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Play It Again, Charlie

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  1,055 ratings  ·  185 reviews
After an accident left him broken in body and spirit, Charlie Howard retired from the police force to teach at a community college. Life has taught him that he’s unlikely to get what he wants, so he’s stopped asking. Instead, he hides from the world in the apartment complex he manages. After all, no one can leave him if he doesn’t let anyone in.

Will, a sexy,
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Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published April 19th 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,055 ratings  ·  185 reviews


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Emma Sea
Supurb, marvellous, wonderful.

This book makes a lot more sense if you're a fan of classic Hollywood films 1930-1969. Not only are these overtly referenced throughout, in Will's dialog, but the story is constructed in exactly the same manner. If you've never seen Sabrina, for example, some scenes must leave you wondering if the editor and writer did a terrible job: why is Will suddenly talking about forgetting to turn the oven on? Souffle? What souffle?

The story is character-driven, ignoring
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Julio Genao
Jul 21, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of parlor dramas and classic Hollywood films—but not the George Cukor ones.
I prefer Rosalind Russell, myself.

Too focused on minutia, and structured around little more than a series of frustrating conversations in various settings.

I found little to engage me; I need more than testy dialogue and glowering looks.

So the twink is fey and pretty. Big whoop.

So the other one's a grumpy cripple with a heart of gold. Well, shit—someone tell me what they're wearing and how their hair is styled this instant!

There's some nice writing. There is.

But very little happens that isn't a
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Mandapanda
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: various-romance
Re-read on 5/8/12. This book really rewards a reread. The issues I first had with not following the dialogue weren't a problem this time around and I LOVE the two characters. Upped from 4 to 5 stars because I think it's a book I'll come back to over and over again.

Original Review (21/04/12):
This is the story of Charlie Howard, a retired cop, still recovering from an accident that's left him with scars and a limp. Now he's teaching criminal justice at a local community college and managing his
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Vio
3.5 stars

This was a long and difficult book to get into but I persevered because I loved the story and the characters of Charlie and Will. What a complicated, confusing, frustrating and adorable duo, Seriously though they sucked at resolving or communicating normally! Two different personalities, a flighty twink and a closed off restrained professor, trying to work out what they need and want. Its not easy, for Charlie to talk about his feelings or disability was like pulling teeth a slow
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Td
2.5 STARS

WARNING: This is a rant.

I could not resist the temptation of some of my favorite themes. Opposites attract. A subdued, conservative professor. A flamboyant, sassy twink. The possibility of a "daddy" kink. YUMMM! I had to give it a try.

This was an exhausting uphill climb with plenty of obstacles almost every step of the way. I will join every reader who said the narrative felt disjointed and was left confused by the cryptic dialogue. One would say one thing and the other would answer
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Lady*M
Apr 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 - 3 stars

Difficult to get into due to the writing style, especially dialogue, because these men talk at each other, rather than to each other. And they often talk about two different things. And Will's dialogue is peppered with movie quotes. All.The.Time.

Charlie is basically emotionally autistic - he can't express himself, especially his desires and needs, he can't ask for help or accept it because he doesn't want to come across as weak, especially to his family. It's clear Will could be
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Karen Wellsbury
I have been saving this book since I read Emma Seas review, because I knew I would love it.

When I was growing up, on a Sunday afternoon I would watch old films ideally from the 40's, the glamour and style and romance of them, even if they were noir just blew me away. My especially favourite was The Maltese Falcon from that era, and then I saw Breakfast at Tiffany's - I had such a crush on Audrey Hepburn in that film, and remember trying to get her look by application of household bleach to my
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Sammy Goode
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not easy. You wil no doubt see other reviews that tell you that the first person narrative, the free flowing dialogue, the constant old movie one-liners and references make this a very difficult novel to read--to find a rhythm too--a groove that lets you fly through with ease. No, easy could never describe this novel--not by a long shot.

However, if you stick with it-if you overlook the stuttering cadence of the story, oh dear reader, then--well then you will have experienced one of
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Vivian
Aug 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erotica-contemp
Tentative. The dance Charlie and Will embark on is shaky, they're both constantly attempting to figure out the other's intentions and nervous and scared of coming up short.

Will is sweet, open and eager to find someone who "gets" him, let alone appreciates him.

Charlie is struggling to find his equilibrium while balancing the load of his family obligations. Physically and mentally suffering he wants, but is unable to express his needs.

Needs. Both Will and Charlie have them. Both are afraid to
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MostlyDelores
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance
Lovely. Slow to start, it takes a while to get into the mood of the book but then it had me.

