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She’s a high-tech boss who lost it all…

Ivy Jensen was the darling of the tech world, right up until her company fell apart completely after she trusted the wrong person. Her reputation in tatters, she finds herself back in the tiny apartment she grew up in, living with her mom. When a group of angel investors offer her a meeting, she knows she has to come up with the new big idea or her career is over.

He’s an up and coming coder…

Heath Marino has always been fascinated with writing code. He’s worked on a dozen games and apps and is considered one of the industry’s more eccentric talents. But now he’s back in New York to spend time with his grandmother. She was known as one of the city’s greatest matchmakers, and he wants to know why. Surely there’s some kind of code in his grandmother’s methods, and he’s going to find them.

When Ivy meets Heath it’s instant attraction, but she’s got a career to get back to and he just might be her on-ramp. It could be a perfect partnership or absolute heartbreak.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Start Us Up

Lexi Blake

AVAILABLE NOW

Book Series: 

Lexi Blake is kicking off a brand new series this week, about three young women who make a pact in high school to always be friends and to one day make it big in Manhattan, and I have an excerpt for you from the first book in the series.

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Excerpt

How had we gotten here? I was seriously considering taking that shower because I was so cold, and it would feel good to be warm and comfortable. Still, I’m stubborn. “I’m not hungry.”

“Then that is the problem. You’ve been body snatched.”

“Heath, I am serious. I am leaving. I’m leaving the city and the freaking business.”

“I’m going to ask you not to go,” he says quietly, his voice a low rumble, and I hear the emotion in him. “Stay with me, Ivy. It’s barely been a week, and I don’t want to do this without you. The one thing Harper isn’t thinking about is the fact that I believe you have my best interest at heart, and if I tell you no, you’ll honor it.”

He was so confusing. “I can’t promise you that. There’s money on the line, money we’ll have to pay back if we can’t bring CeCe on.”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there. It’s way in the distance.”

“I won’t honor what you want,” I say stubbornly. “Not if I know I’m right.”

He shrugs. “Then we’ll do it your way, but we don’t know what you’ll do until you’re faced with the actual problem. The only thing I do know is I will be very bad at dealing with CeCe. I’m scared of her dog, much less the woman herself. You cannot be so cruel as to leave me alone with her. She doesn’t even know my name. She calls me Ivy’s Side Piece. I don’t think she understands what that means.”

CeCe often heard some phrase she thought was funny and used it in a totally insane way. What the hell was happening? “I’m not good for you.”

“And I’m not a side piece. I’m the whole piece,” he assures me. His hands come up, cupping my cheeks. “You had a shit night, and someone backed you up against the wall so you’re fighting. You feel alone, so you’re fighting. I suspect that person was Harper, so you feel like someone else you love is ready to abandon you so…”

“I’m fighting.” It’s what I do. 

“You don’t need to fight me,” Heath says, and he’s so close to me now. So close I can see how warm his eyes are, how there’s gold in the deep brown of his irises. “And I’m getting really tired of fighting my every instinct.”

“Your instinct?” I feel rooted in place, still in the face of coming disaster because if he kisses me this time, it’s not to help me out. It’s because he wants to. 

He nods. “This one.”

He leans in and his lips meet mine, and I’m suddenly not cold. 

I’m suddenly not alone. 

He’s right. I’m fighting and being dramatic and veering wildly when I should sit and think the problem through. Although I can’t think now. All I can do is feel the way his mouth moves over mine, how his hands find my waist and brings our bodies close. My arms go up to his shoulders, and that’s when I realize how wet I am and I’m going to make him cold and wet, too. 

I step back. “I should…”

He looks disappointed. “Take a shower. I’ll grab some clothes that will be way too big for you and order a pizza, and when you’re done, we’ll do one of two things. We’ll talk this through or we’ll watch a bunch of crappy TikTok videos and make fun of people because you’ll realize you’re not going anywhere tonight.” His lips turn up in the most delicious smirk. “Or you can pick door number three.”

“Number three?” I shake my head because I’m being obtuse. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Then pick one or two because you’re not leaving. You would miss me.”

God, I would, and that’s the best reason of all to leave. 

He moves to the small dresser and pulls out a Cornell sweatshirt and a pair of sweats with a tie string at the waist. “I know you feel like you’re cursed, but you are not, Ivy Jensen. You are going through a rough patch, but the end of that dark tunnel is coming up fast. Don’t make a U-turn and stay in the dark.”

He leans forward and kisses my forehead, the gesture making my heart squeeze. 

“I…I’ve given you every reason to push me away.”

He winks. “And still I didn’t. And that’s why you should seriously consider door number three.” He sobers. “I can handle your damage. All this drama, it doesn’t scare me off at all. The truth is my life was a little boring until you showed up.” He walks to the door. “Now wash the pretty gross rainwater off and find your appetite, woman. I do not know what to do with an appetite-less Ivy. I’m used to being able to manipulate you through food.”

I stand there and realize just how much trouble I’m in. 

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Park Avenue Promise - Recommended Reading Order

(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

Natasha

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