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The Remaking of Corbin Wale

Narrated by: Chris Chambers
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Summary

Last month, Alex Barrow's whole life imploded - partner, home, job, all gone in 48 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.

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Roan Parrish (P)2018 Tantor
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magical and marvellous

This is one of the best slow burn romances I have ever read and listened to. The prose is beautiful with the mystical elements that kept me transfixed. The depth Roan Parrish gives to this story.
The narration is excellent. Both Alex and Corbin were given such life and vitality. The emotions Chris brings out in each character makes it a marvellous book to get lost in.
The secondary characters all bring such richness to the story, Gareth in particular. I’d love to hear his story.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Enchanting!

I love slow-burn romances, and this was just so sweet. And passionate at the same time! The writing felt very fluid and there was a quality to the prose that sometimes made it feel like almost like a poem. It gave the story this feeling of magic and enchantment, although there was also this darkness there, and I liked the deeper theme about being different and being rejected by society because of it, and finding the courage to accept that you are such, and even then you can be loved and happy.
It did leave me with questions about the state of mind of the MC and if maybe, it was somehow downplayed and some medical assistance would be required in reality, but I suppose it works because it's not stated explicitly.

Narrator suited the story and the characters I think, but sometimes felt a bit lacking, especially in the more emotional scenes.

Overall I liked the story. It's worth a credit, if you like slow-burning romance with a bit of angst, and a bit broken characters not healed, but accepted with love.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful and unique, this book will stay with me

What a wonderfully strange and interesting book. I fell in love with Corbin instantly and wanted to look after him. The slow burn relationship was beautifully drawn and the writing style was reminiscent of my favourite TJ Klune books. The scene where we first met Gareth was heartbreaking and the way Alex dealt with it made me fall in love with him too. everything about this book was perfect, including the narration. It could do easily have gone wrong, but Chris Chambers handled it perfectly without making Corbin too ethereal or strange.
I really loved this book and hope we get Gareth's story next.

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Character voices OK but otherwise fairly dull...

I adored Corbin & Alex, but was otherwise quite disappointed by the narrator's flat delivery of the story...other than for the actual characters themselves. Chris Chambers' general pitch and tone was low and monotonous [which unfortunately reminded me of Paul Morey and Robert Nieman...not good at all 😔]. 2.5 stars rounded up. I understand Gareth and Orin will eventually get their own story.

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It was ok but was missing something

It has been a while since I’ve listened to a book by Roan Parrish, but I remembered liking them, so when I saw there was a new release I got it straight away. I know what this book was going for but it just seemed to miss something. It reminded me a lot of The Law of Moses series by Amy Harmon, and some of her other work, but where that series grabbed me by the heart, this one simply didn’t. I love atypical love interests so I’m a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it was an ok listen - just not what it could have been.

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  • Belen
  • 04-11-18

So wonderful!

I loved this. From the utter acceptance Alex has of Corbin, to the way the story flows...I love that we get both Alex and Corbin's POV, and even though I still don't understand a lot of what was happening with Corbin and his Aunts, and I wish I knew what happened with Gareth, this story just moved me and Chris Chambers does such a great job with character voices and the emotion of the story. Recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Holli
  • 12-04-20

I hate writing reviews, but I needed to share

This book was just sort of magical. From the very first word, the language choices, the characters, the narration and the world just all sort of combined to make you feel transported to some magical other world where almost anything is possible. I was shocked when the story ended, because all of a sudden I had to face going back to the real world and I was not prepared.
It is a pretty low-angst story with very little confrontation, and very little drama, which sounds boring, but wasn’t.
I loved the characters. Probably the closest thing to a flaw, and still isn’t necessarily, was I’d have liked to have had a little more closure on Gareth’s story. I’m hoping he will get his own book, although that one might not be so low-angst...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul New Orleans
  • 14-09-18

Love Roan Parrish books... this is no exception!

