Book: The Remaking of Corbin Wale
Part of the 2017 Holiday Charity Bundle
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: November 27, 2017
Length: 59, 200 words
Reviewed by Erin
Last month, Alex Barrow’s whole life imploded—partner, home, job, all gone in forty-eight hours. But sometimes when everything falls apart, better things appear almost like magic. Now, he’s back in his Michigan hometown, finally opening the bakery he’s always dreamed of. But the pleasure of opening day is nothing compared to the lonely and beautiful man who bewitches Alex before he even orders.
Corbin Wale is a weirdo. At least, that’s what he’s heard his whole life. He knows he’s often in a fantasy world, but the things he feels are very real. And so is the reason why he can never, ever be with Alex Barrow. Even if Alex is everything he’s always fantasized about. Even if maybe, just maybe, Corbin is Alex’s fantasy too.
When Corbin begins working at the bakery, he and Alex can’t deny their connection any longer. As the holiday season works its magic, Alex yearns for the man who seems out of reach. But to be with Alex, Corbin will have to challenge every truth he’s ever known. If his holiday risk pays off, two men from different worlds will get the love they’ve always longed for.
As someone who loves books of all kinds (and who reads A LOT of them), sometimes I'm lucky enough to come across one that I know within the first few pages is going to be something special. There's this feeling of connection, a tingle in my heart and soul that lets me know what I'm about to read is going to have a profound effect on me. Whether it's happiness or joy or heartache or even anger, I know deep down the book is going to leave a lasting impression. Roan Parrish's The Remaking of Corbin Wale was just such a book ... and the feelings it left me with are numerous. Soul filling joy, heart warming happiness, and this sense of magic and beauty that I've not often experienced. I'm in awe, really, at the stunning, lyrical prose, the evocative imagery and the food (OMG the food!) contained in this one of a kind story. Yes, The Remaking of Corbin Wale is a holiday story so you'd expect it to have plenty of warm, feel good moments--and there ARE plenty of those--but this book is so much more than that. Even being a huge fan of Roan's and knowing she's an author who never fails to deliver a book that is well-written, a plot that keeps my interest, and unique characters who always stay with me long after the last page, I was blown away by the pure wonder of this story.
Alex Barrow has come back home to Michigan after losing his boyfriend, apartment, and job in one fell swoop. He could easily let this get him down, but instead he looks at it as an opportunity. So, he takes over his mother's cafe and transforms the space into the bakery of his dreams. In doing so, we learn much about Alex. He loves his mother, he misses the father who passed away, and he's about the nicest guy you could ever meet. When mysterious Corbin Wale shows up at the bakery, instead of throwing the guy who sits and draws all day (and sometimes just stares out the window) out, he's intrigued. In fact, he's so enamored that Alex can't help but be drawn to the enigmatic man. Oh Corbin ... I don't know what I can say about him that will not spoil his uniqueness. He's quirky and kind, quiet and empathetic, mysterious and luminescent. There is something almost otherworldly about him and it leaps off the page at you. His inherent goodness, his view of the world around him, the way he speaks and thinks is all just magnificent. I am SO happy this book is told in alternating points of view, and in four separate parts, because it would be a travesty not to have Corbin's thoughts and feelings in the world for all to experience. I promise you'll be thankful, too.
I highlighted SO MANY parts of this book that it's impossible to pick them all to show you the majesty of Roan's words but here are a few that really moved me.
In Alex's arms, time was measured in breaths and distance in the wrinkles of the clothing between them. Though he was held firmly, his breath felt deeper, like his lungs could expand up to his throat and down to his stomach, filling him with all the air he'd need to stay there forever. In Alex's arms, nothing else could touch him.
And this one:
Something about Corbin called to everything in him, and though Corbin wasn't an easy man to get to get to know, every time he walked through the door, it felt like things were right in Alex's world. He felt a kind of peace and satisfaction that came from having the person you most wanted to see near you, and Alex couldn't explain it any better than that.
And then this, too.
"The problem is that even if you don't touch, even if you keep things back, even if you don't go out to dinner or the movies, the feelings are still there. Because love doesn't live in kisses and flowers and first dates. It lives in your mind, in your heart."
All. The. Sighs.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the Hanukkah celebration. It's full of joy and family, friends and food (all the food!) and it's significance can't be understated. It was moving and left me with the biggest smile on my face. And let's talk about the food because it could really be a character unto itself. It plays such a HUGE role in the book. It's how Alex and Corbin first connect, it's how Alex expresses himself, and it's how Corbin finds the courage to leave his past behind and focus on the future--and does it in the most spectacular way! I don't want to say too much about the story itself because it's hard to explain without giving anything away. The Remaking of Corbin Wale is a book you need to savor because with each page you'll fall more in love with this love story.
This is a book about family and friends. About acceptance and kindness. And it's about hope and joy and love. Roan has gifted us with a timeless love story that is everything the holiday season should be about. Don't miss this one, friends. Enjoy it, savor it, and revel in the magic and exquisitness of the majesty of The Remaking of Corbin Wale.
About the 2017 Holiday Charity Collection
20% of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.
Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. Twenty percent of the proceeds from this year’s collection will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.
The Russian LGBT network was founded in April 2006. It is an interregional, non-governmental human rights organization that promotes equal rights and respect for human dignity, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. They unite and develop regional initiatives, advocacy groups (at both national and international levels), and provide social and legal services.
To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: https://lgbtnet.org/en.
This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:
- Cecilia Tan, Watch Point
- Roan Parrish, The Remaking of Corbin Wale
- Katie Porter, Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Buy all three in the collection and save!
About Roan Parrish
Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.
When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.
She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Handspun Literary Agency.
Connect with Roan:
To celebrate the release of The Remaking of Corbin Wale, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 2, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!