Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review! 

Nicole Muller’s life is on the brink of collapse when she receives an invitation to Panthera Leo, an exclusive women’s networking group. Convinced this will save her career from ruins, Nicole signs up to attend a retreat in Colorado. Afterward, Nicole begins to see success, but finds herself involved in covering up a crime for another member, and she begins to wonder if her husband’s concerns about the group are valid. 

I previously read and reviewed Six Weeks to Live by the same author, which I enjoyed, but I liked this book even more. Once the plot got rolling, I really wanted to find out what would happen next. I thought the story was very unique and clever. Some of the things that happened seemed a little far-fetched, but made for a great tale. I enjoyed the twist at the end. It’s a good read!
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Catherine McKenzie is definitely on auto-buy status now because Please Join Us is another hit! I love how the thriller was constantly in motion for this novel and there were a lot of moving parts. The unraveling of the mystery was twists on top of twists on top of twists.... Another exceptional novel.
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McKenzie, indeed, had a "Lucky 13!", with this her 13th novel.  It's an intriguing tale that raises the bar from psychological thriller to dystopian satire.  The story is of a women's networking group that is able to function as well, if not better, than an old boys' network; the narrator provides us eyes on people and events, and doubts about connection or motive, as she becomes enmeshed deeply into the organization.  A lawyer by trade, through her, we follow the puzzle "like a chessboard" that fuels the engine of the novel's plot.

The characters are all interesting and distinct - I found the secondary characters, like Thomas and Katherine, to be more fully drawn than is often found in books of this genre.

I found the issues raised in this novel and the consistent tension are more indicative of general fiction category.  I'm not always a fan of McKenzie's writing, so I was delighted to find this a treat to read.

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I love a good secret society story, and this soapy look at one powerful group of women absolutely fits the bill.  Exploring feminism, friendships, and fealty, this novel is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you up past your bedtime!
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I thought this would be more like the cults we hear about, not a corporate cult but nonetheless a cult is a cult and I loved how all the puzzle pieces fit into place. I loved going along with Nicole and questioning everything along with her. What I didn’t like was that some of the little details were dragged along and it took awhile to understand exactly what happened but I give it to Karma, she’s a patient woman.
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Loved this book.  Nicole Mueller's life is starting to spiral down. Her once promising law career is slowly deteriorating. Her relarionship with her husband is not all that great either. Everything changes when she gets an email to join an exxlusive women's group. She decides to join  and things started getting better until it doesn't. This book is a definate must read. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you Netgalley for this advanced readers copy. Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie.
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Some of the creepiest thrillers I've read involve cult-like storylines and let me tell you- this is one of them! I don't know what it is about them, but I constantly have goosebumps when reading, like I'm so uncomfortable!

First off, the storyline was very interesting. The twists and turns were scattered throughout, and honestly, I think that's what kept me hooked. If the author saved the twist for the end, I think I would've been bored.

The characters were... infuriating? Mostly. I loved the MC, I think she was super relatable- I truly don't think I would've made very different decisions than her! I was rooting for her the entire time. As for the rest of the ladies.. well, I guess you'll just have to read this and form your opinions!

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for the eARC!
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Nicole Mueller, a lawyer, is struggling to keep her life together. Her law career is crumbling and she and her husband Dan are being forced to move from their apartment. When she receives a lucrative email about an exclusive women's marketing group. The group, Panthera Leo, is made up of powerful, executive women. When she gets to the retreat, she meets a group of women called her Pride with which she bonds quickly. After the retreat, her life begins to come together. She is offered a new case and a beautiful apartment for mundane favors she must fulfill. But then the tasks get scarier. She is asked to help cover a murder. What happens when Nicole wants to leave the group?

I rated this 3.5 stars. It was quite the page-turner, as I finished it in 2 days. I didn't love any of the characters, however, I did love the feminist girl-boss attitude of the women leaders. The book hit on a great topic of how women have to work 10x harder to succeed than a male does in the corporate world (or any world really). The downfall of the book for me was the legal jargon. I found myself often confused or skimming quickly through it because it was hard for me to follow. Despite this, I did enjoy reading the book and would recommend it for everyone to give it a shot, especially if you enjoy law fiction. 

Thank you Netgalley and Atria books for a free copy of an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I was initially intrigued by the idea of a women's network that may or may not be a cult, but it was really Nicole’s story that hooked me. It fed into all the insecurities women have about our lives and not being where you think you’re supposed to be. The first part of the book did feel a little reminiscent of Nine Perfect Strangers, and I didn’t love Nicole as a main character. I wanted her to be the smart lawyer we kept hearing about and question things more. But I understand that would have made for a boring read and seeing her get in way over her head was much more entertaining. My biggest complaint was how anticlimactic the ending felt ending. It had so much promise and a nice build up before fizzling out. I do think this would make a fantastic television series.
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This starts out slow and really takes its time in getting going. It reads more like a mystery than an intense thriller. However, I still enjoyed it!

I can’t say that I believed Nicole’s actions. She was also annoying and whiny at times. 

