Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Thank you NetGalley, Atria Books, and Catherine McKenzie for the advanced copy of Please Join Us in exchange for my honest review.

This book started with a bang and did not let up until the final conclusion. I was 100% engrossed in the plot and loved how fast-paced it was. 

My only issue, if you can even call it that, is that I did get quite confused by the ending of the book. There was a lot going on and I found I had to re-read a couple pages over again just to make sure I was fully grasping what happened.

This was my second read by Catherine McKenzie and she has definitely cemented herself as a writer I will continue to read!

Please Join Us will be on US bookshelves August 23!
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Interesting plot and premise, enough so to overlook the mostly unlikeable & catty women. I do enjoy story’s by this author and this was no exception. Well written and overall enjoyable.
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3.5 Rounding up! A very solid thriller with a home run premise - not your run of the mill murder investigation story. Nicole is invited to join a secret “boys club” for women that promises to help her get a leg up in her career. Only this club is much more sinister than they let on. 

This was tightly plotted with a believable progression of the organization from benign to fishy to devious. There were some good twists here to keep the reader on their toes and the end/reveal was great. This was my first by this author and I’m happy to report it was a win! 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the chance to read a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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It’s tough to be a woman in a man’s world.  That’s something high-flying attorney Nicole Mueller knows all too well.  Stung by a big career setback at the elite law firm where she’s a partner, Nicole is excited to receive an invitation to join an exclusive women’s networking group.  She can’t find much about the secretive Panthera Leo group online, but it’s clear that the members are at the tippy-top of their career fields.  Her husband Dan is skeptical, but Nicole brushes off his concerns and heads off to Colorado for a retreat with the group.

Nicole jumps into Panthera Leo with both feet.  Sure, there are few little doubts niggling at her brain, but it’s easy to justify when her career and living situation improve dramatically all thanks to the group.  They only expect complete obedience and a few favors in return.  It’s a fair trade, right?  Nicole thinks it’s a small price to pay until the night she is frantically summoned to help cover up a brutal crime.   Now she’s in over her head, and she’s going to need all of her wits to help her get out.

I loved this book!  I have a fascination with cults and how people get love-bombed and sucked in little by little.  It’s like the proverbial frog being boiled alive.  It’s easy to understand how Nicole, pushing 40 and distressed at the state of her career and life, was ripe to be manipulated.  The way the author ratchets up the intensity of Panthera Leo from weird-but-benign to all-out insanity had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.  The intricate way the complexities of the plot were woven together was masterful, with plenty of surprises as the pieces were slowly revealed.  So suspenseful and satisfying!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Atria Books, and Catherine McKenzie for providing me an advance copy of this book.
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**NetGalley ARC Review** contains some spoilers

I'm not sure if I would consider this a legal thriller, or a psychological thriller, but it was a fun ride! Nicole fell for a too good to be true trap and then had to use all of her wits to backtrack and get out of it. I enjoyed seeing all of the pieces fall in place, as well as the explanation of all of the deceit and how she figured it out. The very ending has me wondering what route Nicole chose to take. Well done. I will be looking back on some of the author's previous work. Thank you, NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, Inc (Atria Books), and Catherine McKenzie for the opportunity to review this book!
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Nicole Mueller is a married attorney in NYC who is not rising through the corporate ranks as smoothly as she envisioned.  She receives an invitation to attend a women’s empowerment retreat in Aspen, Colorado, called Panthera.  And no spoilers here as the story continues.  This is clever, well-written, and a fairly quick read.  Recommended!
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A satisfying read. The characters were nicely drawn out and the pacing was very good. If I had the time I would have read it straight through. I enjoy stories where it keeps you guessing as to how things will end and this book did not disappoint. The story was leading to a particular outcome and I was sure there was a surprise ending but I couldn't figure out where things would eventually land up. My first Catherine Mckenzie read. I think I'll try another of her books soon. 4 stars
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CONTENT WARNING: blood, murder, grief, mention of death of a parent, mention of cancer, death, mention of off-page sexual assault

I’ve definitely been on a bad-ass women book kick lately. And when this book came to my attention, how could I resist it? It sounded so intriguing, especially since I grew up always hearing, “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” This book provides a bit more evidence to back up the truth behind that saying.

