Title: What About Him
Author: E.E. Montgomery
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 32,687 words, 131 pages
Genre: m/m, Contemporary, Mystery
Heat: 1 – Sweet/None
Sex Frequency: 1 – None
Keywords/Tags: Cops, Teachers, Unrequited, Co-Workers
Rating: Not Feelin’ It
Reviewed by Nikyta
**Might contain some spoilers**
There’s a snake in Aidan’s bed, but it’s not the kind he wants. A nest of snakes under his house heralds the kind of disruption that Aidan has been trying to avoid all his life and turns him into a hysterical mess. First he sleeps with his best friend, Baxter. Until their one-night-stand, Aidan was happy with his life and their friendship. Now he’s lonely and craves a relationship Baxter doesn’t want.
Then Aidan meets Detective Sam Walters while consulting on a murder investigation and his dreams are suddenly invaded by a man who makes Aidan want to strip faster than an attack by green ants. Too bad Sam is straight.
When snakes take over Aidan’s home and a gorgeous snake catcher comes to his rescue, Aidan’s confusion is complete. To add to the mess Aidan’s life has become, a man ends up dead on his living room floor, Baxter confesses to his murder, and calm, cheerful Sam yells at Aidan. It’s enough to make a quiet professor of sociology prefer the snakes.
When I read the blurb for this book, I was very intrigued. It seemed funny and possibly charming. Unfortunately, the story didn’t live up to the potential it had.
Dr. Aidan Markham is a professor and consultant for the local police department. He’s got a crush on both his best friend, Baxter, and Senior Detective Sam Walters. He’s surprised when suddenly he has an infestation of snakes at his house while simultaneously getting a case from the police about a series of robberies. Now, his ordinary life is in shambles while he’s trying to deal with snakes, his best friend’s love life, and the case he’s working on with Sam in addition to the feelings he’s developing for his snake catcher, Doug.
I had a lot of problems with this story. The book is very short so there’s not many details on the scenes I was looking forward to reading. If you’re looking for a romance, this isn’t one and while it’s labeled on the publisher’s site as humor, it’s not. At least to me, there was nothing funny about it. In fact, this story felt flat in pretty much everything.
The mystery was very weak and for some reason, Aidan couldn’t put two and two together and connect some very obvious occurrences. I figured it out within seconds of learning that one thing connected him to the case he was working on. I grew frustrating waiting for him to connect the dots especially because he’d mention thinking of the case a lot.
The characters lack any depth, even Aidan. All we know about him is his job, the fact he’s lonely and that he ends up crushing on every single guy he meets, which then leads to him lusting after and constant thoughts of that guy. Then only for that guy he’s thinking of to be replaced by a different hot guy he sees later in the day. It grew tiresome and I felt like Aidan was a very flaky character. He couldn’t set his sights on one guy, but instead, just dreamed about them all.
This grew aggravating because while the love interesting is the detective, Sam Walters, we get no indication of their relationship beyond a professional setting. In fact, the only part that features them in a romantic setting is when they kiss and the ending. There’s no lead up to their feelings (because Aidan is constantly thinking of a bunch of other men instead of the hunky cop he works with) and even after a brief kiss, it’s like they revert back to a work relationship until the end where I’m guessing the author was trying to achieve an HEA but, to me, it didn’t feel right. The story didn’t feel complete. I couldn’t grasp how Aidan and Sam go from co-workers to a somewhat loving relationship.
The story had a lot of potential, though and the ending was slightly sweet, I’ll give it that, but at one point, Aidan goes home to a dead body being in his living room. This made the story interesting for a split second until you figure out who the dead person is, which just so happened to be the only character I was liking in the book.
All in all, this was a frustrating read. Too many conflicts were happening at the same time for it all to be tied together seamlessly. The story was too short with a lack of details for it to be a comedy, romance and mystery at once. What there is, didn’t blend well together and ended up feeling like the characters were all whinny instead of sophisticated adults. I will say, while I struggled a lot with it, there was something about it that still made me want to finish.