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Ex Appeal

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Member Reviews

This was a cute friends to lovers then enemies to lovers second chance romance which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I liked Vinh as a character and although his personality was slightly all about Emily I am glad they added a bit more depth to his character by having more chapter's in his POV than Emily's.

Emily was a difficult character to like purely because it feels like her personality contradicted throughout the book especially at the end when she see's "a different side" to Vinh but it shouldn't have been that surprising his reaction based on what she's been helping him with.

I think the writing could have been a tad bit better as in the beginning we focus on the personality's and background of the story and then we move to them having s*x as much as possible. I enjoyed the plot points more than the s*x scenes and especially the ending when they go from Ponto Beach to New York to Ponto Beach in less than 48 hours it didn't feel realistic.

Overall, I think this is a quick and easy book to read and surprisingly for the content of the book being about hacking it was easy to digest.

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Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley is the third book in her Ponto Beach Reunion series. I enjoyed the first two in the series and I was excited to read the newest addition. Ex Appeal is a second-chance romance with dual POVs. I'm generally not a fan of the second-chance romance trope, but in this case, the dual POV helps the reader understand what happened between the characters in the past. Vinh and Emily were high school sweethearts who broke up in college, leading to many questions and unresolved tension between the two of them. When Vinh gets into trouble at work over a decade later he must turn to Emily for help. The dual POV helped me see Vinh's motivations behind the breakup and how it impacted him as well as Emily. I also liked that this book took place over a decade after their first relationship and that they were so young when they broke up. They both underwent a lot of changes and grew individually, so it made sense for their relationship to change and rekindle as well. Overall this was a solid addition to the series and it made me more open to the second-chance romance trope I'm generally hesitant about.

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I did not like the characters… I found them super immature and unbearable. I suppose this book was just not for me.

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The nerd herd is the best group and it was wonderful to hang with them again! This time, Emily and Vinh get their second chance, but not without obstacles keeping them apart. I adore this group of friends and am hoping that we get more from them in the future!

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This book was my first time reading Cathy Yardley, so although the book is the third in a series, it can completely stand on its own. In this second chance, small town, and friends to lovers romance, a computer hacker finds herself in financial straits after her father dies and leaves the family in tremendous debt. Her high school sweetheart is also expereincing some bad luck and turns to her for help upon being accused of fraud.

I enjoyed this look into the Ponto Beach series and will definitely be picking up the older books in the series. There was great chemistry between the characters, good spicy scenes, but also moments that pulled at the heartstrings. A great balance between the funny, the heartfelt, and the steam!

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When I reviewed the previous book in Cathy Yardley’s Ponto Beach Reunion series (Gouda Friends), I pointed out that a rom com has to do a lot to level up right now to even hope to meet the same level as authors like Tessa Bailey, Christina Lauren, Lucy Score, and Meghan Quinn right now. That same statement is even more true today.

Sadly, this book isn’t nearly as good as “Gouda Friends”. That book was friends-to-lovers and all about living your best life. This book wants to be enemies to lovers, but is more “you broke my heart when we were younger and I pined like a Christmas tree for years about it so I’m really bitter and want to avoid you at all costs because I can’t let it go like a mature human being” on the FMC’s part and “I have a really high profile job and I love the money I make from it and I love routine and I’m not close to anyone but my sister but I live across the country from her and I’ve done some really shady stuff during my work while looking the other way but now I need help from the girl who I ignored and hurt years ago so I’m going to go and recruit her to help me do shady and illegal things to help get my job back”.

That’s not enemies to lovers, folks. That’s two characters I couldn’t stand from page one and I never grew to like them.

Cathay Yardley has the tools to write a great rom com on the comedy side of things. She’s great with the one liners, with the great supporting characters that make you crack up, and with some really humorous situations sprinkled throughout the book that lighten the mood in between the deeper parts of the plot. She also tends to excel with banter, when the characters have chemistry and are suited to one another. What Yardley doesn’t do well is the romance section. This series has no real emotional depth to it. It’s shallow and this book in particular just didn’t hit for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Montlake for granting me access to this title. As per personal policy this review will not appear on any social media or bookseller website due to the 3 star or lower rating.

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3.5 ⭐️A cute contemporary second chance romance with a little bit of spice

Thank you to @netgalley and @amazonbooks for the e-ARC in return for an honest review.

I was first drawn to this book because of it’s cover- isn’t it great? So eye catching!

This was a really cute second chance romance about high school sweethearts turned heart broken strangers who get a second chance and can’t avoid the sparks that fly.

I haven’t read any of Cathy Yardley’s other books, or the first two books in the ‘Ponto Beach Reunion’ romance series that Ex-Appeal belongs to but it didn’t feel like I needed to to understand this one because they are all interconnected standalones.

I liked the relationship between Emily and Vinh however I did feel like things were a little bit fast paced and I didn’t really get the sense of undeniable tension and attraction that would have balanced out how quickly things happened.

Overall, this was a fun romance with a little bit of mystery and some spice thrown in and is great if you’re in the mood for a trusty romance read.

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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.

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After my third book by this author it's safe to say that the author's writing style is not for me. And her heroines' tend to get on my nerves more than is nesscerily for rom coms.

