a slit to see a figure looming over him
in the darkness. The flaring light from the bonfire was barely enough to let
him recognize an ally, Wrench. A CoBo member who had known Penny her entire
life. One who had a thing for her once, giving way when Twisted staked his
claim. Wrench was looking down at Po’Boy, and he was about to sit up and greet
him when the expression on the man’s face caught his attention.
It was avid. Hungry.
Wrench’s gaze was trailing along Po’Boy’s form, pausing at his
chest, then moving down to his crotch. His nostrils flared, and the muscles in
his jaw tensed, jumping as he ground his teeth together.
Po’Boy’s cock twitched, and the movement must have been
visible because he watched as Wrench’s tongue came out in a languorous swipe
across his bottom lip. What the fuck?
A sound from by the bonfire pulled Wrench’s gaze away, and he
took a step backwards, then two, before turning and stalking into the darkness.
What. The. Fuck?
Copyright © 2017. MariaLisa deMora. All Rights Reserved.
Treading the Traitor’s Path: Out Bad by MariaLisa deMora
Rosa’s rating: 5 of 5 iScream Cones
“I got this.
MariaLisa deMora took me on a ride to a place I wasn’t expecting to go. She didn’t pull her punches and I left myself wide open. In spite of having read her previous books, knowing to expect the unexpected…she gets me every time. That’s why I keep coming back for more. I love it.
I met Po’Boy in This Is The Route Of Twisted Pain. He and Twisted were in school together. They’ve had each other’s back for years. I learned some of his story in that book, but there are some things that not even his best friend knows. Secrets too dark to see the light of day. A painful past that he prefers to stay buried. Too bad it doesn’t.
His club means everything to him. His brothers are his family. He’d do anything for them. Of course that’s something that they all say, and they mean it too. But seldom does the time come when they actually have to follow through. Does anything mean everything? Is that the price he will have to pay?
I really enjoyed spending more time with Twisted and Penny. I was reminded of what made them so special. As with all new series, it takes time to get to know the characters. As the series progresses and you spend more time with different ones, they become your family and you become invested in their lives. Since Out Bad is only the second one in the Neither This, Nor That series, there are hopefully many more for me to fall in love with. I was able to spend some time with Wrench, Pony and Retro this time around and I’m hoping that I’ll get to know them even better in the near future.
That’s one thing I love about this author’s writing, when she chooses a character to focus on, she puts her readers inside their heads and their hearts and by the end of the book we’ve bonded. She gives them a voice that’s so clear I can hear them in my head. I especially loved Po’Boy’s dirty mouth during sexy times, and his sweet twang when he was being affectionate. I love the witty banter between friends and the stories behind their road names. They aren’t thrown out randomly, they have meaning behind them.
And of course I enjoy the suspense that is present in every story. I like that the club has friends and enemies. I get to meet characters that offer support and enemies that make my blood boil. The suspense is always present and the outcome always has a twist that I’m not expecting. The bar is set high, and I’m never disappointed. I look forward to every new release from this author. Retro is on my radar and I can’t wait to get my hands on him. The line forms here…
Po’Boy waited in silence, or as much silence as he could
manage. It was hard and becoming more difficult by the second as the pressure
on his hand increased. Twisting his neck, he looked, even as he told himself
not to, and saw the balloon-like swelling of his fingers, skin stretched taut.
Purple with pooling blood, he didn’t know how much more strain his flesh could
take without bursting. For a moment he reconsidered the silent thing, because
while screaming wouldn’t help, it couldn’t hurt.
The trap was simple, and elegant. Noose around his ankle,
tight and secure, positioned where he couldn’t reach. It had been laid in a
hallway, rag rug tossed over it to conceal the presence of the rope. All it
took was him creeping through the darkness looking for Deuces, and a step in
the wrong place. Snap, the trap tripped, and he’d been dragged down the hallway
like a rabbit lure at hound races.
