Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to like this one. I enjoyed the strong female characters. However, parts fell flat and lagged and at it times. The premise just didn't work for me. The plot was all over the place and it was hard to keep some of the characters straight. The end did have a nice twist, but it was a bit of a struggle to get there.
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“Please Join Us” is about Nicole (a lawyer) who is struggling with her career. A women’s networking group reaches out to her to help and she can’t pass it up. Only the group isn’t what she was expecting. This book was such a roller coaster for me. I couldn’t put it down once I got to the last 25% of the book, and then could appreciate the beginning even more.
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Are you feeling like your career should be further along than it is? Like other people get promotions for no reason, while you continue to work hard with little to no results? Nicole’s job is under fire, when she gets an email invitation to join an exclusive female business networking group, but there’s more to this group than meets the eyes. “Please Join Us” by Catherine McKenzie is full of drama and tension, definitely a great summer pick!

This book was quick and intense. Panthera Leo is this elite women’s group that you would ideally jump at the chance to join, but at the same time, you never know what a group like that will ask of you. This book really steps into that cultish world and makes you question what you would do to stay in a group. Especially when the rest of the group seems so accomplished.

I loved Nicole’s wit and smarts throughout the book. At times I felt like she was in too deep and would likely just crumble, but she’s always got one last card to play. I wish I was that cunning and resourceful. She might be one of my favorite characters so far this year.

In the end, this book got 4 stars from me. It was a fast paced read and I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for something a little different.

Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review. This book hits shelves on August 23rd!
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Thank you net galley.  I thouroughly enjoed reading this book it kept me at the edge of my seat.
Nicole Mueller is in her late thirties married with no kids.  She is a lawyer but is going nowhere with her career.
She has been warned by higher uos at the law firm where she works to pick up slack.  She receives an invitation to join a womens' networking griup and thinks why not?  It could help her law career.
Nicole accepts the invite and goes to their retreat in Colorado.  When she gets there she meets other women who make up their pride.
Things start to spiral out of control both good then bad..
There were so many twists that it kept me reading. I would definately recoomend this book.
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I enjoyed this, but found it fairly reminiscent of two other books I've ready lately. It was a solid story, but one that I found to slow down and felt like it dragged at times.
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Nicole’s life is on the rocks, then she receives an email with promises to turn her law career around- a girls club in a boys club world.  She heads to the retreat against her husbands concerns this group is a cult. 

After the retreat her “pride” of woman help her succeed in life and her career but at what cost?!? 

This mystery thriller seemed to be headed in a very predictable story line and then wham a twist that keeps you guessing! 

A great read! Have already recommended it to several people! 

Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for an advanced copy of this book in return for my honest review!
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Thank you to Atria books for a Netgalley.

Cult books are the rave of 2022 and I enjoyed this one more than the others I have read this year. This reminded me of a Special Place for Women, but deeper in the overall scheme. 

Though our MC, Nicole, could be considered a blind follower, I can see how she got to this point. Her character was in a major rut and was about to lose something even more important. I loved following her through this journey. I loved how the plot got more complicated and the women all had their parts. The ending was very satisfying as well. 

I overall enjoyed this novel and definitely recommend!
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I enjoyed reading this book. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It was a well written book. I have read other books by this author and liked them too.
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I have read and enjoyed several of Catherine’s McKenzie’s novels and was looking forward to her latest.  Unfortunately I just could not get into this one.  When the main character drank from the cup at the retreat I quickly realized the women’s group was more of a cult.  I just  couldn’t grasp why such a strong woman didn’t use her burner phone and get the hell out of there.  At this point I DNF.  Thank you for the ARC of this book.
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PLEASE JOIN US by Catherine McKenzie was a crazy fun read! 

Nicole seems to be stagnating at her law firm, and she knows that if she isn't moving forward then she may as well be at the bottom. Then a note arrives and invites her to join a semi-secret society/networking group for women. Despite husband Dan's prophetic joking about the cult like aspects of this group, Nicole joins and it all seems to turn around for her. A call for help begins to crack the veneer of this club and Nicole has to decide just where her loyalties lie.

This is a very compulsive read! I stayed up too late several nights reading this. I kept this as a night read, as I often do on my kindle, but this is easily a day or two read for quick readers. The plot was fast paced and just when the suspense was turned up, a twist throws you off balance and begins again. I thoroughly enjoyed looking for the twisty turns and thinking I had it, only to find I was wrong. I loved Dan. I also like how even though it seemed easy to see the red flags, Nicole was cynical yet wanted to belong and feel like she could play the game too. I see the draw. It made me wonder how much I am willing to overlook in order to get what I want. Or what I think I want. It also addresses the idea of whether the means justifies the ends.

A well-paced suspense story, this comes out August 23rd and should be on your list!

