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Ex Appeal

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Vinh Doan, a high-level fixer for global corporations, faces a colossal problem when ten million dollars vanish from one of his accounts. Desperate to find it, he turns to Emily MacDonald, his high school ex, now struggling in tech support after her father's death derailed her dreams. As they team up, old sparks ignite, and they grapple with past hurts and present desires. Amidst simmering chemistry and financial intrigue, they confront their shared history and the possibility of a second chance at love.

I really loved these characters and despite some cheesy moments, I had so much fun. Both Vinh and Emily got on my nerves in different ways, but you could tell they both had a lot of heart. Also a second chance romance between exes? You bet it's full of all that good pining and tension. If you're looking for a lighter read with great character growth, some hilariously awkward moments and more heart then you can handle, then add Ex Appeal to your list.

3.75 stars

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It was a quick, easy read, but I can't help but feel like nothing made it overly stand out to me. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't something that stuck with me. I can see it having fans, and I feel like people who are fans of that forced proximity trope and the second chance trope would probably enjoy this read. All in all, solid 3/5.

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I did not realize this book was a series when I requested it. It did not mess with me reading and enjoying it thought. A cute second chance romance and friendship.

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I have loved all of the Ponto Beach Reunion series and this one was no different. In my opinion it can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend reading the series from the beginning so you can see all of the characters and don’t risk any spoilers.

This is a second chance romance and I absolutely loved it. I loved both the main protagonists, Vinh and Emily and the side characters that are the nerd herd.

This was told in dual POV and was written really well. Just like the rest of the series it was such an easy read and I was just absorbed by it.

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"Ex Appeal" by Cathy Yardley is a witty and entertaining romantic comedy that had me laughing and rooting for the characters from start to finish. This novel is a delightful blend of humor, romance, and the complications of rekindling old flames.

Yardley's writing style is engaging and filled with comedic flair, immersing readers in a world of hilarious mishaps and unexpected encounters. The characters in the novel are relatable and endearing, making their escapades and interactions a joy to follow.

At the heart of the narrative is a playful exploration of second chances and the complexities of past relationships. The author skillfully navigates the awkward and heartwarming moments that come with reconnecting with someone from the past.

"Ex Appeal" successfully blends humor with moments of genuine emotion, resulting in a narrative that is both lighthearted and resonant. The exploration of personal growth and the unexpected twists of fate adds depth to the story.

In conclusion, "Ex Appeal" is a delightful and entertaining read that delivers a perfect mix of laughter and romance. If you're looking for a book that offers a feel-good escape with characters you can't help but root for, this novel is a fantastic choice that will leave you with a smile on your face.

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If you're looking for a fresh and engaging romance novel, look no further than Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley. This second-chance romance is a charming and witty tale that will have you rooting for the main characters, Vinh and Emily, from the very start.

In Ex Appeal, author Cathy Yardley weaves a captivating story of high-stakes hacking and financial intrigue, while also exploring themes of personal growth and the power of forgiveness. The plot is well-paced, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the very end. The chemistry between Vinh and Emily is off-the-charts, and their complex and relatable personalities make them truly captivating characters.

What sets Ex Appeal apart from other romance novels is its emphasis on personal growth and redemption. Vinh and Emily are not the same people they were a decade ago, and their journey towards self-discovery and forgiveness is both heartfelt and inspiring. As they work together to solve a high-stakes financial problem, they also find themselves drawn to each other once again. Their simmering chemistry practically sizzles off the page, making for an incredibly satisfying read.

Overall, Ex Appeal is a must-read for fans of contemporary romance and anyone who loves a good redemption story. With its engaging plot, relatable characters, and heartfelt themes, this novel is sure to keep you hooked until the very end. So if you're in the mood for a charming and witty romance novel, be sure to check out Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley.

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Having read Cathy's previous book Gouda Friends, where I was introduced to Vinh and Emily, I knew I would like this but not to the extent I did.

Vinh started as remote, robotic but his desperation to clear his name softened him by the middle of the story—that and getting exposed to his high school friends again, especially his ex-girlfriend Emily.

I was surprised by how much I related to Emily. Her having to make the decisions in the family after her father's death struck familiar chords in my own life.

Second-chance romance can be hit or miss depending on the reason for the initial breakup. The way Cathy laid it out here made sense to me despite being a unilateral decision on Vinh's part. Once he explained, I understood why he earned Emily's forgiveness. Their getting back together was inevitable and believable.

Once again, I enjoyed the banter and the fantastic friendship among characters from diverse backgrounds. The story is super-current and representative of the society we live in today.

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I’m calling it - second chance romances just aren’t for me. There are so many and I keep trying but they just don’t work for me. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review. This was a DNF for me.

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What can I say, this author is an auto buy for me from now on. HOW THIS BOOK MADE ME UGLY CRY ONE MINUTE THEN HAPPY CRY THE NEXT ONE. I LVOE LOVE LOVED LOVED These two.

It was a nice way to finish this stand alone series.

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Gotta love a good second chance romance! It did take me a minute to get hooked on this book. I would recommend if you like second chance trope.

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Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley is the third novel in the Ponto Beach Reunion series. The novel follows the reunion and relationship between two exes—Emily, a spirited hacker and Vihn, a serious professional fixer. When Vihn needs Emily’s assistance, the two characters are thrown into a situation where they must work together and overcome their past. Cathy Yardley writes lovely characters and beautiful romances full of pining and chemistry. Readers that enjoy hilarious romances with lovable characters will love the entire Ponto Beach Reunion series—especially Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley.

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I’m a big fan of the second chance romance trope, The banter and chemistry is addictive and it was such an easy read. Perfect summer read!

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I loved this book. It had the same vibe as the other books in the series and was a great ending to an amazing series.