Charlie is practically mute and Will is almost incoherent, so it's miraculous that they manage to get together at all. But it's so good. It's intense and frustrating and erotic, and the constrained setting makes it almost like a play. This is a book that will get even better with re-reading. I don't think the Big Misunderstanding near the end was necessary (they rarely are), especially since they had been
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Katie
Aug 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, read-in-2012
I just can't get with this author's dialogue. It drives me nuts! I can't figure out why people are saying what they're saying, when they're saying it. The book was WAY too long and I found it rather boring. Sadly, this one just wasn't for me.
Steelwhisper
I was bored out of my wits by it. Language very very awkward! Couldn't get into it at all, and when trying to take it up again my reaction stayed the same.

Heh, and I bought this one because I simply adore the cover. Goes to tell ;)
Tiya Rosa
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
Here's the thing. I've loved all the books I've read from this author so far and this one was no exception. Cooper writes compelling characters and weaves beautiful stories with fitting - if not always pretty - settings, and you can't help but be transported to the world created and be thankful for the experience.

The problem is that the writing gives me, without fail, a godawful headache.

This is because the main characters are practically incapable of having a straight conversation. Someone
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Elena
1.5 stars

This book exhausted me.
It's too long, considering the little amount of plot and relationship development could've easily been fitted in less pages, but that’s not why reading it felt so much like a chore.

The narrative is chaotic, the dialogue confusing. The characters seem to talk to one another like they’re having two different conversations and it doesn’t happen only between the MCs either. One character would say something and the other would answer with something completely
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Pamela Su
This is a like it or hate it book. There's no two ways about it.

I enjoyed this story a lot.

Plot development-wise, this was about 200 pages too long. The book was full of unnecessary minutiae of Charlie and Will's day-to-day life and the many, many, MANY dialogues in which Charlie and Will kept misunderstanding each other.

Still, I have to confess that I liked the whole story. I enjoyed the drawn out storyline and all unnecessary elements I mentioned earlier.
Meep
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cute
Odd, I'm sure I reviewed this once upon a whenever!
Anyhow - I like it. Will is a bubbling over with personality but hiding his heart. Charlie is strong but has lost himself in role of protector so less certain in himself. It's interesting as we get Charlie's pov to realise how little he gives Will, and how bright and seemingly open Will is in comparison. Yet both are guarding what they really want, afraid to speak the words.

The 'daddy kink' is mild with a kinda awkward (unnecessary) public
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Emma
Apr 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
“I like how you talk, Charlie, but I have no idea what you mean.”

well, same here! charlie is really messed up, will is as much a mystery to me as he is to charlie and both together are just plain awkward. so is the writing, especially the pacing and the dialogue.

reading this book was like watching a train-wreck happening, in reverse and slow motion. it's an absolute mess, highly confusing and absolutely fascinating - I loved it!
Elizabetta
3.5 stars

The great:
Play It Again, Charlie is the ultimate slow burn/UST read, it is character driven, has some great dialogue and Charlie and Will are such a sweet couple! Charlie is a shell of a man, going through the moves, held prisoner to a myriad of demands and responsibilities: to an injury that forced him to leave the police force, to the demands of his extended family, and to his new teaching job. He’s so...downtrodden and in constant pain. Then there is Will, the golden boy who has
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leigh
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-bn
4.5 stars.

"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra."

This enigmatic phrase, from an episode of Star Trek, recalls two would-be friends who face nearly insurmountable communication difficulties. It may serve as an epigraph for this substantial (1000+ ebook pages) and ambitious novel, in equal parts frustrating and wonderful.

Charlie and Will speak English, but not each other's language. Charlie is purposefully hiding the extent of his feelings. Will is more open, but however broadly he hints, Charlie cannot
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Amber
When I finished up this book my first thoughts were I'm exhausted and not in a good way. This is a book I wanted to like with themes of age gap, daddy kink, and disability some of my favs. Yet the dialogue in this book was confusing and disjointed. I had to stop more than once and reread sections just to figure out what was going on. The characters can't figure out what was being said how are the readers? There were several time Will said "Oh, I get it." and I'm think damm I didn't care to ...more
Bea
I loved this book! I think that I am putting this author on my auto buy list.

We are Charlie, so the only perspective is his. He is a former cop, now a professor, who is the strong pillar for his entire family. We can tell that he puts everyone else ahead of himself. Which makes him admirable, but frustrating for himself. This becomes the primary conflict on his and Will's relationship.

Will is adorable. I suppose that he what we could call the stereotypical "gay hair dresser" for the surface. I
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M'rella
This is it. I am DNF-ing at 30%.

