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Play It Again, Charlie - R. Cooper

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1 Review

Paperback: 350 pages / Publisher: Dreamspinner / Published: 20 April 2012

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      03.10.2012 12:49
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      Charlie is a broken, lonely man who meets the almost equally broken, free spirited Will.

      Charlie is not only acting as manager/custodian for the apartments that his grandmother owns, he also lives there. After coming home from his day job of teaching justice related courses at the local community college, he's often tired and aching. This doesn't stop him from noticing what goes on about him at the complex however, and so he encounters one very unusual young man who appears to be staying at the apartment of a photographer that Charlie knows quite well for his exhibitionism.

      The young man in question seems irrepressible. Will is always quoting old movies, and has his hair is always different. He takes on a fascination with Charlie, and it doesn't take long for him to suss out that Charlie's hip bothers him a lot, and that a terrible accident left him broken in body as well as spirit, as well as retired from the police force. Charlie doesn't know what to do about this. He's no good at relationships, as his previous attempt at one, that ended at his accident, proved.

      And then there is Charlie's family. He's the oldest male and his abuela has certain expectations of him. If she's not calling him to do something, his sisters are. Though his abuela also nags him to please find a man settle down with, so that his sisters will follow his example- but what would she make of this admittedly quirky twink? He somehow doesn't see his family, his job, and this Holly Golightly-esque young man ever meshing. Too bad his heart isn't listening.

      Slowly, inexorably, Charlie is drawn out of his self imposed personal exile one movie quote at a time, and finds that he is desirable as well as worthy of love, even if he's not entire sure about the whole Bogart thing. He also finds that Will is a lot deeper than he he gave him credit for, with his own demons that he hides behind his façade. Between them, they might make up a whole, as long as the family accepts them both for who they really are, and who they want to be. Ultimately a tale of love, sacrifice, and family, it's a tender love story that moves slowly, never dragging, and that builds to a satisfying conclusion that leaves a gentle smile upon the heart.

      This is available as a traditional dead tree edition, but can also be found in ebook format for fans of recycled electrons. I'd like to thank the publisher, Dreamspinner Press, for providing me with my review copy.

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