Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes is a light hearted mystery/romance/crime story with a cross dressing federal agent and a dog with some bad habits. I was provided with one copy of this book at no charge in exchange for my review and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes
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Author Name: Julie Lynn Hayes
Book Name: Bad Dogs and Drag Queens
Series: Rose and Thorne
Release Date: May 25, 2016
Pages or Words: 50,000 words
Categories: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, Romance
Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.
Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?
Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!
The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.
My Review: (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes had a light hearted tone to it and was a fun read. Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners at work as well as at home. They take on cases that other agencies are having trouble with, and it usually involves Vinnie having to dress in drag for one reason or another. He kindof likes it. So does Ethan, who is happy to see Vinnie’s legs in a skirt occasionally.
We jump into Bad Dogs and Drag Queens as they are finishing up one case and starting another which really throws me. I thought that this was book two of a series but it wasn’t. We are given hints of Vinnie and Ethan’s past, both at work and at home but not quite enough for me to really bond with either of them. This would have made a great SECOND book, but as a first book, I think it needed more background. Coming into a solid relationship 5 years down the road without any back story, especially in the middle of one crime solving caper made it hard to really grasp.
I enjoyed the characters and they were fairly unique. Vinnie seems to have a thing for skirts, even if he does complain about them quite a bit. He tends to be a bit needy but that is just his role to play in the relationship. Ethan likes being needed so they seem to balance each other out. The relationship is both tender and heated with a bit of snark going back and forth between the two. They are clearly in love and have been for years which is why Vinnie’s neediness really didn’t seem justified. They were also maybe a tad too sweet. They are in love, yes, but as working partners I would think there would be a bit more of a rough dynamic between the two.
Benny, the dog, is quite a character and adds a bit of fun to the story. He keeps them on their toes and brings out a softer side to both of the guys.
The crime drama itself was fun to read. The characters from the club were unique and well thought out. I do think that maybe the mystery needed to be filled out a bit more. I would have like to see a bit more development there and thought it wrapped up a bit too easily. Overall though, I enjoyed Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes and it made for nice, light reading.
“Remind me again whose stupid idea this lipstick was,” I huffed under my breath. Without thinking, I licked my lips. They felt greasy, and tasted even worse. I forced myself not to grimace, afraid it might crack the foundation I’d slathered on my face.
“Mine, you sexy beast,” came the smart-ass reply in my ear. “I think you got purty lips, mmhmmm.”
“Fuck you,” I growled. “You should be doing this, not me, and you know it. I did it last time.”
And the time before that. And the time before that. Wait, did I detect a pattern here?
“What I know is you look better in a skirt than I do. And you look damn good out of it too.”
My cheeks filled with heat at Ethan’s words. Luckily the darkness hid a multitude of sins, my embarrassment being the least of them. Hopefully, no one else was listening—I knew I’d never hear the end of it. Just what I needed—to be the object of ridicule of the Roanoke PD.
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Meet the author:
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Julie Lynn Hayes, author of Bad Dogs and Drag Queens. Hi Julie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
- How do you feel about e-books vs print books?
I started writing at a time when there was no such thing as e-books. On the whole, it was harder to get published. We had no email either, had to send manuscripts the old-fashioned way. Times have changed, obviously, and it’s easier to be published. But that too is a problem, as e-books have begun to flood the market. They’re cheaper to produce, of course, and can be sold cheaper. People can self-publish, so they do, and as a result, there isn’t necessarily the same quality, and a distinct lack of editing.
That being said, I like to hold my books in my hands when I can. There’s a certain satisfaction to be gained from holding a book with your name on it. Sadly, I think print is ultimately doomed, and more books will come out as e-books only.
- What process did you go through to get your first book published?
I tried to get an agent, that didn’t work. I started subbing to publishers, and got rejections. I did get accepted by Publish America, but did a quick Google check and realized they were scam artists before I signed. Same with another so-called agency which accepted my book too quickly to be true. I was then accepted by a now-defunct publisher, Noble Romance, and offered a contract. I had another writer, who is a friend, look at the contract, and she said I should ask questions. So I did, but I didn’t get a reply. I waited and waited, growing more nervous. Then my friend suggested I sub to Dreamspinner. I did, and they accepted, and I signed, and the rest is now history…
- How do you find or make time to write?
I often write at work, during my lunch and breaks, and on weekends. Often, weekdays are too busy for me to find the time, but I try to write then too.
- Name one person who you feel supported you outside of your family members?
Chris T. Kat has been a wonderful friend/supporter/sounding board and cheerleader. She reads everything I write, and cheers me on. It’s thanks to her that I wrote my Rose and Thorne series to begin with. She read my original 500 word flash, which was supposed to be a one-off, and wanted to know more.
- Tell us about a book you’re reading now.
I just started reading War of Two, by John Sedgwick. It’s about Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, and what led up to their duel at Weehawken. I’ve been reading a lot about them lately. My daughter recently became enamored of Alexander Hamilton, having discovered the new musical Hamilton. I have long been a proponent of Aaron Burr, having read the novel Blennerhassett as a teen. So now we’re on opposite sides, but we share an interest in these men, and their relationship, and it’s lots of fun!
Julie Lynn Hayes first began publishing short stories and poetry in the 1990’s, when it was a different ballgame altogether, and Ebooks hadn’t been dreamed of yet. That changed in 2010 with the acceptance of her first romance novel. She’s come a long way since that first book appeared, and is finding the journey a very educational one.
She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses. She often writes of two men finding true love and happiness in one another’s arms, and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She likes to write in different genres, to stretch herself in order to see what is possible. Her great challenge is to be told something can’t be done—she feels compelled to do it.
When she isn’t writing, she enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting, and she loves to cook, spending time watching the Food Network. Her favorite chef is Geoffrey Zakarian. Her family thinks she’s a bit off, but she doesn’t mind. Marching to the beat of one’s own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, eXtasy Books, and Wayward Ink Press.
Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjulielhayes
Goodreads Link: : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3442231.Julie_Lynn_Hayes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Tour Dates & Stops:
6-Jun: Anna Butler Fiction
7-Jun: MM Good Book Reviews
9-Jun: Unquietly Me
10-Jun: BFD Book Blog
14-Jun: Molly Lolly
15-Jun: Love Bytes
16-Jun: Havan Fellows
17-Jun: Alpha Book Club, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings