Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Please Join Us is an engaging, twisty thriller! Catherine McKenzie is an author to watch out for. What happens when something that seems to good to be true actually is? In Please Join Us, Nicole's life is falling apart and career is failing. But that's when she gets an invite to a secret organization - it's an all-women networking group. And everyone in the group is super successful, so Nicole wants to join and revive her career. Her husband suspects it's a cult. Things work out for a while until one of the other group member's needs some help in return covering up a crime. Can she get out now before things get worse? This is a fun slow-burn with an excellent payoff! Highly recommended to readers who enjoy twisty thrillers.
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Loved it and would rate the book 4.5 stars. Catherine McKenzie is one of my favorite authors. It started in 2013 when I found Forgotten in the library. Her books never disappoint and there's always some type of twist I never see coming. The moment Nicole got that email inviting her to join Panthera Leo, she should have deleted it. There's no way I would spend $5000 to go to some retreat that seemed more like the type of place Dr. Phil always sends all those out of control teens. It was not luxurious. Red flags should have been waving in front of Nicole's face. From the start I knew there was a reason everyone was picked and it wasn't for something good. They wanted something but I wasn't sure what they were up to. There were so many twists and turns. The tests, they were crazy!!! How much time do these people have to come up with all this stuff??? Too much time and way too much money.

Definitely recommend the book. It was a great mystery/thriller. Loved the characters, writing style and story. Look forward to reading more books by the author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Wow, what a smart, twisty thriller this was!!!

This started out at an average pace, slowly building the story, setting the background for Nicole and Dan while showing what she was currently dealing with.  As the story progresses, I slowly begin to see fissures in her life, some due to her own personality and others due to the circumstances she’s living with.  It was about half way through before things really began to pick up.  

I appreciated the fact that this author placed this story in a relevant time and with issues that are very real to our world today.  I never really felt a deep connection to Nicole, although interestingly enough I did to Dan.  I’m not sure how much the lack of connection affected my overall reaction to the story.  I never disliked her or found myself judging her for her actions or reactions.  Instead, I was just so darn curious to find out what this group was about, how it was going to affect her and where all the turns were going to take me in the end.

This was not a fast paced thriller that’s like a roller coaster.  Instead it was like walking through a maze that has little hints to show you the way and then a surprise when it was the wrong turn.This jumps back and forth from present time to the past but those time leaps were well noted so I had no confusion where I was in the story.  The overall story had a feel unlike anything I’ve read before and I find myself continuing to soak it in.
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A thriller designed to make you question what you think you know and who can really be trusted.

Nicole is on the path to partner at work, but she has hit a roadblock. Looking for a way to save her career, she responds to an email promoting a secret and elite  women’s group that works to help its members achieve the successes they deserve in the “boy’s club” world.

This book will leave you guessing at every turn. What is real versus fake? Who is safe to turn to, and who is out to ruin you?

Thank you to NetGalley for the digital advanced reader copy.
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Please Join Us was another thriller that I really enjoyed. It jumps between timelines to eventually come together and tell the whole story.

Nicole, a lawyer who's career is seemingly falling apart, recieves an e-mail for an invite only, all women's networking retreat and she accepts. She's willing to try anything to get back on track, and why not do it with a bunch of other powerful women? 

Things start to become questionable at the retreat quite quickly but no one is willing to answer those questions. So, Nicole starts to dig and what she finds isn't what she thought she signed up for...

Please Join Us was so good! Catherine's way of writing is intense and keeps your curiosity peaked. I found myself rooting for Nicole the whole time, wanting her to get what she deserves. The premise of women sticking together to help each other prosper is a wonderful concept for a story, one I have not read of yet. The twists are shocking and make it an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a dramatic thriller!

Thank you NetGalley & Atria Books for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Wonderfully unsettling.

Breaking into male dominated fields is hard, but Nicole Mueller has been mysteriously invited into a secret organization that will open doors, Panthera Leo.

Officially this group is an exclusive women's only networking group. Nicole's partner thinks things sound a bit too much like a cult, but she is sold on the idea after a retreat in wild Colorado.

After returning home Nicole sees her membership is benifing business in a big way. She also finds out quickly that high profile clients and associates can also mean high stakes, and high crime, situations.
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Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie follows lawyer Nicole as she has just been denied a promotion from the points committee.  She is blindsided as she thought this was a sure-thing, but it appears to be another case of "the boy's club."  Coincidentally, Nicole receives an email to join an exclusive women's networking group for career growth.  Her job is spiraling, her relationship is spiraling, her home is at risk of being lost... Nicole sees this as the opportunity she needs to get back on track.

