The Men of Marionville Collection by KC Kendricks (series overview)

 



I didn't set out to write a series, and this is not a "series" in the strictest usage of the word. I prefer to call it a collection. I set out to write a story that included a main character who had a long history with his friends. It was a short step from the original concept to a collection of stand-alone books all set in Marionville and all connected by friendship. Of course, being friends and once introduced, the characters tend to pop up in subsequent stories. 

If you'd like to read these stories in the order in which they were written, just follow the way they are listed here. Will there be more Marionville stories? I'm not sure, but I am connecting the characters in the  Centerville Muscle collection to the town of Marionville in a few small ways. To me, the characters feel more alive when they have a community and a wider family.

KC

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A HARD HABIT TO BREAK 

As the reigning stud of the local gay club scene, every guy in the county knows Travis Templeton, and vies for his attention. Travis wears his crown lightly, careful not to break any hearts. He knows what it’s like to really love someone who doesn’t love you back-at least, not in the way you want.

Heath Kelley made the biggest mistake of his life the night before his best friend Travis left for college. One small action snowballed into years of silent misunderstanding and empty distance. When Heath accepts a transfer that sends him to his hometown, he doesn’t know Travis has moved back home, too. It doesn’t take long for the men to reconnect.

Admitting they never stopped thinking of each other as “best friends” is easy. Forgiveness of past sins is easy, but confessing their secrets comes harder. When Heath discovers the truth about Travis’ private life, the newly repaired bonds of friendship are stretched taut. 

It’s time for Travis to choose – the love of his best friend, or a life of settling for second best. 

More information and excerpt here.

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OPEN ROADS

Tyler Phillips enjoys his small-town life. He’ll never get rich working the family business, but he knows there’s more to a man than the size of his bank account. Easing into mid-life, Tyler’s restless for something he can’t find in the little borough of Easton – male companionship. 

Noel Springs got caught up in the economic downturn. His job gone, and retirement a lot of years in the future, Noel decides to take a long drive and see some of the country before dedicating himself to finding new employment. The open road is just what he needs right now.  

When his car overheats outside the little town of Easton, Noel discovers the local mechanic is hotter than his radiator, and just as eager to blow off some steam.

More information and excerpt here.

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Bright and beautiful, Cassidy Barlow is one of Marionville’s new breed of movers and shakers. Outspoken on political and social issues, Cass draws a lot of media attention, and knows how to use it. Out and proud, Cass makes no apologies for who he is, or who he wants – and he wants Dylan Donoghy. The only thing is, from where Cass stands, Dylan seems to be involved with two different men.

Coming out. The most difficult phrase in Dylan Donoghy’s vocabulary. He’s made it this far in life with only his closest friends knowing he’s gay. Dylan has a good reason for that to change – his deepening attraction to Cassidy Barlow. It doesn’t come easy, but Dylan takes a few first steps out of the closet. It’s his only choice if he wants to be with Cass, even though he knows Cass has some secrets of his own.

Every man has a private past and an unwritten future. What he won’t confess stands between the two.  

More information and excerpt here.

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YOUR WHISPER IN THE DARK

Kenzie Zahn is starting over as a single man. Left with few immediate options, he accepts a friend’s invitation to visit and house sit. It’s the perfect opportunity for Kenzie to put a little space between the past and present while figuring out the best path for his future.  

Mason Hall enjoys the carefree single life. He works hard, plays a little harder, and doesn’t think much about settling down. The right man will come along – or not – and he’s content to wait. A night out to enjoy a little dancing leads to a hook-up with Kenzie, the kind of man Mason has only ever fantasized about. Mason can’t let him get away. 

Kenzie’s smitten. Mason is irresistible, but home is a thousand miles away and a long-distance romance isn’t workable. A strange twist of identity brings a linked past to light. Kenzie and Mason are brought to the realization that even when Fate arranges a man’s destiny, he still has to take a leap of faith, or lose out on love.

More information and excerpt here.

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A CAT NAMED HERCULES

(That handsome little feline model was my cat, Shooter. Some of his antics also crop up in the story.)

New in town, Shiloh Rudy joins a group of civic-minded volunteers to better acquaint himself with his recently adopted community. It’s a good way to make friends, network, and help make a difference, not to mention perhaps meet someone interesting  - in a romantic sort of way. The one thing Shiloh didn’t expect was a love to rival all others to come with four white paws. 

Gale Widmyer is on his feet and moving forward after piecing his life back together following a series of wrong choices. In his darkest moments, the one bright spot in his existence was the fulfillment of his dream to become a veterinarian. Gale’s making good on a promise to himself when an abandoned kitten leads him to Shiloh Rudy and a chance at the happiness he never hoped to have. 

Laying the cornerstone for a developing relationship comes easy for Shiloh and Gale. But the wounds of the past often remain unhealed at their deepest point. A few careless words erect a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. It will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules.

For information and excerpt click here.

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Wynn DeRocher’s talent and ambition catapulted his band to the top of the charts, but he paid a steep price to achieve success. He needs a flesh and blood man, one who understands the demands of his music. He needs the man he let get away - Jude Thatcher. 

Wynn pitches a proposal to Jude - a lucrative job modeling the band’s new line of signature logo'd clothing. Jude accepts but both men know it’ll take more than fancy dinners and limo rides to convince him to risk his heart again. 

