Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Short Story
Peter Kim has been in love with his five best friends and college roommates since he was in middle school. They all know he is gay, but none of them know how Peter feels about them. Until they catch him masturbating to a video of them all together, that is.
Peter is mortified and sure his straight friends will want nothing more to do with him after this awkwardness. But the guys surprise him by suggesting that Peter takes a day with each of them to do anything Peter wants, sexual or otherwise. Peter is a little nervous, as he is sexually inexperienced, not to mention unsure exactly why they are all agreeing to this. But there is no way he is going to pass up the chance to have his fantasies come true.
Take Your Pick is an erotic short story that delivers on the heat, but also surprised me by going further. Yes, we have lots of sex as Peter tries things out with each of his five roommates. He explores a whole lot of fun stuff over the course of the week and there are lots of sexy times. But I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised that Welsh takes things deeper and gives us a solid short story to go along with the erotic side. With five roommates, the guys could have all become muddled together, but we get at least a basic sense of all of these men, their personalities, and their sexual interests. Their encounters with Peter all take on a bit of a different tone as each of them explores some of themselves in addition to being there for Peter. Without being too heavy handed, Welsh highlights the idea of ranging sexualities and self identities as these young men explore with each other. And then of course, there are the sexy times, which are fun and well done. I enjoyed Peter, who is both bold and kind of terrified, caught between having everything he wants but also kind of overwhelmed by it all.
There are still some issues here, again as the primary focus is on the erotic end of things. These guys are all incredibly loving, open minded, and sensitive young men in ways that are wonderful, but maybe not totally realistic. They are in college, but none seem to be encumbered at all by classes or jobs, able to take days to just lay around having sex and cuddling. I also wish more had been addressed about Peter’s romantic feelings toward these guys. He says he is in love with all five of them (yes, you have to just go with it), but the HEA doesn’t end up involving them all. I wanted to know how Peter was handling the fact that he is in love with some of them, but not having a relationship with them beyond friends (or possibly friends with benefits, although that is not really stated either way).
Overall though, I think this book delivers even more than promised by the set up. If you are reader who made it past my summary or the blurb and were still interested, then I don’t think you are going to be disappointed here. It is a fun sexy story with quite a bit of a fantasy built in, but at the same time a solid short story that I really enjoyed.