Thank you @NetGalley and @atriabooks for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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✨ARC Review✨

“During the retreat, the Pride is put through a series of smaller challenges to solidify us as a group. But that’s not the Test. That’s a bigger challenge. Something that’s life changing.”

There is a cost to every choice, and if something sounds too good to be true it likely is. But more importantly, when red flags start flying, and you don’t trust your gut, what do you expect will happen?

Nicole’s life is coming apart, her law career is crumbling, her marriage is somewhat rocky, and the apartment they inhabit, they are about to lose. When she receives an invite to a prestigious women’s networking group, and to attend a retreat, she thinks it might revive her failing career. The retreat is certainly life changing, but not in the ways she imagined. These women are referred to as the Pride, where they will go through challenges and ultimately a Test. 

Once the retreat is done and regular life resumes, it seems all of these ladies who bonded from the retreat are now showing up in normal life affairs, and in the most unexpected of ways. It all seems sketchy, as there are only so many believable “coincidences”. Suddenly so many connections to people and places are coming to surface, and puzzle pieces are falling in place. Blackmail is on the table, and Nicole now wants out of the group. 

Please Join Us has a shifting timeline, paranoia, submission, and covering up a crime. Everyone is involved to some degree, and it begs the question of how far you will go for someone else. Now this book isn’t going to swing some huge twist out of left field, BUT it delivers in the way that you are constantly guessing and questioning, and smaller twists tie everything in full circle to give that A-HA feeling! 

What’s On The Pages: 
-a twisty thriller
-shifting timeline
-cult vibes
-MULTIPLE red flags 
-coincidences / connections

✨Swipe to see book description from Goodreads✨


A special thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for this eARC and physical ARC! Please Join Us is out August 23rd!
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My thanks to Atria books, Catherine McKenzie and Netgalley.
This was some twisty and fiendishly clever story! 
I've never read this author before, but I'll be keeping  my eye out for more!
Sorry for the short review, but I've been sick this summer. Which means I'm reading like mad, but just unwilling to spend much time reviewing.
This is a book that I'd unreservedly recommend.
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This was a compulsive read involving a cult of sorts, a secret women’s club where women are offered empowerment in a “boys club” world. Fans of The Collective will enjoy this one, it also had The Firm vibes. All in all it was a good read, with suspense and constant wondering how it was all going to pan out. Thank you Netgalley, Atria Books and the author for this eARC in exchange for my honest review. This book is available for purchase on August 23, 2022.
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Girl power with a twist (or a few) and everything else I've grown to expect and love from Catherine McKenzie's books. I am glad I waited to start reading this when I had some designated uninterrupted reading time at my disposal because this was "just one more chapter" kind of read for me. If you are lucky enough to get some beach/pool-side quality time, you should definitely add this to your beach bag!

Nicole is driven, overachiever and a bad-ass but she's thrown for a loop when a negative performance review threatens to sidetrack her law career. Soon after she receives a mysterious invitation from a women's networking group Panthera Leo (which her husband thinks sounds cult-ish). Hesitant but seemingly out of other options, Nicole signs up for the group's special retreat in Colorado. The group is led by and full of powerful and successful women. Before she knows it, with her group's help things start to turn around. In exchange she is supposed to be unquestioningly loyal to the group and occasionally do some small favors for various members. As requests start to grow so do Nicole's questions about the group and what exactly she has gotten herself into. And what would be the price for trying to leave?

I loved the whole concept of women lifting up women in a men's world but of course with some dark and unexpected secrets lurking behind every corner. I really enjoy Catherine McKenzie's writing style - the fact that character development and pacing don't get neglected for the sake of surprising twists (although there are always a few of those in store). If you are looking for an engaging read, if you're a fan of psychological thrillers and especially if you've enjoyed Catherine McKenzie's other books, you should not let this one pass you by. 

Grateful to NetGalley and Atria Books for gifting me an ARC of Please Jon Us in exchange for an honest review!
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Main Characters:
-- Nicole Mueller – 39-year-old junior partner in a law firm at risk of being pushed out due to her billable hours being down
-- Dan Mueller – Nicole’s husband who works as in-house counsel at a bank, a move he made five years prior after not making partner as a litigator
-- Athena Williams – 35-year-old recently elected first-time congresswoman who came from a modeling career in her early 20s
-- Connie Chu – early 50s, founder of a security company, also owns several rental properties
-- Samantha Cole – a television actress
-- Heather Davis – works in corporate finance and specializes in hostile takeovers
-- Michelle Song – former lead singer of the Songbirds in the 80s, currently in her 60s, co-founder of Panthera Leo
-- Karma – creator of a wellness brand called Good Karma, co-founder of Panthera Leo with Michelle

How would I describe Catherine McKenzie’s Please Join Us? Twisty…check! Mean girls…check! Girl power…check! Manipulation…check! Revenge….check! If you’re looking for any of these in a good book, you’ll want to pick this up.

