Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: The Remaking of Corbin Wale
AUTHOR: Roan Parrish
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 226 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2017
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.
Coming home might be easy, but finding a place there can be hard.
One month after losing his job, his boyfriend, and his sense of purpose, Alex Burrow is back in his home town. Back in his old house. Back in his family’s old cafe. None of these are bad things, but life is meant to be lived forwards, not back. So Alex sets about trying to remake his life from the bones of his old one. Step one is transforming the old cafe into a bakery to call his own.
Corbin Wale is a man who is tied by his family’s past to a future he never wants to see come to pass. Isolated and shunned by the townsfolk due to rumor and superstition, Corbin has been cut off from the real world by the fear both in himself and from others. Caught up in the world inside his head, he at first doesn’t know what to think of the kind baker who lets him hang around his bakery and draw. He doesn’t know what Alex wants, but Corbin knows exactly what he can’t let him have. For his own safety. No matter how much Alex’s soft touch and calming presence tempts him to dream of.
I don’t know what exactly I feel about this story other than I just really enjoyed reading it. There were parts of it I’m still mulling over, but on the whole it was a true pleasure to read.
I’m not usually one for books that lean towards magical realism so when that part of the story started to crop up I was really worried that my interest in the characters and the story on whole would wane. But the book had built up the characters so well by that point that they were able to ground me enough that I didn’t care about the more odd parts of the narrative. I can’t help but still think that what Corbin really needs is a nice long chat with a therapist, but I found the way Alex handled the whole situation to be rather refreshing for these kinds of stories and really liked it.
But with that aside, I found the story to be absolutely charming. The exact type of story I love to read around the holidays. Full of all the things that make you wanna just curl up with a large cup of coffee and watch the rain (or snow, I guess if you live in snowy places) come down on the other side of the window. I will say that this is not a book to be read on an empty stomach. Or without ready access baked goods. My god could I eat a whole box of doughnuts while reading this story. Excellent food-writing here.
And the characters all seemed to have this soft fluffy aspect to them. One that kinda makes you wanna wrap them in poofy blankets and warm hugs. It was very soothing to read, I must say, and exactly what I need right now. Especially coming at a time when people are constantly invading my house with demands that I act like an adult-like person and socialize with strangers.
If you are looking for a good book, with great writing and an odd but rather cute storyline, this one should be right up you alley this holiday season. Best read in a soft chair, with a cup of your favorite hot beverage and a plate of pipping hot baked goods at hand.