“It is true that you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends. It is also true that you can choose your partner and in doing so, you end up choosing the family you've always wanted.” ~ J.R. Rim
Vinnie and Ethan, of 'Bad Dogs and Drag Queens' by Julie Lynn Hayes, are partners in the truest sense of the word; at work, as undercover law enforcement detectives, and in their private lives as lovers and best friends. Their lives as detectives can get hectic and even dangerous sometimes, but the respect, love, and devotion these men have for each other make them an unstoppable team—ready, willing, and able to take on the toughest assignments and solve the most difficult cases.
Their current assignment is catching muggers in a badly lit part of Roanoke, Virginia. Vinnie is, unfortunately, the bait, necessitating him to wear female clothing, which Ethan lovingly helps him pick out and put on. While at the park, they meet an adorable dog who is also a purse thief. When he steals Vinnie's purse, the chase leads to the real purse snatcher, therefore solving the case. With the perpetrator in custody, Vinnie and Ethan leave the station with the dog they name Benny, who they end up keeping, looking forward to going back home to Richmond, Virginia where they live. In the meantime, their supervisor asks them to meet him for dinner to discuss the next case. This uncommon invitation arouses Vinnie and Ethan's suspicion; they figure the upcoming assignment must be particularly noxious and, more than likely means that no one else would take it.
Their suspicions are confirmed when they learn that the job involves working at The Stroll, a local gay bar featuring drag queens, whose employees are being harassed and threatened. Their job is to find out who is doing it. It also involves Ethan being a bartender and poor Vinnie, a drag queen. Vinnie is upset, but Ethan is supportive, helping Vinnie shop for new dresses, wigs, and shoes that are necessary for his cover and reassuring him how beautiful he looks in a dress. Ethan and Vinnie are supposed to be roommates, not lovers, so they have to curb their public displays of affection. It's especially difficult for Vinnie, who has a short temper and whose jealousy is easily invoked. He almost loses it when he sees Ethan being too friendly with the other queens and patrons.
I loved this story! Ethan and Vinnie won my heart right away. Julie presents their relationship so articulately that I could feel their passion and affection for each other. Everyone should have a man like Ethan. He knows just how to soothe any misgivings or fears Vinnie has with just the right words and actions while reminding him how wonderful he is. Vinnie repays him with undying love and devotion and a lot of hot sex! If you like stories about drag queens, handsome, witty men, undercover agents, sleazy bad guys, dogs, and hot, loving sex, then you may enjoy this tale. I'm delighted to see that it's book one of a series. I'm just not ready to let these guys go yet. Thanks, Julie, this story was a true delight. I'm looking forward to Ethan and Vinnie's next adventures.