Ex Appeal (Ponto Beach Reunion Book 3) by Cathy Yardley
A Romance published by Montlake (11/01/22)
Vinh is on the fast track to make it big, until suddenly one of his accounts loses millions and the only one to blame is him. Or is he being set up? Locked out of the company and the accounts, Vinh will have no choice but to turn to the one person he trusts to hack the hacker, retrieve the money, and clear his name. Will she still be mad at him for breaking up with her ten years ago when her life was suddenly turned upside down or can he convince her to help him?
Emily was on track to graduate college, get a great job, and put her tech skills to use. But that was ten years ago, before her dad died, she dropped out of college to support her mother, and set aside her dreams. Now she works a tech support job, lives at home, and is barely making ends meet. When Vinh comes to her with a proposal, she wants to turn him down, but she could really use the money. She’s kept up with her hacking skills but is still angry with Vinh for the way he broke up with her all those years ago.
Romance, Friendship, Contemporary, Second Chance Romance, Exes, Hacker, Forced Proximity, Dual POV, Popularity, Heartbreak, Career Focused, Tech Support, Finances
Another great Ponto Beach Reunion book! I absolutely loved the deep dive into both Vinh and Emily. They have real problems and are still not over each other. Emily is angry at Vinh for what he did. Vinh is still in love with her. The forced situation and forced proximity are the perfect setup to let this romance simmer and stew. The author is an expert at setting up situations between the main characters.
Both Emily and Vinh are relatable and full of personality. I loved every time they were together and all the time they spent apart. I was rooting for them from the very beginning, even before I learned more about their previous breakup.
From previous novels, I didn’t like Vinh. He seemed cold and distant and completely career-oriented and nothing more. That all changed when I read the chapters from his POV. The author truly brings him alive.
I love capable characters who find themselves in bad situations. Emily is an excellent hacker with skills she hasn’t let get too rusty. She just got stuck living paycheck to paycheck to support her mom and their living-beyond-their-means big house that their dad mortgaged into debt to afford. There is a believable reason for all the choices Emily has made in the last ten years but as a whole the current situation she’s in is so sad. As a strong, capable, intelligent person she is stuck. She’s not just stuck in her situation; she’s stuck in her head. There are both internal and external factors holding her back and she grows so much during the course of this story. You’ll be rooting for her and for Vinh the whole time.
This novel was published by Montlake on 11/01/2022 and is available on Amazon here.
TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0
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