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3.5 Needing Help Stars
* * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review
Life deals interesting situations between people who have had history. It never fails for those who may have had an ugly parting or disappointing experience seem to always get thrown together in a mutual need.

In the third entry to the Ponto Beach Reunion series, Ex Appeal by Cathy Yardley, we have two people who have this type of history. When one really needed the other to support them during hard times, it did not happen. The lives they led after that were very different, one extremely successful in the finance world, the other's career nipped in the bud, and after the father's death, working 3 jobs to cover the man's past debts.

Fast forward to the need, our financial fellow has been framed, major money is missing and the only person he trusts to figure out this situation is his ex, hacker extraordinaire. She wants to say no but financially she really can't.

It takes the two of them working together, bridging the years gone by, the changes, and the maturity they both have acquired...maybe that will make the difference.

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This was a great addition to the Ponto Beach series but can definitely be read as a stand alone.

This book was a second chance romance between characters who have avoided one another for years only to be forced into a mutually beneficial working relationship. Their banter is excellent, their petty acts are funny, and their chemistry is palpable. I loved the heartbreak and the anxiety they feel dancing around the elephant in the room as much as the well thought out characters and story.

I loved catching up with old friends from Ponto Breach and also discovering new things. This story feels fairly light but there are a few moments of heavier topics where the characters need to dig deep to wade through growth. This is for you if you love a second chance romance and a little bit of mystery.

Can't wait for what Cathy Yardley puts out next!!!

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Vinh needs Emily after a disaster in his career. Will his ex help him after he hurt her so much before, and will this be a second chance for them both?
A great read - I have loved this series of books and hope there are more to come.

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This was a second chance, small town, friends to lovers romance that features a woman in stem computer hacker who finds herself financially down on her luck for the first time after her father died and left her family with a lot of debt. Meanwhile her highschool sweetheart finds himself accused of fraud and turns to her for help. I really enjoyed this third book in the Ponto Beach Reunion series! Good on audio with some steamy scenes and lots of heartfelt, family drama (plus some wild animal sidekicks). Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!

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Thank-you NetGalley and publisher for the chance to review this ARC.

Ex Appeal
by Cathy Yardley

Cathy Yardley is one of those authors that make me think of comfort books!

I had a lot of fun reading this one!
I enjoyed the writing and the premise too!

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I enjoyed this light read with a bit of spice. I liked that it had a bit of a mystery in it, with some funny moments involving various reptiles and furry friends. Also, I enjoyed the found family aspects of the story.

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First off let me say that while Ex Appeal is the third book in the Ponto Beach Reunion series, it most definitely can be read as a stand alone with no knowledge of the previous books. I know this because I haven’t read the previous books in the series yet, though that is an oversight I plan to correct in the near future. Ex Appeal is a really cute second chance romance featuring Vinh, a corporate fixer, and his ex girlfriend Emily, who is a computer whiz (aka top level hacker). When a ton of money disappears from one his accounts, Vinh has no choice but to turn to the one person he trusts to track it down for him, his ex Emily. It’s definitely a fun setup and the story hooked me early on. It’s a cute story as the two of them realize they’ve both grown/changed and aren’t the same people they once were. As I said, I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but I’ve already bought them and have them waiting for me on my kindle. I’d like to thank Montlake for allowing me to read an ARC of Ex Appeal.

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Emily believed that Vinh was a man she could count on only to find out that was not the case. When she had to withdraw from college to help out her family she lost more than her education. She now finds herself working multiple jobs doing whatever is necessary to survive so the last thing she expects is for Vinh to come back into her life looking for help. While her heart tells her to say no her head tells her this is an opportunity she can’t turn down.

Financially Vinh is a success but when it comes to the other choices he makes it isn’t so clear. He now works for a consulting firm where he is being blamed for a large amount of client funds that have gone missing. His only option is to find out who is behind it and for that he needs someone with computer skills however that means facing his past.

Both Emily and Vinh are still trying to deal with the emotional turmoil of their past both as a couple and as individuals. Time and distance have given them clarity and being together forces them to look at the choices they have made and the future they want.

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really couldn’t get into this unfortunately, the whole hacker, ‘herd’ friendship group just wasn’t my thing at all.

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I've really loved every instalment in this series! Ex Appeal is a fantastic second chance story, with plenty of heart and humour. I loved seeing how Emily and Vinh came back together, and how easy they fell into their old friendship/relationship despite so many years apart.

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Vinh Doan has always felt pressure from his family to be a success and now that he's a high-level fixer for a large corporation, someone is framing him for embezzlement. Now at risk of losing not only his job, but his whole career, he needs a hacker he can trust to investigate where the money went. Unfortunately, the best hacker he knows hates him and doesn't want to speak to him again. After a brutal breakup where Vinh was cold and even cruel, giving no explanations, Emily has never recovered. When he shows up out of the blue begging for her help she tries to ignore him but finally gives in... for a price. And with the agreement that once they solve his crisis, he'll never contact her again. But Vinh had his reasons for their breakup and when he finally explains, Emily starts to forgive him. But can she trust that he'll put her first over his career this time?
I liked reading about this close-knit group of friends, the nerdherd, that have been together since high school. They were really there for Emily after the death of her father. I was laughing at Emily's revenge request that had Vinh staying at her brother's house caring for his menagerie of animals. I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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