The one on his hand was harder to explain, but he remembered
reaching out for something, anything to slow his terrifying rush up the
hallway. Pulled to a jolting stop, his shoulder joint stretched to near
breaking, anchored to a point somewhere along the path. Once the shock wore
off, he’d looked up to see a thin wire wrapped around his hand and wrist. But
the motor pulling on his leg hadn’t stalled. Oh, no. That bitch is quality
machinery. Fuck. Hadn’t stopped and was actively pulling, whining as it worked
overtime to continue its job. The wire around his wrist was small, thin, and
looked disturbingly like a cheese slicer against his skin.
Images from text books ran through his mind, of men suspended
from ropes, tied to four horses, one for each appendage. Drawn and quartered,
but in his case he figured it was halved. The sound of the motor changed,
nearly stalling, and he hoped this meant the clutch was giving out. Fucking
finally. Then another sound rattled through the hallway, and he twisted his
head to look towards the front of the building. Standing in the opening was a
man. He wasn’t moving, was just standing there quietly. From the tilt of his
head, Po’Boy knew he was looking down at him. Not moving, not jumping to help,
not saying anything.
Not friend, then. Can’t hurt to ask. It did hurt like a
motherfucker just to lay there, so asking was where he’d head.
“Little help?” Rough and hoarse from holding quiet for so
long, Po’Boy watched as the man’s head swung back and forth, slowly. “Oh, come
on, man. You can’t be fuckin’ serious.”
“As a heart attack,” the man told him, stepping forwards and
into the light shining through a window in a room opening onto the hallway.
Slender, with long red hair pulled low on his neck into a simple queue, the man
looked like anyone you might pass on the street. Nondescript, dressed in
clothes which wouldn’t pull someone’s gaze twice. He was everybody, and nobody.
“You’re in quite the pickle, Po’Boy.”
Well, fuck. If he knows who I am, then I’m screwed. The motor
whined and stuttered, then caught, and at the resulting yank, Po’Boy felt the
cable around his hand break the skin, finally.
Copyright © 2017. MariaLisa deMora. All Rights Reserved.
Legends are born from moments like these. Folktales spun around a single point in time so perfect, you can almost hear the click resonating through the universe as things align.
George Bell, aka Twisted, knows the odds are against him. Have been all his life. Born in a Louisiana bordello, raised around the rough and rowdy men of a motorcycle club, he’s never been the lucky type. But he believes luck can change, so when fate gives him a glimpse of breathtaking beauty, he’s more than willing to roll the dice. Chancing upon what could be the woman of his dreams, he’s prepared to push this streak as far as he can.
Penny Dane’s background gives her an edge in the life she’s chosen to lead. Raised in a can-do family, she’s resilient, rolling with life’s punches and landing on her feet. But, when the past holds painful secrets—when a single misstep can turn deadly—can she trust the passion this man stirs in her?
On the surface, Bell and Penny don’t work. Their mismatched worlds are too different. But like a backwater bayou, what you see is not the whole story, there are mysteries buried underneath. Penny is the red-haired beauty caught up in a web of lies. Bell is like no one she’s ever met before. The problem is, he knows it.
18+ due to explicit content.
Raised in the south, MariaLisa learned about the magic of books at an early age. Every summer, she would spend hours in the local library, devouring books of every genre. Self-described as a book-a-holic, she says “I’ve always loved to read, but then I discovered writing, and found I adored that, too. For reading … if nothing else is available, I’ve been known to read the back of the cereal box.”
A hockey fan, hiker, gamer, and single mom of a special needs son, she embraces her inner geek and has been working in the tech field for a publishing company for a couple decades.
Music is a driving passion, and she says, “I love music of nearly any genre — jazz, country, rock, alt rock, metal, classical, bluegrass, rap, hip hop … you name it, I listen to it. I can often be seen dancing through the house in the early mornings. But I really, REALLY love live music. My favorite thing with music is seeing bands in small, dive bars
[read: small, intimate venues]. If said bar [venue] has a good selection of premium tequila, then that’s a plus!”