FOUR 4 and TWO 3 Stars for Acceptable Behavior (Marked Men #1) by Jenna Byrnes #MM #Romance


Title: Acceptable Behavior (Marked Men #1)
Author Name & Publisher: Jenna Byrnes (Pride Publishing)
Publication Date: December 29, 2015


Tattoos don’t define a person’s character, or make him sexy. But, if you ask Sam Madison, they sure don’t hurt.

Dr. Travis Nelson has a passion for ink but keeps his many tattoos covered by long sleeves and trousers. He’s aware that as a pediatrician he’ll be judged not only by the other physicians in his practice, but also by the parents of his young patients.

When Sam Madison takes his young nephew, Levi, to be seen for an ear infection, he’s immediately attracted to Travis and the feeling is mutual. But Sam’s sister Melanie is going through a rough time and caring for Levi, and covering her obligations, keeps Sam occupied. He feels like he’s in no position to start a relationship.

Travis sees things differently, though he’s unable to truly understand the deep bond and connection Sam shares with his twin. As Melanie’s life goes from bad to worse, Sam is forced to make difficult decisions. Is protecting Levi enough of a reason for the two men to stay together, or will fighting for the child ultimately tear them apart?

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This story left me with mixed emotions. Parts of it belonged to a gentle, feel-good family romance. In other places, the central relationship made me really uncomfortable. I find physical violence between romantic partners disturbing and Sam and Travis never seemed to properly deal with some of the power and control issues between them. Even a formal power-exchange relationship involves careful communication and I kept waiting for Travis and Sam to talk through some of their problems instead of either ignoring them or solving them with sex.

Individually, I enjoyed both men initially, but over the course of the book, Sam starts to come across as weak and malleable while Travis seems to enjoy manipulating him and making unilateral decisions. When they work well, the men are hot and very sweet. When they aren’t working well, they are a difficult couple to read.

I enjoyed the Levi and Mel storyline, but I thought the court case at the end was an awkward tag-on. I can’t imagine that judges in the American court system can offer biased, moralising rants in a courtroom instead of an impartial verdict. Nothing in the court scene rang true and I was glad to be offered a final closing scene after the trial.

Overall, there were some really sweet moments in this story that were sometimes overshadowed by the problems in Sam and Travis’ relationship.



Dr. Travis Nelson is a pediatrician who loves ink and has it all over his body, expect where you can see it. He knows he will be judged if any of his ink shows. When Sam brings his nephew in to see him due to a ear infection Travis feels a instant attraction to Sam.

Now I have to say I did really like the first half of this book but for some reason after the first half it kind of went down hill for me and I ended up not really liking Travis’s character or these two men together.

Travis was just so rude and bossy sometimes and the way Sam and Travis would bicker honestly just drove me nuts. Other than that I did like this story and the authors pretense of this story just was not a huge fan of these two men together. So I am sad to say this book was just not for me….



The two main characters, Travis and Sam were great together.  I really enjoyed watching their relationship develop and change – especially when it included Levi.  Kids are resilient, but there does come a point where their resilience can be tested and I thought that Byrnes did a great job at coming close to that line, but not crossing it.
I really enjoyed the chemistry between Travis and Sam in the beginning.  They were honest, loving, steamy together and caring.  But, somewhere towards the middle of the story, their relationship began to develop in to one of take, dictate and manipulate.  I thought that Byrnes could have created a different feeling in the story and not gone towards these actions.
The sister, Mel, I wanted to throttle.  While I can understand the family connection – that desire to try to help those who might need it, Sam became a door mat and I hated that.  He was unable to be the brother and instead became the whipping boy (and not the fun kind).
Poor Levi was stuck in the middle of an adult, hot mess and just wanted to be loved and given attention.
So, while I did enjoy this story, it was a kind of train wreck in the middle.
I really enjoyed this book; it was a great start to a new series. I will admit at times I wanted to beat the tar out of Sam because of his loyalty to his twin Melanie, I mean I understand the twin bond but she was a hot mess! I did like the fact that Levi wasn’t in every scene in the book, I think there was a good balance between Sam and Travis and then Levi. I love how fierce Travis was about Sam and Levi not going back to the roach infested apartment, which gave an element of realness to me for some reason. There was a little angst and lots of love, just like I like it.
Wow, just wow. It’s no surprise why I like Jenna Byrnes, this book was absolutely amazing. I felt the connection to Sam and Travis immediately and it just kept going from there. This author writing just makes the whole story just flow together. There were definitely some issues with the book and that was to shift of personalities in Travis and Sam. I mean Travis all of a sudden becomes a total prick and Sam becomes wimpy. I was glad that in the end they seem to work out their differences and make a go of it together.
I really liked this books. It was fun to see a character who is an upstanding man with a great job, yet loves his ink (and has lots and lots of it). There was chemistry and fun between Travis and Sam.
Although I didn’t care for the touch of insta love that I got with their relationship. I also didn’t care for how rapid some things changed and how easily others were taken care of. Parts of it came across as a joke more than serious (i.e. court case) and that was a bit of a disappointment.
However, I found the book to be the normal great writing of Jenna Byrnes and still loved all the characters and how they were all so distinctly different from each other, but all made it work some how.


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Jenna Byrnes could use more cabinet space and more hours in a day. She’d fill the kitchen with gadgets her husband purchases off TV and let him cook for her to his heart’s content. She’d breeze through the days adding hours of sleep, and more time for writing the hot, erotic romance she loves to read.

Jenna thinks everyone deserves a happy ending, and loves to provide as many of those as possible to her gay, lesbian and hetero characters. Her favorite quote, from a pro-gay billboard, is “Be careful who you hate. It may be someone you love.”

For the latest news, visit Jenna’s website at


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