The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan Parrish

Posted December 19, 2020 by Kate

The Remaking of Corbin Wale by Roan ParrishCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Supernatural, Magical Realism
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Source: Kindle Unlimited

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.
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Ten percent of all proceeds from this title will be donated to the Russian LGBT Network.

The Remaking of Corbin Wale is SUCH an interesting read. The main character, Corbin, kind of reminds me of a gentle/skittish Adam Parrish… but with Ronan-like magic? Hmm,,, I must reflect more on this.

This book followed Alex Barrow as he wraps up a pretty terrible day. He got laid off from his dream job after the business sold and broken up by his boyfriend/roommate all on the same day. So he packs his bags to return to his small-town, hometown in Michigan to takeover a revitalize his mom’s coffee shop, turning it into the bakery he’s always wanted to own.

He saw the monsters that love and longing could make,
and they all had human faces.

He “meets” Corbin shortly thereafter on opening day, if I’m not mistaken, when Corbin wanders in for a coffee and place to draw. Alex is immediately drawn by Corbin, but the vibes Corbin throws off caution him not to make a move. It’s not long before Alex gentles a friendship from Corbin after weeks of coffee and drawing, although he’s skittish and seems rather fragile. Eventually, Alex needs an assistant in the kitchen, and he offers Corbin the job.

The Remaking of Corbin Wale is a magical-realism story when told through Corbin’s perspective. Corbin isn’t magical himself, per se, as a magical power is never directly discussed. He’s more … intuitive? He smells possibility or a change in the air and sees things in the earth’s signs that we don’t. He communicates(?) with animals and has an incredibly vast imagination that will sweep him away into alternate realities if he’s not careful.

“And your mind. It’s beautiful …
You remake the world a hundred times a day.”

Corbin was also raised to believe that anyone his family loves is cursed, which takes over a large portion of the book as he’s fighting (and failing) not to get close to Alex, as well as trying to break/deviate the curse. He was such an interesting character, I really (really, really!) enjoyed his perspectives, especially with his friends that he had in his imagination. Alex, too, was so awesome for him, commanding but in a gentle, understanding way that was more about structure and care than actual dominance.

This is the first book I’ve read by Roan Parrish, and I will definitely be reading more of her books!! This book felt slow, even though it included some of my favorite tropes (friends-to-lovers, bakeries, MM, workplace romance)…. but even with that, I couldn’t help but love it! It was utterly unique, abstract, ethereal, and imbued with a sense of winter spirit that was hard not to adore.


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