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Unable to review at this time. Will review at a later date. I'm cleaning up my netgalley in order to review 2023 books. This book sounds delightful and will read once fully caught up on my account. Thank you for this opportunity! I look forward to reading this book!

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This is my first book by this author and after reading this one, I am keen to read more. This second chance romance was adorable. I loved both main characters and The Nerd Herd. Was hoping for a bit more angst but I'll still take the sweetness of the story since I loved both the characters together.

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Ex Appeal is a second chance romance that is part rom com, part corporate espionage heist and part family drama. There is a lot going on in this book and lots to heal from, and some of it hit very close to home with the family struggles and drama. I enjoyed the book, it was a quick read and had a great ending that was worth the time spent.

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This book is a sweet, second chance romance. It had the right amount of tension and pining. I liked the authors writing style, but felt there was a lot if unresolved stuff between the characters that it was hard to believe they found it so easy to just fall back together. I did like that the book tackled actual relationships problems, but going in I thought I was in for a bit of a more lighthearted read. I would definitely read more from Cathy Yardley.

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In Cathy Yardley’s Ex Appeal (Ponto Beach Reunion #3), high-level global conglomerates’ fixer Vinh Doan needs a top-notch hacker to locate ten million dollars that go missing from one of his accounts and discover who’s responsible for their theft. Unfortunately, the only person he knows and trusts with the skills to accomplish the task for him is Emily MacDonald, his high school ex, who probably still hates him.

Emily has been struggling while Vinh’s taken the financial world by storm. After her dad died, Emily dropped out of college and put her dreams aside. Unfortunately, her tech support job has made it even more difficult for her to achieve her dreams—long hours of work with little time off while barely meeting her financial needs —and it has made her less hopeful about the future. Suddenly, Vinh appears to help solve her problems, which is ironic since he broke up with her when she needed him the most. Can she take advantage of this opportunity to finally pay him back for letting her down and breaking her heart and resolve her financial woes at the same time too?

Vinh and Emily may have matured and changed from those teenagers in love years ago, but their attraction and connection are even more intense. As they spend time together resolving Vinh’s dilemma, Emily and Vinh give in to their simmering chemistry. Can Emily and Vinh let go of their past and work things out for a second chance at love?

I love how Ex Appeal is as much a journey of growth and self-discovery as it is a second-chance romance. Emily and Vinh become two sides of a coin and walk in one another’s shoes at different life stages. Yardley marvelously develops and evolves Vinh and Emily by taking them on this journey where—together—they discover what’s most important, what will truly make them happy. She’s exceptionally talented at writing intensely emotional and sensual love scenes where her characters genuinely connect during sex. Vinh and Emily can express their feelings for each other more clearly during their steamy, sexy, and beautifully moving love scenes than at any other time. Yardley wonderfully captures these moments. I love the heist scenes, which are an exciting, fun change of pace from the angst and intense emotional conflict.

Yardley’s descriptive and expressive writing draws you deep into the story and the lives of her characters. While I enjoyed the expiration of Vinh and Emily’s journey back to each other and self-discovery to become their better, happier selves doing what makes them happy, I didn’t quite connect with their romance until later in the novel. But when I did, I was captivated. It’s possible the storyline about Vinh and Emily taking care of their parents and family and dealing with so much stress and responsibility—grieving for parents and caring for an elderly parent—that what they want from life and living their lives get lost. This may have hit too close to home for me and affected my enjoyment for personal reasons. However, the descriptions and emotions feel so authentic and ring true, capturing the overwhelming impact that this can have on your life.

I love the nerd herd’s friendships and how they support and protect each other and always have each other’s backs. It’s incredible how they live with a next-man-up attitude and shift their energy to whoever is most in need at the drop of a hat. Who doesn’t need friends like these in their lives?

Ex Appeal is a humorous, steamy, emotional, sexy, and angsty, wonderfully written second-chance romance with a touch of suspense. Yardley explores themes of first love, following your dreams, second chances, caring for elderly parents, childhood/family baggage, and controlling/interfering parents.

Advanced review copy provided by Montlake via Netgalley for review.

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A fun, cute addition to the Ponto Beach Reunion series. It's a second chance romance between exes, with forced proximity. Emily and Vinh are former high school sweethearts whose relationship ended in a bitter break-up when they were in college. Despite being a part of the same friend circle, they have been avoiding each other for the last ten years. But now Vinh is in trouble at work, being framed for stealing millions at his high profile fixer position, he needs a professional hacker to help him clear his name. Well, turns out Emily is the only qualified one he knows, but of course she steers as far away from him as possible. When these two finally do get together, the chemistry is clear as day and sizzles off the charts. Though they have been avoiding each other and have been apart for so many years, that did not affect the love they still had for each other. Being apart gave them an opportunity to explore what they wanted and needed and for them to grow into the people they are now.
The book was cute and sweet and very entertaining and I loved the witty dialogue between Emily and Vinh. A fun and light-hearted read that I am happy to have had the opportunity to read.
I received a complimentary copy from Netagalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.

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I love a good second chance romance and Ex Appeal hit the mark. Vinh and Emily were high school sweethearts who still have great chemistry after 10 years. When Vinh needs a hacker he can trust to help get him out of a tight spot Emily is the first person he thinks of. Emily only takes the job because things have been tight since her father passed. Of course they discover that they still love each other after all that time. There's women in STEM and AAPI representation which makes my heart so happy. Authors like Cathy Yardley have almost ruined me for other books when they mention the MMC or the FMC are in something like cyber security, I want all the details, and she delivers. It's funny, charming, and full of all the feelings. I also listened to the audio, it was the first time I've heard both Jenapher Zheng and David Lee Huyhn and both were amazing. I'll definitely be on the look out for more narrated by them.

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