About The Remaking of Corbin Wale
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.
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!
Alex Barrow liked bringing things to life.
A month ago, he’d had friends, a lover, and a prestigious job in New York. A week after that, he’d found himself back in his Michigan hometown, where he hadn’t spent more than a week since leaving a dozen years before. He had nothing to his name except—now—the bakery where he stood. And yet, alone in the predawn dark of opening day, Alex felt lighter than he had in years. He took a deep breath of leaf-scented air and felt himself grin. Yes, Alex liked bringing things to life, and he’d dragged this bakery into being from the wreckage of his life in New York.
It had begun with the one-two punch of Timo breaking up with him, and Rustica, the restaurant in the West Village where Alex had worked as pastry chef for four years, being bought by a corporate conglomerate. Down a boyfriend and a job in forty-eight hours, Alex hadn’t been sure which had been the bigger blow. And that, his best friend Gareth had pointed out with a knowing wink, should tell him something important about both.
Timo was a radiologist who owned the apartment they’d lived in. He was mature, sensible, handsome, and intelligent. He’d had a three-year plan, a five-year plan, and a ten-year plan, all of which, he’d explained patiently during the conversation that turned into a highly civilized breakup, had included Alex. That Alex hadn’t known he was included in these plans had been a problem. That he’d had very little interest in them, once he’d been told, had been a more telling problem.
As Alex had lain on the couch that night—because Timo was far too mature and measured to suggest he leave suddenly, but Alex had found it too strange to share a bed with the man who had been his partner and suddenly wasn’t—he’d realized he felt . . . not nearly as much as he’d expected. Certainly less than he’d imagined he should feel after being with someone for three years, living with them for two, meeting their family, sharing their bed, and knowing how they tasted and what made them cry.
And he’d thought maybe Timo felt less than he’d expected too.
Losing Timo had certainly been an inconvenience, in that it had left Alex without a place to live. Walking into Rustica the next night to the announcement of its sale, on the other hand, had been gutting. Finding out the following afternoon that he could keep his job if he simply produced the menu the corporate team designed, but would no longer have the freedom to develop his own recipes, had been devastating. With no apartment, he certainly needed the salary. But he didn’t want to be a machine, turning out the same pastries week after week, year after year. That was why he’d left his first two jobs at traditional bakeries. With no creative control and no power over the menu, he’d been bored as paste.
He’d left Rustica and walked through Lower Manhattan for hours, making pro and con lists in his head. When his phone had buzzed with an incoming call from his mother, Alex had almost ignored it, not wanting to admit failure on two fronts to the woman who only ever wanted to see him happy. But he’d answered anyway, and listened to her chat about the weather, the latest football game that had backed up traffic all the way to her house, a new store that had opened across the street from Helen & Jerry’s Java. As he listened, he’d calmed thinking about the Ann Arbor autumn.
About the way the days were warm but the nights turned cold as soon as the sun’s heat had burned away. The way downtown smelled like coffee and waffle cones and turning leaves and moss. The way the U of M fight song blasted from car horns and house windows and cell phone ringtones during football season and got stuck in your head even if you weren’t a football fan.
When his mom had told him that, lately, the arthritis in her hands had gotten so bad she could no longer even make the coffee drinks at Helen & Jerry’s Java—the café she and his father had opened his senior year in high school, and which his mother had run alone since his father died ten years ago—and that she wished she could take a vacation, drive up north with her new beau (her term), Alex’s head had gotten fuzzy. And then it had gotten very, very clear.
“Mom,” he’d said softly. “I think I’m coming home.”
And now here he was. He’d shipped his belongings, surprised but not upset to find that he didn’t own much he cared enough to hold onto. He’d given Rustica his notice, and he’d booked a flight. When he’d touched down in Detroit, it hadn’t felt like moving, it had felt like visiting, as he’d done dozens of times before.
He’d had one small duffel bag and his laptop, as if he were coming in for a long weekend like he always did. The taxi had dropped him off in his mother’s driveway, just like it always did, and his mother had come out to meet him, just like she always did. She’d told him he looked so handsome, just like she always did, and he’d seen the moment her eyes moistened, thinking about how she wished his father were here, just like he always did.
It was just the same, only everything was different.
Because this time, when his mother settled him at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a cup of decaf for herself, she didn’t say, “So, tell me everything,” like she always did. This time she said, “So, here’s the plan.”