To covet might be a sin, but Jude needs a gesture of good faith. And he wants Wynn’s leather jacket as much as he wants Wynn. Almost.

 For information and excerpt click here.

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Scott Thomas is tagged to oversee the new commuter rail line from Easton to Marionville, a high profile project that demands his expertise. When a friend invites him on a Mystery Train Dinner Adventure, Scott’s onboard for an evening of fun. He gets more than he bargained for when he meets his ideal tall, dark-haired stranger on the train.

Dakota Reece knows the new commuter rail is the opening he’s needed for him and his brother to build their own firm and future. Planning a start-up company while working on the commuter project is hard work. Needing an evening off, Dakota takes a trip to relax on the Mystery Train. When the train stops to serve dinner, Dakota is boldly cruised by a fellow passenger. He has to get to know this smart, sexy man and asks Scott to join him for a drink. 

Scott and Dakota hit it off and a quiet cup of coffee leads to unexpected possibilities - and consequences. Their budding relationship could cause a multi-million-dollar conflict of interest. When Dakota makes a sudden decision to advance his timeline, Scott will do whatever is necessary to keep them together and on track.

Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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When an old friend pitches him a business proposition, Keith Mitchell pulls up stakes and moves to Marionville. He decides his new house will be in the Victorian style he’s always dreamed of having even if he has to live in it alone.   

Realtor Terry Stattler has one goal in mind for his clients: find and sell them the house of their dreams. Recently widowed, Terry’s not in the market for companionship, or so he believes. His latest client is handsome, interesting, and his age, but Terry doesn’t know if he’s ready for a new relationship. 

Keith becomes an eager suitor, waging a persistent siege until Terry gives into temptation. When Terry finds the right house for him, Keith redoubles his efforts to win Terry’s heart. After all, what good is the perfect house if the man of your dreams won’t share it with you? 

Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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Hollis Milnor doesn’t think twice about moving to Marionville. His ailing cousin needs his help running his nightclub and Hollis needs to put some space between himself and an ex-boyfriend determined to make his life miserable. Management skills he has. Experience running a nightclub, not so much, but he’s a quick learner.  

Caleb Brewer is a steady, hard-working man establishing a microbrewery. He’s got a great product and demand for it is growing. When a new manager takes over the hottest nightclub in Marionville, Caleb is determined to maintain his prior arrangements. 

What starts out as business quickly heats up the summer nights. Hollis hesitates, reluctant to step over the legal line. Caleb isn’t just a vendor. He works part-time at the nightclub. Becoming involved puts them both in murky waters, waters that become crystal clear when the past catches up with Hollis and puts everyone he loves in danger.

Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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(Check out the canine cover model. That's my best boy ever Deuce! He's got his own blog at Deucesday.blogspot.com)

Leon McNamee successfully worked his life plan to a good job, his own home, and the one thing he always wanted as a boy - a dog. He hasn’t had much luck in the relationship department, but in Smoke, he has all the company he usually needs. 

Jeremy Cooke’s new plan is to stay clear of entanglements and not get hurt again. He moves to Marionville to start over and decides to rescue a damaged dog. After all, he’s well acquainted with abuse. 

Leon and Jere get acquainted over their shared love of dogs, but Jeremy holds close his secrets. When an argument escalates, disaster strikes. Leon has to fight to save Jere’s dog - and the man’s trust. At the end of the day, his best ally is a black Labrador Retriever named Smoke.


Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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When Griff Ernde makes a late-day visit to the cemetery, the gates close with him on the inside. Griff ends up in a cell at the local precinct house charged with trespassing, and with no way to salvage the day. No doubt about it, it’s a personal low in his life. Then his luck changed when Kory Watts joined him in the cell. 

Kory Watts has a knack for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Stood up on a blind date at a local club, Kory gets swept up in a drug raid and lands in a cell with an inebriated stranger. When his drug test comes back clean, the duty sergeant offers Kory a deal: if he takes Griff home, they both can go with no charges. It’s not a deal Kory will refuse. 

When Kory and Griff meet again, they agree to have a drink - of ice water. Neither man judges the other and it’s quickly apparent they share an attraction. As their budding relationship heats up, Kory wonders if he’s ready to get serious with a guy he just met no matter how well suited to each other they are. When Griff is suddenly charged with the murder of his father, Kory is ready to move heaven and earth to help prove him innocent, but it might not be enough to save what’s between them.

Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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Chandler Beck is at a crossroads. To move forward, he has to take a trip back to the biggest regret in his life. He discovers a man happily settled down with a partner, both of whom are ready to call him a friend. When they offer him a place to rest, Chandler ends up in their guest room and with a job at the best restaurant in town. 

Once a rising star on the pro golf circuit, a back injury forced August Howard to give up the game. Swallowing his pride, he accepted a job waiting tables and worked his way up to the manager of The Wharf, the area’s premier restaurant. He’s not happy when the owner does a favor for a friend and hires the seemingly inexperienced Chandler Beck as a bartender.

It doesn’t take Chandler long to win over the prickly August, but August is a man with secrets. Their friendship heats up and when August’s past comes calling, Chandler pays the price. The only option open is for August to confess all and hope those around him, especially Chandler, will accept he’s a different man from who he was in his yesterdays.  

Click here for more information and an excerpt. 

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Go back to KC and Rayne's bookshelf -click here. 




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