After a week at a retreat for Panthera Leo, Nicole realizes the benefit of joining the group; she gets new clients, new cases, a new apartment, and new friends.... but everything comes with a price.  The deeper Nicole gets, the more she tries to uncover between the ties of the group.  Can she stay a member if she doesn't agree with their philosophy?  Can she get out?

It is no surprise that I loved this book as I've loved all of Catherine McKenzie's books!  There is always a surprise ending that I didn't see coming which cements the psychological thriller status for me!

Thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I received an electronic ARC via NetGalley.

My favorite part of this story was the relationship between Nicole, Dan, Katherine and Louise. The rest of the story was confusing, and hard to follow for me.
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Nicole Mueller's life appears to be deteriorating when it appears her job as a lawyer is on the line. She doesn't hesitate to accept when she receives a mysterious email with an invitation from an exclusive networking group for women called Panthera Leo. It sounds like the perfect way to give her life a boost.  The co-owners and other members seem amazing. When she returns from the initiation retreat things seem like things might be too good to be true when she receives a call in the middle of the night from one of the members to help cover up a crime. Nicole might be in too deep. 

I found this to be a quick read about women empowerment with a slice of mystery as the main character begins searching for clues and answers about the mysterious Panthera Leo group. The story was complex, suspenseful and the pacing was good. I loved the strong female characters in this book too. Overall a pretty solid read.
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What an incredible and thrilling book Catherine McKenzie has written with Please Join Us. Within its pages is a main character to whom many, if not all, women can relate. A woman who works so hard and sacrifices so much just to have a mere chance at the advantages the men around her get as par for the course.
The concept of a networking group for women that can provide services and advantages akin to those members of the proverbial "old boys' club" take for granted is a draw for Nicole and the female reader. Her willingness to ignore certain warning signs about the group in a bid to further her career and standing within her profession is understandable, as is her desire to feel included and not alone.
When things turn sinister, Nicole is forced to rise above her many, sudden problems, and the manner in which she does so keeps the reader turning the pages until the very end.
McKenzie has written a fast-paced, riveting novel that kept me up much too late reading. It is an excellent book that I highly recommend.
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A great psychological thriller that had lots of twists and turns and an ending I did not see coming.  I found the book to be a quick read and the writing style was well done. A few lulls in the book but overall great story telling.  I found it hard to like any of the characters , they all were pretty sinister in their own ways which is good in this style of book.  I would recommend this book to friends and family and my book clubs I think it would be great for discussion. 

I voluntarily received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and all opinions are my own
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The secrets, the twisting turns and dark suspense had me on the edge, and guessing wrong to the surprising end!
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BOOK REVIEW- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Thoughts: Thank you to @netgalley, @catherinemckenzieauthor, and @atriabooks for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! When I first read the synopsis of this one, I was like "you had me at potential cult"! Yet, this one was so much more then that! I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could to unravel just what Panthers Leo was all about. I found myself engaged and invested in our characters and the story. I wasn't expecting the twist and was satisfied with how the book ended! I don't want to say much more but I do think this book needs to be on your TBR! This one is out on 8/23/22! ✨
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Women led cult / fight the man / wilderness / high society.

I immediately knew this book was for me - the cult x female empowerment angle just screamed at me. Nicole is a successful lawyer in New York City, but she finds her life teetering on a precipice. She could lose everything. She is considering how her future is going to play out when she receives a fateful invitation from a networking event by Pantera Leo. Nicole hops on a plane to Colorado for this networking event for high-performing women. Nicole gets swept up in the prestige and mystery of the group.

I liked the character of Nicole, coming from a successful school experience and “hustle” to reach the top of her career and not settle for less. She is wrapped up in the prestige and what she thought would make her happy. Once joining Pantera Leo she begins to look at her life differently. She begins to align herself with these powerful women and wants to stop playing into the Old Boys Club mentality in corporate America. Soon Nicole is enmeshed in the group, doing favours for her fellow members, and reaping the benefits herself. Until one night, Nicole is asked to do the unthinkable for one of her fellow members. She begins to question the motives behind the group.

The only negative I have of this book is her relationship with her husband Dan was brought up multiple times as a potential “settling” point in her life and a potential unhappiness. This wasn’t really a focus in the book, and Dan ends up being a huge support and vital part of the end of the book. I wish this was flushed out a bit more internally potentially by Nicole.

Overall a pleasant read and unique take on the 21st century cults.
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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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