Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Nicole who is a lawyer is going through some tough times at work. She decides to join a club that her husband is against. The club gives her new clients which she loves. In return they ask for help in a situation that could turn ugly. I liked this book.

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Pay attention! This is a twisty thriller with tons of secrets plots and double crossing. No one is who they seem to be, and everyone has a motive.

Nicole is a lawyer whose career was on the up and up: top young lawyer lists, awards, partnership. All of a sudden she finds herself in hot water, with management putting pressure on her for her performance. After her years of constant grinding, she can’t believe she’s slipping. When she receives an invitation to join a women’s networking group, she is wary but thinks it could be a good opportunity to advance her career.

She goes on a retreat to Colorado with her new “pride” and has some life-changing experiences. When she gets home, it’s great to have such close friends, and when her life starts to fall apart, they all jump in and help her pick up the pieces.

This help comes with a price, however, and soon Nicole finds her loyalty tested in the extreme.
Smart plot twists, intriguing characters, a fast pace, and a lot of secrets. All the makings of a good thriller.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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"It feels like everything and everyone around me is a trap. One I walked right into."

If you like…

- visceral feminism (like in The Husbands )
- sneakily-orchestrated, highly-suspicious retreat centers (like in Nine Perfect Strangers )
- secret societies and cults that masquerade as women’s-empowerment organizations (like in A Special Place for Women )
- self-appointed vigilantes, bent on righting old wrongs (like in You Are Not Alone )

…then make some room on your TBR list for Please Join Us. This book was a wild ride - insidious, unsettling, and honestly would make a great miniseries!

Nicole's life is a mess. Her career as an attorney is crumbling, and she's about to lose her beloved apartment because of her unfriendly sister-in-law. A mysterious (yet highly exclusive) women's networking group seems like just the thing to help her get back on track, and Nicole is thrilled when the group invites her to join them.

At first, Nicole's involvement in Panthera Leo seems like a huge win. Her connections secure her a fabulous new apartment and help her bring new clients to her firm. But it's not long before she realizes that there are strings attached... and, like a rope around her own neck, those threads are tightening.

"We’ve ended up in the corporate equivalent of a cult, and they’re not going to let us leave quietly."

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The women at the helm of Panthera Leo are like chessmasters, always thinking 5 steps ahead of everybody else. I couldn't believe how many seemingly-innocuous moments throughout the story had actually been set in motion by their calculating schemes!

A solid 4-star read!


A huge thank you to Catherine McKenzie, Atria, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Loved this! My second Catherine McKenzie novel and I had high expectations of this one. It was highly entertaining with lots of twists and double crossing. Read it well into the night. Was everything I expected and more.

Thank you NetGalley for this arc

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Thank you to netgalley and atria books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. “Please Join Us” opens in the middle of the story and you are hooked right from the start. It then tells its story in alternating chapters focusing on the then and now which does an incredible job of building suspense. Even with a glimpse of what’s to come in the main character Nicole’s future, you can’t help but be drawn in by the promises and premise of Panthera Leo. A group of women, a “pride”, that will always have your back and help you succeed in whatever ways you need. I found myself really relating to Nicole in her anxieties and unstable sense of self, I was drawn in to her story by her remarkable depth. All of the characters have distinct personalities and you can’t help but fall in love with some of them. This book kept me guessing until the very end with twist after twist. The end fell a little flat compared to the rest of the book, but I still greatly enjoyed it and definitely would recommend to mystery and thriller lovers of all kinds. Overall rating 4/5 stars!

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Workaholic Nicole’s career at a top law firm is stalling due to reasons that have nothing to do with her job performance. When she gets invited to join a secretive women’s networking group with a stellar track record of helping women succeed, she figures she’s got nothing to lose by going to a retreat, even though her husband thinks that it sounds a bit cult-y. The experience is far from the days of seminars and spa treatments she expected, but she still comes away from it feeling empowered, with a new group of friends to depend on. And her membership pays off – until she finds herself in over her head, trying to cover up a crime, and wondering if maybe her husband’s instincts were right after all.

I’m kind of fascinated by cults. I’ve been learning a lot about them lately, mostly through listening to podcasts, so when I saw the synopsis of this book I snapped up the ARC. And I’m glad I did! It’s a heck of a thriller. It’s got twists that pretty well blindsided me, and once the plot really got going I just wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.