The ending made for a great pay off though!
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Thanks to Atria Books, I was provided an ARC of Please Join Us by  Catherine McKenzie via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

****Publishing August 23, 2022****

Do you need a page turner that is hard to put down? 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️  Nicole Mueller’s job is not going as planned as a lawyer. She was just notified that she was being demoted in the firm. When Nicole recieves an email inviting her to join a networking group called Panthera Leo, she jumps at the chance and joins. It’s a networking group who help women advance in a male dominated workforce. Her husband, Dan, is not so sure as he thinks it might be a cult. Is it too good to be true? Does this lead her to higher level positions or does it lead her astray?

This fast paced book will have you on the edge of your seat as the secrets are unraveled. Are people who they seem to  be? This book will keep you guessing until the end with all the twist and turns!  A great book to take on a vacation or bring to your next book club meeting!
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Attorney Nicole has recently gotten a low review from her superior. She's frustrated since she's been hard at work. She receives an invitation to join a women's empowering group, and she accepts and seems to have great new women friends supporting her to achieve as a woman in a man's world. But all is not as it appears and she begins to understand that she has ultimate responsibility to the group, whether she wants it or not. 

This story is quite complex, and intriguing, but in the last third of the book, it seems to really move back and forth, and up and down, and gets a little confusing. I needed to reread parts of it to remain clear on what had transpired. Ultimately, the end is a little bit of a surprise. This is a book that needs to be read intently in order to follow the plot.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Please Join Us.
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I was excited to read this ebook as I've read several other books by Catherine McKenzie and have always enjoyed them.  She does a fantastic job of writing our characters into difficult situations that can make me feel there is no way out, yet in the end the MC prevails.
This book was a twisty and stomach churning story about a professional woman who is just trying to survive a career and a marriage, all while being a woman.  Nicole is invited to join an all woman organization with the enticement that she will further her career..  Very quickly she is drawn into the allure but has a nagging distrust in her gut.  As she is drawn in deeper and deeper Nicole begins to wonder if she made the right decision.  For fans of twisty crime mysteries , this book reminded me of a John Grisham book but in a woman's world.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advance copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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I did not love the main character Nicole as I thought she was very naive.  The plot was very good and kept me interested. 
Many thanks to Atria and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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It took me a while to figure out where in the timeline the main character was. Overall, a good read though you could kind of see the ending coming.
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Secret organizations, hidden agendas, women helping women - I am here for that! Please Join Us is an intense thriller and masterfully written.

I loved the twists and turns throughout the book, and I really never saw the ending coming. The whole thing was a total surprise. I had a gut feeling though that the group Panthera Leo had an ulterior motive, and my gut feeling was definitely correct. The characters are well developed, and I enjoyed Nicole's character. I loved watching her grow as a person. 

There were spots I felt like it moved a teeny bit slow, but it was usually corrected pretty quickly by the next chapter. 

A fast-paced thriller that will keep you turning the pages.

4/5 stars
Thank you Atria Books and NetGalley for the eARC!
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I wasn't the biggest fan of McKenzie's previous book, but I really enjoyed my experience with this one.

On the surface, it is a book about a highly selective club for women that helps the members to empower each other in a world focused on the "Good Ol' Boys" mentality. Nicole is an attorney who is struggling to carve out a niche in her law firm when things are stacked against her. She's invited to join Panthera Leo, and heads to a weekend retreat in Colorado. the membership is highly exclusive and secretive, but soon after the retreat Nicole begins to see the positive results. Yet, there's a sinister undertone to the club, and the deeper she gets involved, the more frightening and dangerous it becomes.

I liked the various twists in this book, some I saw coming and others I didn't. The book overall reminded me a lot of The Firm, and the pacing is quick and kept me invested throughout. You know from the prologue that there's a huge event coming up, and I appreciated the build up to the event and then the aftereffects. I liked Nicole and her relationship with Dan, he kept the book from becoming too much of an "all men are awful" cliched trope.

Overall, this was a fun twisty ride and I enjoyed my reading experience.
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(Content warning: sexual abuse, guns) I got this as an ARC through NetGalley – it will be released on August 23, 2022. I love a cult-ish story, and this was no exception! Nicole has devoted herself to working up the ranks at a high-powered law firm – not an easy feat when you’re working in what still operates very much as an old boys club. After a bad review that has her position at the firm tenuous as best, she gets a mysterious invitation from a group calling themselves Panthera Leo, ostensibly a women’s networking group – though a secretive, anonymous one. Nicole sees this as a possible answer to her problems at work, and decides to go to the retreat in Colorado, where things are kind of strange, but she decides to join anyway – and it works! Things start going right for her at work once she’s home. But then things start to go very wrong, very quickly, and she has to figure out what exactly Panthera Leo is and what they want from her. It’s a fun, twisty thriller!
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Oh Ms. McKenzie, where have you been all of my life! I confess, this was the first of this author's books that I have read, but I'm literally on my way to get her previous titles! Just wow!! This book checked all the boxes for me...incredibly detailed plot, well-developed characters, mystery, intrigue, twists and turns galore, and a surprise ending. 

Nicole, the 39-year-old protagonist is invited to join an exclusive female networking group at a time in her career when a boost is much needed. After all, its not always WHAT you know, rather WHO you know. Almost immediately she begins reaping the benefits and perks but as time goes on, she soon realizes that things are not always what they seem. Can she stay one step ahead? Who can she trust? Is she willing to pay the price? 

Thank you Ms. McKenzie, NetGalley, and Atria books for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
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At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.

Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.

Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?
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