3 stars Action/Adventure adult - 18+ Angst Level Book Contemporary Cop/Crime Dreamspinner Established Couple Friends to lovers Gay Heat Index Insta Love Little to no angst m/m Mid level steam/heat Morgan Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words)

Bad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes

Dreamspinner Presents


Rose and Thorne: Book One

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 for more information about this organization.



Vinnie and Ethan are partners on the job and off. For the last 5 years they’ve been fighting crime in Richmond, VA, but are now part of a special liaison in Roanoke, trying to stop a mugger. Vinnie (who first met Ethan at a drag show) wears the dress and it’s Vinnie who also meets the “Bad Dog” – aka Benny – while catching the bad guy in a park one day.

Ethan loves Vinnie, his life and now the dog, too.

After catching the mugger, the pair is put on the job of busting a series of crimes at a bar that features drag queens. You guessed it – Vinnie’s in a dress – again.

Will Vinnie be able to trust Ethan with all the flirting his undercover character must do? Does Ethan really want Vinnie or Vinnie in a dress?


So…. This is a mixed bag for me as far as reviews go.

The writing style was engaging and easy to follow. It flowed, there were no mistakes and I really liked the two MCs who, as characters, were really well developed.

What didn’t work for me was the lack of distinct story. There is really no angst, no hurdle, nothing for this couple to overcome. Beyond the crime – which I never cared about – a bit of flirting – and the fact that Vinnie has never lived in a house before… there just wasn’t much happening in this story.

I enjoyed the sweet way the MCs interacted, thought the dog was funny, loved all the drag queen personas, but was never really invested in this story much at all.

So… I guess I’d recommend this to anyone looking for something very, very light and sweet – maybe after you’ve read a hard tear-jerker and you need a palate cleanse – or something that’s easy. If you’re looking for anything deep or moving or exciting… keep looking.

3 of 5 stars


Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review



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