Nicole is struggling in various ways—she’s having a tough time at work, and she and her husband are in danger of losing their apartment. So when she’s invited to join a highly exclusive networking group for women only, she sees it as an opportunity to advance her future in a way that she doesn’t seem to be able to do on her own. But when she joins, she realizes that there’s a cost that she didn’t expect.

While I can respect what Nicole’s trying to do, I struggled with her personality at times. She isn’t exactly likable in the story, since she focuses a lot on upper-class problems. She’s a lawyer who can’t afford to live in a luxury apartment and doesn’t want to “downgrade” to live in a house in New Jersey … oh, THE HORROR!

While there isn’t an overwhelming focus on weight, she does mention her appearance and weight quite a few times throughout the story, and it frankly made me uncomfortable at times. I do understand that women who work in certain professional are judged on their appearance, but considering how she isn’t exactly focused on her hair/nails/makeup/etc, I couldn’t quite get her focus on weight throughout the story. It veered dangerously close to fatphobia for me.

However, the crux of the story was the way that women created a girls club to counteract the way that corporations have a boys club that works to advance the careers of men whether they deserve it or not. And these women banded together to help each other out. Although, it didn’t quite work out as I had hoped, ideally. Not all of the women were altruistic, and some of them could be quite vicious and manipulative, and it was intriguing to figure out the mystery behind what was going on.

The story was told in both present day and flashbacks to the recent past, so that we could see what was happening at the end of the story arc, as well as how the previous events unfolded to create the present situation. It allowed readers to put all the clues in place and see the devolution of this idealistic society that was created. Although at least one plot twist was visible in advance, the rest caught me by surprise, and I was on the edge of my seat during this fast-paced, intriguing story.
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Nicole was sprinting the ladder to the top of her career as a lawyer and partner at her firm, when she received a bad review from the firm and suddenly seemed to be on the way out. 

As Nicole reeled from the change in direction, she received an invitation to an exclusive, private, women’s-only group, Panthera Leo. When she met her Pride (group), she felt she had found her group of people - CEOs, a successful actress and well-known politician.

What Nicole doesn’t know, is that the Pride will do and say anything for each other, and Nicole will be asked to do the same - even murder.

Buckle up - lots of twists and turns!

Thank you to @netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

#netgalley #netgallyreviewer #netgalleyreader #netgalleyarc #fiction #booklover #bookreviews #whatimreading #whatiread #bookish #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #bookaddict #bibliophile #bookgram #bookstagrammer #instabooks #bookreviewer #takealookitsinabook
#pleasejoinus #catherinemckenzie
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This started off with a bang! I was hooked then it kind of slowed down during part 1 and could not hold my attention it was a bit boring until Part 2.,.

Let me take a few steps back to explain plot …..Nicole is a high end lawyer that gets a bad performance review after busting her butt for years at her firm, that is man driven and an ole boys club kinda deal. She receives an email that asks her to visit a corporate retreat to help build her skills . Puurrfect timing right? Hmmm. She boards a plane to Colorado for a retreat with other influential women that she forms a bond with then goes home but keeps in touch…..gotta be a catch right?

Part 1…so slow it took me over a week to get engaged 

Part 2…. Ok engaged!

This basically is women forming a bond to take down a corporate man’s world. I was not enjoying the first half but second had potential and how all the players were aligned captivated me but the cult aspect deterred me.I did like how it all was connected but seemed contrived, 

Quick read for sure but I think it’s only for the right audience. The ending seemed convenient and tied up too smoothly. 

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for my advanced copy
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Nicole Mullers law career is falling apart.  She and her husband Dan are being forced out of their much loved apartment.  

It seems that help comes just in the nick of time when she is coming close to losing her job as well she gets an email invitation from an exclusive networking group for women called Panthero Leo
The group helps Nicole with her client billing issues by sending her a huge case as well as setting her up in a beautiful apartment.  However as we all very well know everything comes with a price right?
This story is about the price.
A very intercrite and interwoven surprising story that keeps you guessing to the end.
A very good story I recommend 

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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*instagram post to be linked shortly 

This premise is unlike anything I’ve ever read! I was super intrigued by the women's networking aspect and how our main character has a successful career. Her success and career are at the forefront for most of the book which I found to be really refreshing and made for a great and interesting read.
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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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