A MelanieM Review: The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

PinchOfTheGame[The]FSBeing a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them.

I really like Charley Descoteaux because even as sections of this story had me grinding my teeth in frustration her characters of Jeffrey Overton and Mike Wells are so endearing and charming that they swayed me over to their side and kept me there for the duration of The Pinch of the Game.  No matter how many times along the narrative path I wanted to stop due to poor universe construction or illogical character traits, their engaging ways and winning natures carried me through one bumpy writing obstacle after another.

We start off in an alternate universe that’s never really given any explanation or foundation.   There are  witches, but of what type and magical basis we just don’t know.  There are non-magical humans as well, like Mike, but again, little background or history is given.  At first (I missed the note at first), I thought The Pinch of the Game must be part of a series I had missed.  As a stand alone that lack of foundation and grounding in world building leaves this story feeling as though it is the middle part of a much larger story.  What’s worse?  The knowledge in the foreword that this story started out as a short story and was enlarged to this version.  *shakes head*

Jeffrey is a Stumptown witch and “A Stumptown witch doesn’t go far from the source of his power”, except when he does.  In search of his mother, another witch in a bad situation that is never quite explored and whose resolution comes far too quickly for the buildup.  There is some stomach churning body switching and more, none of which really makes any sense which is probably ok because neither does the plot.  I just liked reading about Jeffrey and Mike and their developing relationship.  That saved this story for me.

Of course, the whole thing came close to being derailed one more with a little scene at the end where unexpected and sort of jaw dropping facts came out about Jeffrey.  With no basis laid anywhere in the story for this and no way to substantiate their truthfulness or weigh the impact upon Mike and Jeffrey’s relationship because the story just ends, the reader is just left hanging, wondering again what they had just read.

Only Charley Descoteaux’s terrific imagination and two main characters saved this story from a lower rating.  I love this author but this story was just too disorganized and jumbled to make any sense.

Cover art by AngstyG is wonderful.  I love the design and 20’s feel.  Great job.

Sale Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon |The Pinch of the Game Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 98 pages
Published June 24th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632169068
edition languageEnglish

It’s Cover Reveal Time for The Pinch of the Grape by Charley Descoteaux! (excerpt & giveaway)

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CRPinchOfTheGame[The]FS

The Pinch of the Game by Charley Descoteaux
Release Date: June 24, 2015

Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

PinchOfTheGame[The]FS

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press

About The Pinch of the Game…

Being a witch doesn’t mean one can beat the devil forever.

Jeffrey Overton, unemployed IT professional turned poker player, pushes his luck once too often and runs afoul of the host of an illegal card club. The man sent to escort Jeffrey to a “meeting” about his supernatural winning streak arrives at Jeffrey’s crappy North Portland apartment, lock-picking tools in hand and a charm to block Jeffrey’s magick.

Head muscle for said host, Mike Wells, is a Daisy from Daisyville. He isn’t a witch. What he lacks in magickal talent he makes up for in brawn, so he doesn’t expect the guy he’s after to overpower him. But once Mike renders Jeffrey helpless, he’d rather seduce him than bring him in.

Jeffrey and Michael ditch the “meeting” and end up hunting some of the same people they ran from, trying to get Jeffrey back into his own body. And that’s only part of the adventure. The pair travel halfway across the country on the quietest road trip in history and find missing people, empire-building witches, and maybe even the families they’d both thought lost to them.

Pages or Words:

Categories: Contemporary, Gay fictions, M/M Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

An Excerpt from The Pinch of the Game

If Sal had sent someone after me, a short trip up to Seattle might be a good idea, maybe even BC. That called for some new clothes, so I grabbed my battered gym bag—my quick escape kit—and was almost home free when the kitchen door burst open. It would’ve been dumb to turn off the light when the goomba first went to work on the lock—I can’t see any better in the dark than your average Daisy, not when I’m blocked. Once that massive body filled the doorway, I wished I had.

Wished I’d done something.

He hesitated, barely a moment, and I bolted for the front door. He grabbed me before I made it out of the kitchen and pinned both of my arms to my sides. It wouldn’t work, I knew that, but I still tried to burn his hands. All I needed was enough time to—fuck, is he laughing?

“Give it up, pretty boy. You’re blocked.”

The big man pushed me against the wall face-first and pulled both hands behind my back.

“Hey, wait a sec, big guy. Let’s talk about this. I can—”

He pushed me flat against the wall, and the rest of that sentence disappeared in the rush of air he squeezed from my lungs. I couldn’t help being turned on, even though pain and domination usually aren’t my thing. Neither are bears, but underneath the padding he felt nice and solid, leaning full against me. He tightened a plastic zip tie around my wrists with shaking hands. And then he held me there.

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About the author:

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charley.descoteaux.3
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/CharleyDescoteauxAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/
Blog: http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/blog/
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/aqe7g7r
Email: c.descoteauxwrites@gmail.com

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Tour Dates & Stops: May 22, 2015
Parker Williams, Cate Ashwood, Emotion in Motion, Amanda C. Stone, Tara Lain, Kimi-Chan, BFD Book Blog, Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Louise Lyons, Divine Magazine, Andrew Q. Gordon, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Lee Brazil, Rebecca Cohen Writes, Iyana Jenna, Mikky’s World of Books, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Love Bytes, Prism Book Alliance, Wake Up Your Wild Side, My Fiction Nook, Chris McHart, MM Good Book Reviews, Elin Gregory, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, All I Want and More Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Carly’s Book Reviews, Kimber Vale, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Hearts on Fire, Full Moon Dreaming, Velvet Panic, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, TTC Books and More, Up All Night, Read All Day, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Bike Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, The Hat Party, Nephylim, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Andrew Q. Gordon

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