So. coming from the Somewhere Trilogy, this story has a different style and tone. At the end, I really loved it. I had a little trouble in the first 2 hours mostly because of the narration. In the beginning the narrator used a very formal and almost pretentious approach to reading. After about 2 hours, he relaxed a good bit and all was well. I do have to say that the narrators formal tone did fit the story in the end... it was just a little much in the beginning. Also, I think I was hoping for the same feel as the “Somewhere” audio books and this is a completely different style. Maybe it was me, maybe it was him... perhaps a bit of both. Having said that, what you get from this story is what I’ve come to know as typical “Roan Parrish”. This means you’ll really explore the characters in a way that I’ll bet you’ve rarely experienced. You’ll find that the story and characters are both light and dark.... endearingly flawed and broken.... but always innately good, though that fact comes as a surprise to most of them. Next, you’ll explore a deep connection between characters that is truly Yin Yang... where 2 completely different characters essentially compliment each other so perfectly that they can no longer survive without each other. Roan Parrish understands chemistry and doesn’t over do it. There are certainly erotic scenes.... sometimes very intense... certainly hot... but deep and made better by the strong connection and chemistry you feel between the characters.... not just the typical “word porn” I get from most other books in this genre. Ultimately, “The Remaking of Corbin Wale” is sweet and thought provoking. I keep thinking about many aspects of the story and characters... and I have a lot of questions... in the best way. I feel the same way I’ve felt after finishing all 4 of Roan’s audiobooks...I WANT MORE!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Vicki
  • 09-09-18

I Adore Roan. So This Is Hard.

Personally, I am the kind of person who tips a terrible server because I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. They went to work, tried, may have had a bad day, but I don't want to demean them by calling attention to their poor service.

After listening to Roan Parrish's first three books, I can honestly say I enjoyed each one more than its predecessor. So it breaks my heart to write this review.

While I read this book months ago, in print, and quite enjoyed it, this narration is abysmal. The narrator has absolutely zero emotional connection to the material. He has a speech pattern that leads him to present each sentence as though it is as crucially important as both the PREVIOUS sentence and the NEXT sentence. It was nearly insufferable--and I'm being generous including the modifier "nearly." Even ten seconds into the audio sample the narrator says, "...Alex'd had almost ignored a call from his mother." As if it was supposed to be "Alex'd almost ignored" and then was changed to "Alex HAD almost ignored", but BOTH the 'd and the "had" were left in the recording. Sloppy without question.

Never in my wildest dreams did I believe an audiobook could be this poor in comparison to its print version. The author would be wise to avoid answering questions about its quality, since she appears to be someone who is all about authenticity. This audiobook was, I hope, the worst I'll ever listen to. I hold high hopes for Roan Parrish's future works, and always enjoy her words in print, but I wish she would respect the audiobook format enough to spend time carefully tending to quality-control. I'm not quite sure how she could have guided this particular narrator to deliver a performance more--real and authentic--but that's what her first audiobooks delivered. A sincere "better luck next time" to the extremely talented wordsmith, Roan Parrish.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LIK
  • 23-06-20

HAUNTING AND BEAUTIFUL

Alex's life has fallen in on him and he goes home. There he takes over his parents coffee shop and changes it into a bakery. There he meets Corbin. Corbin is different. Life has not been easy for him and has greatly affected him, his behaviors and outlook on life. They are drawn together and must figure out how to make this thing between them work. Love the story, it is different that any book I've listened to. It just flows. Chris' narration enhances the story. Great book and great narration.

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  • Nicole
  • 06-06-20

Touched my Heart

This is the sweetest love story that moves at the pace of our very patient main character.
It is a love and a story that is not to be rushed.
It's about acceptance in who you are and who others really are; it's about seeing people without preconceived notions of who they are.
It is also about healing and the power of love to heal. The sweetest two main characters ever.
I loved, loved this story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 06-06-20

Decent story made great by narration

A decent story with good characters made great through the narration. Here's the word you might not recognize sufganiyah and the plural sufganiyot...