The scene at the nursery was the final drop. I couldn't figure out where and when Charlie and Will were. Again.

No, I lie. I could. But just as I was able to, they were somewhere else entirely - in time and space. And it applies to the whole 30% I've read so far. It's a battle.

The whole switching back and forth trick is so... je ne sais quoi... a paragraph in the present, a paragraph in the past - Time Travel? I should file it under that tag.

*

I might pick it up
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Mandi
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5-4 stars. I really enjoyed this one. I liked the slow pace and adored both characters. I do wish we got to see Charlie from Will's POV once in awhile. (and I think I'm developing a daddy!kink because that smexxin' was pretty hot!)

These guys did need to communicate better! I was confused for alot of their conversations for the simple fact that they were confused by what the other wanted or meant. Loved how it all turned out and would love to read more of this couple.

Sagajo
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, contemporary, m-m
This reading experience consisted of two confused MC's and a confused reader. They don't understand each other and I dont understand either of them.
namericanwordcat
This is a tender and hot romance between a gruff older Criminal Justice Professor and a young hair stylist.

It is an opposites attract romance between Charlie and Will, neither of whom are great at talking or letting themselves be fully scene. At the end of the book, Charlie's lack of sharing is frustrating but because there are all kinds of levels of intimacy (the heat factor is much higher here than in most Cooper books), the struggle to articulate and risk on these heroes part feels more
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Mel Bradley
Jun 01, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have attempted one other R. Cooper book before picking this one up, and I forgot that I had put the other one down before finishing it. But that was not the case this time around. Fair warning, this is a nice long book… and it felt like one. The first 130 pages were so confusing that I literally kept reading so I could figure out if I was losing my mind or not. Cooper was obviously trying to show the reader how different/opposite the two main characters are, but by having them confused all of ...more
Runell
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I'm a huge classic film fan just like Will is, so it was a kick for me to get all the allusions to the films. I also liked the fact that this book wasn't just a fluffy read. It dealt with some serious issues such as trust.

At first, I really didn't get Will's character, other than the fact that he has some serious "Daddy issues", but then as I continued to read, I understood him and I really came to like him a whole lot. I also really liked Charlie a lot. Throughout
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Terry
Jun 20, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely difficult read, maybe the style of writing (the narrative just did not seem to flow easily) or maybe it was the repetitive nature of the first half or so of the book. At first I thought Charlie must be about seventy or eighty years old by the endless description of his disability and how he behaved and thought - it wasn't till the end of chapter three that we found out he was actually thirty seven - it might have been better had the main character been introduced properly at the ...more
Erika
May 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Charlie and Will...I'd have to say they're 2 of my favorite m/m characters so far. I will agree with everyone who said the writing style was difficult to get into; I almost put added it to my dnf file after a few chapters but I'm glad I persevered. The beginning was especially slow and full of too much description but keep going, it gets way better. The sex was especially hot and that and the sweetness of the characters is the reason why I only got 3 hours of sleep last ...more
Tami
Dec 28, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
DNF at 25%: B-O-R-I-N-G

And Will, the twink, sparkles and twinkles too much.

And Charlie, the grouch, is just too much damaged hero.

The scenes are uniformly structured (Will advances, Charlie retreats or pushes back).

The dialogues are fraught with useless information and minutiae of every lash-batting, every tiny movement and so on.

I don't enjoy it, and so I stop reading - the possibility that it could get better might be there, but I am all out of patience.
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Dreamspinner Press: Play It Again, Charlie by R. Cooper 1 12 Apr 20, 2012 07:27AM  

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“Of Human Bondage?"

Will said quickly, moving just out of sight for a moment and forcing Charlie to move to the edge of the dining area to see him. He tossed one arch look over his shoulder as he reached up to grab that book, and even knowing it was an act, Charlie felt himself tensing. His eyes fell on the leather cuff at Will's wrist, as they were probably meant to.

"Kinky."

Charlie's throat locked. "I'm not..."

"Into Bette Davis? I know, a lot of people find her scary at first, but after awhile you really start to get into her."

The completely reasonable tone was at odds with the wicked light in the kid's eyes, the way his lips were curved up, how he held his breath when Charlie blinked and frowned, replaying the insane words until they made sense. Until he remembered that Bette Davis was in the film version of that novel, until he could finally take his gaze off that wide leather band.

His face was burning.

"Smartass," he muttered, completely mystified when being called a smartass made Will hop in place, since Will had already made it clear that he had a brain under all that hair and glitter.”
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