Nicole, who we first meet as she’s sneaking into Athena’s apartment in the present time (October) and finds a dead body, narrates throughout the book. When the prologue ends, chapter 1 takes us back to June when Nicole hears from her mentor at her law firm that her points are being cut. Her billable hours are down, and she’s seriously at risk of being forced out unless something drastic changes.

An hour later, among the emails from recruiters and colleagues, she receives an email from Karma and Michelle inviting her to join them at an “experience” with Panthera Leo, a secret organization of women helping women to succeed in a man’s world. Convenient timing, right?😏 Nicole sees it as a networking opportunity. Dan thinks it’s a cult. I think they’re both right.

As Nicole takes us through her first experience with Panthera Leo and the activities all of the members of her “Pride” are supposed to participate in, she becomes increasingly more suspicious about the goal of the organization. But she has a huge new client, thanks to Panthera Leo. She has a great new apartment, right when she desperately needed one, thanks to Panthera Leo. Because true to the word of the founders, all you have to do is ask your Pride for help. It’s all about supporting one another. You know the old adage. If it seems too good to be true…. Yeah, well, this book has that in droves.

And when it’s Nicole’s turn to help and support her Pride, when there’s a dead body in Athena’s apartment and she knows she’s getting herself into illegal territory…well let’s just say you’ll want to keep reading.

I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this. I completely believe how Nicole could let herself be taken in by Panthera Leo when she hit a stumbling block in her career. It’s kind of ingrained in us that women are supposed to look out for each other, and Nicole is feeling a little desperate.

There were two things that knocked this down to 4 stars for me. The first was Nicole’s use of “lists” throughout the book. There’s no description of a quirk or personality trait, and the only explanation is a passing comment that Nicole’s mind is “logging” as she goes.

“— The ball field that looked like it was built for toys.
— The pools in the backyards of the suburban houses.
— The puffy clouds we were reaching for.”

As I think about it now, I guess it could be to demonstrate that Nicole is methodical in her thinking. In the moment, though, I didn’t get that sense. They were way more of a distraction than anything else and didn’t seem to add anything to the story.

The other thing that knocked it down was the very end. I don’t know whether the end is a good thing or a bad thing. An epilogue would have been ideal here. You’ll know what I mean when you get there. It is totally worth getting there. Pick this one up.
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I absolutely loved this book! Once I started it I could not put it down! I found the main character  Nicole very relatable and likable. The story slowly pulls you in to the spiders web. Every detail that seems minute is just part of a master plan. Five women, brought together by an empowerment group (?) , a pride of lioness. Bound to help each other, no questions asked.  But plot twist after plot leaves you wondering if all is really as it seems. I thought I knew what was happening at the end, but yet another twist sent me reeling! 4.5 out of 5
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Please Join Us by author Catherine McKenzie is a legal mystery type thriller that is set to release on August 23, 2022 by Simon & Schuster. It’s the story of Nicole Mueller, a 39 year old attorney who in the very beginning is told by her senior partner that her billable hours are down and it’s not looking too good for her. On top of that, her and her husband Dan, who is also an attorney, are possibly going to be losing their city apartment which they totally love when Dans aunt who owns it, passes away. Just after hearing all this dismal news, Nicole receives an email inviting her to join an all women’s club called Panthera Leo. It’s where all prominent women join together to help each other out to obtain their goals and reach success. Or so she’s led to believe! In actuality, it’s more like a cult with hidden agendas behind every move. This is a legal thriller that captured my full attention. I ended up reading late into the night simply because I had to know how the story was going to play out. And Catherine McKenzie did not disappoint! It had so many twists and set ups that I didn’t foresee coming and the ending really was a complete surprise. I’d like to thank Simon & Schuster at Atria Marketing for both the e-arc that I received from NetGalley and the physical copy to read and enjoy. This was another great story by an author that I highly enjoy and recommend and I’m giving it a 4 star rating.
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I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I like most of this author's books. We have been veering into the empowered women trope and is it a cult trope with books lately. I wanted to really like this book but I felt it dragged at times. I would reccomend it to anyone who has spare time on their hands and isn't trying to conquer the world.
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Unfortunately this wasn’t the right book for me. I really struggled to finish it. The beginning was super slow and I contemplated DNFing quite a few times. I just felt like nothing was happening. The second half did pick up but I never felt invested in the story. I was craving more twists and turns.
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This was my first time reading a book by Catherine McKenzie.  I wanted to read it because I've heard great things about her writing in the past.  I was initially very excited by the premise of the book - Panthera Leo, an invitation only, cult-like, women's networking group that helps its members succeed in business, life, etc.  

While the premise was interesting and original.  I felt that they execution of the storyline fell a bit flat for me.  I wanted more cult and more badass women getting their due in the world.  In the end, I was a bit let down by how the book wrapped up.
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