Review: XO, Blake-Avery Aster


cooltext1889161239 copyFor fans of the dark comedy BDSM film Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down comes an erotic exploration in domination and submission where Ivy League students let their naughtiest desires run wild…

If you think my besties Lex, Taddy, and Vive have had some bad luck earlier this year, cut to me at Glamorama. Last thing I remembered was dancing with Diego and Miguel from my English class, when the room started… spinning. And not in a good way! We got sick. Think Regan in The Exorcist. Taddy was rushed to the hospital. Holding on for dear life, I was carried out by the boys and taken back to their dorm.

Now I’m waking up in Diego’s bed and Miguel keeps staring at me from across the room. I’ve wanted to get into these dudes’ pants since the first day of class. But Diego told me he likes to be tied up and—wait for it—spanked. WTF! The news on TV reports that last night we all got roofied. And Vive just texted me saying that someone is out to kill her. Could this semester get any more bizarre? -–Blake Morgan, college freshman, gay best friend, virgin.

The Undergrad Years is a new adult contemporary miniseries about first loves, independence, and everlasting friendships.

cooltext1889171582 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review.


  • Blake is sassy and somehow shy. He is backed by these fabulous, beautiful women who love him beyond measure. Blake knows who he is and what he wants but needs a push. His lines are hilarious, blunt, and in your face sexual at times and others, he’s timid and unsure about his appeal. Blake’s easy to love and as he opens up sexually, it’s a whirlwind watching him explore and grow.
  • The brotherly dynamic between Diego and Miguel is adorable and really awkward. The sexual tension between Diego, Miguel, and Blake is hot and heavy. Some scenes were blush worthy and totally embarrassing but sexy as sin. 
  • A minor thread but an important one is the role of AIDS/HIV in the gay community, how it’s reacted to, and how people with money (some) would rather push it under the table than lose face.
  • Diego and Blake are sweet together. Diego is fire and bondage, Blake is soft and inquisitive. They learn from each other, give and take, and the way Diego treats Blake like he’s precious is to die for. ❤


  • Although Blake was the protagonist, it didn’t feel like it was solely centered around him. Much of the story focuses on the other Manhattanites and their drama. Who Blake is and in terms of character development, he got lost in the side narratives.
  • The story felt cut off and way too brief. Right at the crucial moment, when so many dramatic situations were revealed, the solutions were too quick or in some cases, summarized. 
  • The backlash of the video was surprisingly dull. I expected more drama and definitely more flair given the huge personalities of all the Manhattanites. The gossip, revenge, media were quiet, it was a bit of a letdown after all the build up. 

Happy reading,

cooltext1754437870 copy


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