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Ex Appeal

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Member Reviews

This was a really adorable and engaging second chance romance. The story follows Vinh who's kind of a fixer but something goes terribly wrong with the finances of his company and he's being framed for the things he didn't do. Now he needs the help of a hacker to figure out who could've set him up. Unluckily for him, the only hacker whom he knows he can trust turns out to be his highschool ex Emily, whom he left when she was going through difficult situations in her life. I really enjoyed how the dynamics between Emily & Vinh gradually changed. I loved their chemistry and the plot was super soft, light-hearted and somehow managed to include some serious topics too. The side characters were amazing I liked that they nicknamed themselves as the "Nerd Heard", it was just so cute! Since I had no idea that this book is a part of a series and Cathy Yardley is a new author to me, I'm excited to check out the previous and upcoming books in the series to see which side characters will be getting their own story!

I voluntarily read and reviewed the ARC of the book provided by Netgalley & Montlake

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Umm this might be my favorite of the series?! It was so cute! I loved Vinh and Emily, and I loved them together. Cathy Yardley is known to write fun, diverse, geeky characters and that's definitely what you can expect here. After reading Gouda Friends (book 2 of this series) I was really looking forward to Vinh and Emily's story, and I'm just so happy this book delivered. It was so entertaining, and had a good amount of steam! Loved it. 💙

𝙒𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩:
💻 Second chance romance
💻 A bad breakup that made her "hate him with the passion of a thousand suns", and made him "put on this iceman persona"
💻 Forced proximity
💻 Undercover hacking adventure
💻 Exotic pet-sitting
💻 Relatable family drama
💻 Nerd Herd aka an amazing group of friends who are family slash the best support system

Thank you @NetGalley and Montlake for the opportunity to read this ARC.

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My initial thoughts during the first few chapters of Ex Appeal were “wow, this is topic is different to what I’d normally read”. Despite that being my first thought, I really enjoyed this book. Following a hacker and a fixer, this book and its characters are very technology based but not once did I feel unknowledgeable about what was happening. The author describes everything with detail that keeps the reader understanding but not bored. The story was overall predictable but refreshing because of the topic of technology being pretty unknown to me.

The characters were relatable and very mature, not once did I role my eyes at their choices (although there was one chapter where Vinh pretty much bullies his coworkers that didn’t sit right with me). I loved the internal monologue of the characters and how through each chapter, it was easy to recognise who was narrating as Emily and Vinh are written slightly different from each other.

Upon reviewing this book on GoodReads, I notice it is the third book in a series. Without having read the previous two books in the series, I felt I could keep up with what was going on in the story and didn’t feel ‘left in the dark’ about previous storylines. Having this information now, alongside knowing there is another two books in the series, I will be reading more by Cathy Yardley in the future.

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This is the third book in Cathy Yardley's Ponto Beach Reunion series, and with tantalizing little hints sprinkled in the previous two books about Emily and Vinh's past I was beyond ready to dive into their story. Enough backstory is provided here to make this book readable as a standalone without feeling tedious for readers of the series. It's a great second-chance romance with hints of enemies-to-lovers, featuring a strong female lead. I loved that while the plot is lightly gender-flipped so that Emily is the rescuing hero and Vinh is the "damsel in distress", in truth they really do rescue each other. I also loved seeing the Nerd Herd again -- so much of the joy in this series comes from seeing such a tight-knit group of friends who are always, ALWAYS stepping up to help out the leads in any way they can. If you're looking for fun, fresh, sexy, silly and heartwarming, dive into this book (and put the rest of the series on your TBR stack).

Thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Ex Appeal begins with a ten year reunion of close friends, and we immediately learn that Vinh and Emily used to date. Whilst Vinh desperately tries to talk to her, Emily tells him, in no uncertain terms, to get lost. A year later and Vinh is working non-stop at a consultant firm as their ‘fixer.’ But when $10 million worth of crypto goes missing, he is blamed by the senior partners. With his reputation on the line, he has to seek out a hacker to help him prove his innocence. Emily is working ridiculous hours in a job she hates, whilst dreaming about getting back to ethical hacking, which is her passion. So when Vinh asks for her help, she can’t resist saying no, especially when he offers to do anything she asks in exchange.

I loved this second chance romance and I read it all in one day because I was so absorbed by the plot. Emily and Vinh certainly had their differences, and it was clear why they had broken up during college, but the tension was palpable and it was evident that they both still cared deeply about each other.

The fact that Vinh was forced to care for Emily’s brother’s pets in his apartment was great and this meant they spent more time together, getting to know each other after the decade spent apart, it added extra layers to their chemistry and showed a different side of Vinh as he cared for some of Greg’s exotic creatures.

The NerdHerd were a great addition to the story and were involved enough to feel like a well thought out group of friends. The strained relationships that Vinh and Emily both had with their families also helped to make the book more realistic and developed the characters.
I also felt that by talking about crypto, the book had a very modern edge to it which added to my enjoyment, it’s certainly unique in this regard, especially as for a change, a man needed the help of a woman and not the other way round!

Overall I would rate this 4.5 stars and I would recommend it to any lovers of romance books!

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Ex Appeal is book 3 in the Ponto Beach Reunion by Cathy Yardley.
I haven't read book one or two yet, but I believe these can be read as a standalone.

Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley was a simple, light story. I had the pleasure of truly enjoying.
The romance was just the right amount. Not too much that the reader will find it cheesy and unrealistic but just enough to fun. It's a fresh, light read with attractive, very well-written strong characters. 
The memorable characters will climb inside your heart while you're caught by Yardley's smooth and terrific writing. 
I immediately fell in love with the writing style of this book. 
It was funny, sweet and smart. It was truly refreshing.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Montlake,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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Despite being the third book in the Ponto Beach Reunion, it can be read as a hilariously cute and lighthearted standalone. Ex Appeal is incredibly appealing to anyone who loves romantic comedies and second-chance romances.

The book follows Emily and Vihn, highschool sweethearts that had a not-so-good breakup. Years have passed since they've last seen one another, but Vihn finds himself needing a favour from Emily as she possess the skills and trust that he needs to get himself out of an expensive inconvenience... But the catch is- Vihn completely broke her heart in the past.

The flow of the story was well-paced as nothing felt too slow or rushed. The overall writing of it was phenomenom too, as it kept me intrigued and curious to see what happens next. Every single character was loveable and adorable. I can see myself going to read the other books in the series to better understand their friends group. Emily and Vihn are both strong and independent characters that don't need to rely on one another, making it evident that their time apart has matured them for the better.

I think that this book will be heavily adored and loved when it comes out. Hopefully everyone will also understand my admiration for Vihn Doan too... because.. well you'll see!

Thank you NetGallery and the publisher for the eARC!

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I loved this book! Perfect ending to the series. I couldn't put this down and enjoyed it even more than the other two in this series! Nerd Herd for life

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I really, really enjoyed this book! It hooked me from the very beginning and kept me hooked the whole time! It was super cute and witty, and loved the story!

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