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Cranky Reader
  • 17-05-20

Enjoyable relationship, with pastry & bread

Interesting take on magical realism. The reader is not required to believe in magic nor to disbelieve to embrace the book and characters. Corbin & Alex fit each other, which makes the story comfortable.

Content Warnings: a secondary character is in an abusive relationship, Corbin was an outcast at school & after, and characters spend a deal of time thinking about dead parents. For all that, the book doesn’t wallow there and is relatively low trauma.

Corbin has been trying to get along in a place where he never fit well. Alex is starting over after his life in NYC changes. He has a helpful fallback position of turning his Michigander mom’s coffee shop into a bakery. Corbin hangs out in the bakery while lives inside his head & drawings. They meet, there are sparks, then there’s a long slow burn of getting to know each other. The POV switched up. Each protagonist got a couple large blocks from their view. I would have preferred a little more back and forth, in part to “meet” Corbin earlier but it was at least neatly done. I liked the relationship a lot.

Why not 5 stars? It took me a little longer than usual to get drawn in to the story/relationship. I think that’s because Alex only started to interest me as he tried to get to know Corbin. Alex is your standard “all the kids are above average” kind of white guy. He liked baking but I felt like he desired the control more than he yearned to bake. (Not that it’s bad to be happy with the path your life takes.) He just felt a little blank. His care for Corbin turned him interesting. I liked that I never got the sense that Alex would be careless with Corbin’s vulnerability. I would have like to know more about why I was so sure of that. How did ~average Alex develop into someone who wasn’t thoughtless? That usually takes some consciousness of privilege to figure out. I’m not sure even being gay and casually Jewish would drive that consciousness - at a guess, it tied into his feelings about Thanksgiving but again, I wanted more detail of how that came about.

The other quibble is also about a lack. There is a secondary arc with Alex’s bff & a tertiary one with Corbin’s dogs that felt neglected in the last few chapters. Gareth (who I keep thinking is named Derek) is left in limbo, and that’s fine because it’s a reasonably comfortable limbo. But it would have felt more settled to see some details. More, I wanted to see both Corbin & Alex interact more with Dreidl. How often is she home? What does she eat? Where does she sleep? Not knowing these things made the book feel unfinished. (possible very minor dog spoiler: I kept waiting for Wolf to come in the house but he didn’t. I thought that arc needed another beat to either have that happen or hint at why not. /end dog spoiler)

Steam: Medium hot. M/M on page with some details and a good helping of metaphor. There aren’t a lot of sex scenes, and I’d like to argue that the penultimate chapter needed another one. But what was there was creative and sexy. A lot of the earlier detail was actually imagined by the characters rather than being physical contact. The way the characters blended in the boudoir, what with Alex liking control & Corbin being a mass of raw nerves in want of direction was really satisfying. Honestly, it’s one of the few books I’ve read where one partner’s directive that the other touch themselves felt needed for the one doing the touching, rather than just a peep show for the director. It really worked.

Narration: The narrator made some subtle changes to indicate character. I was a little worried that my lack of connection early on might have been a subconscious issue with the narration but after the relationship picked up, he faded from my conscious thought too. Except for the few times the wrong character’s voicing was used, which was minor. Sound quality was good.

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  • AmazonReviewer
  • 14-05-20

Beautiful, heartwarming tale

I love nearly everything about this book. It was so unexpected in the best way possible. Corbin and Alex are both endearing characters and the writing was almost poetic at times. I highly recommend reading or listening to this book. Unfortunately, the narrator didn’t quite do this fabulous piece of writing justice. He was awkward and overly ponderous and used very odd emphasis and pausing. It felt like listening to a very inexperienced reader trying too hard to read in a meaningful way. It wasn’t conversational and didn’t flow naturally which is the true sign of a good narrator. When I’m continuously jarred into the realization that I’m listening to someone reading rather than becoming immersed in the story then it ruins a book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-04-20

Sweet but slow moving.

Super cute and sweet love story - but there wasn't much conflict. Writing style is poetic and the characters were diverse and unique. It's a good choice if you need something to mellow you out.