BOOK REVIEW: Start Us Up (Park Avenue Promise #1) by Lexi Blake

BOOK REVIEW: Start Us Up (Park Avenue Promise #1) by Lexi BlakeStart Us Up by Lexi Blake
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


Three young women make a pact in high school—
to always be friends and to one day make it big in Manhattan.

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.


Start Us Up was an adult romance that was a wonderful blend of family, friendship, love and finding yourself. Ivy had been successful, but let her boyfriend destroy her business in the tech world out in California. Back home in New York, and living with her mom, she was trying to find herself again. What her next project would be. How she could fix her name. And how to find happiness again. She had two best friends from childhood that she was still close with, and a struggling relationship with her mother. This book dove deeply into the relationships in Ivy’s life. And with strong found family vibes, I enjoyed reading this story.

I realize I’ve spent the last year so focused on getting back to the top that I haven’t let myself want anything else.
I want him. I want everything he can give me.

My favorite person in this story was Heath. From their first interaction, I was intrigued by him. He was kind, caring, patient, and when Ivy decided to go into business with him, I loved their negotiations. But the moment I realized how much I loved him was when he stepped in to protect Ivy. And sneak a dog a little goodie to make her like him haha. Ivy and Heath had a lot in common. They both worked in the tech world, were loving people and fascinated in the AI project they were working on together. Also they both didn’t want to fail their families. On top of Heath, I liked Ivy. She was so relatable and easy to click with. Together, they felt like the perfect match.

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 speciously consider door number three.”

The side characters in this book were definitely shining stars. Between Heath’s grandma and roommate who I both loved. To Ivy’s best friends who felt so real. To even Cece and Ivy’s mom. They rounded out the story so wonderfully. But I did struggle with two things. While tech fascinates me, those parts about work felt dull. And there was almost too much talk about feelings. Yet while there were some lags in this story, at the base of it was wonderful friendships, and a love story that had a little bit of steam. This was an interesting book to discuss with my book club, and I am interested in trying another book by Lexi Blake!

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  1. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I love a story with good side characters! Great review!

    • Jen

      Me too! Thank you so much, Lisa!

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