I feel like I would have liked it more if Nicole had bought into Panthera Leo a little deeper and then woken up, rather than her having doubts from the start. I guess I would have found that transition a little more profound and satisfying, though I’m not sure why. But maybe it’s meant to portray how people can go into these kinds of organizations with doubts and still get sucked in despite that.

Representation: major characters of color, autistic character

CW: cult tactics and abuse, gaslighting, blackmail, mention of sexual harassment and assault, hunting and butchering of an animal

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In the vast sector of ever popular cult books, this one is just middle of the road for me. With so many authors doing cult books and women’s group books recently, the book really needs to stand out and differentiate itself from the pack. With this one, the first part is a little slow and boring at times, but by the time you get to the end you are whipping through the pages. If you are a megafan of cult books, give this one a try.

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This book was an absolute pleasure to read. Anything by Catherine McKenzie is actually. I highly recommend this book.

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Such a fantastic book...didn't take me long to devote this one..great storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Definitely one of the best from this year

Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.

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Wow. What a ride!!! I was immediately drawn in by this book and couldn’t put it down. It honestly takes a lot to shock me anymore but Please Join Us did it!!

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Please Join Us is the latest thriller by bestselling author Catherine McKenzie that explores the world of a secret high powered women’s networking group set in the sophisticated world of New York.
Nicole Mueller was on the trajectory of senior partner at her high powered law firm but as of late her career has fizzled and she is left feeling disenfranchised by her male dominated firm. One day she receives a mysterious email asking her to join an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Nicole thinks this is the perfect opportunity to revive her career by joining one of the Prides of Pantera, despite her husband Dan’s concerns.
At first joining the network seems charmed and being a member helps kick start her fledgling career with a high profile client. However joining this girl’s club to help bring down the old boys clubs is filled with danger, hidden agendas and has Nicole questioning her principles and how far she’s willing to go to reclaim her life.

What I liked:
-the glamorous world of the New York Elite
-the twists and turns of the story
-the timely topic of #metoo movement
-the world of high power law and the litigation process
-the idea of an elusive, anonymous women’s networking organization plotting to compete with the boys clubs

What I didn’t like:
-the Colorado retreat story felt long and drawn out
-flat characters that I felt were missing something, maybe more background was needed
-just a general feeling that the story needed more ‘omph’

Final Take Away
Although I did find parts of the story, long and drawn out and the character development was lacking at times, I thought the second part of the book improved greatly and I enjoyed the twists and turns.

My rating 3 out of 5 stars
I’d recommend this book to fans of legal thrillers and people wanting to glimpse the high powered business world.

Potiential Trigger warnings for victims of sexual assault.

Many thanks go to Netgallery and Atria Books for the advance digital copy to review.

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It’s not always WHAT you know, but WHO you know.
Nicole’s career as a lawyer is falling apart.. Until she gets an invitation to a retreat at Panthera Leo & everything changes.. With the support of her “Pride” Nicole‘s career takes off & reaches heights she always dreamed of, but like everything in life, success comes at a price.. Who are the women of Panthera Leo? Is Nicole willing to pay the price? Does she have a choice?
Captivating story with amazing characters!

4.5 stars

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With a nod to the NXIVM cult scandal (but even darker), this one abides by 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is'. Not my first by Catherine McKenzie so glad to see she's continuing to churn them out!

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This book had too many twists and turns to count! So many mind games/gas lighting moments where I didn't see the next crazy twist coming! So many plot twists happened in the last 1/4 of the book - it was slightly hard for me to keep track of all the different things happening and how they related to each other (I didn't even bother trying to figure out the back story of some of the twists) but regardless the last bit of the book was very fast-paced and impossible to put down!

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys an unpredictable thriller that keeps you guessing throughout the entire book!

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Secret organizations, hidden agendas, and the lengths one woman will go to reclaim her life.

I am mentally exhausted yet exhilarated. Believe me when I tell you that you will be completely blown away by this book. This author has demonstrated such great talent, creativity, and skill. She mastered several plots, twists, and turns and gave us characters that were just spot on perfect for their roles. I found myself a little lost a few times, but at no fault of the author. It was because I was turning the pages so darned fast that I wasn’t taking the time to digest the newest piece to the puzzle presented to me. I quickly learned that every single piece must be picked up and examined a few times before even attempting to fit it in to where you think it should be. Even then, really look at it and try to determine if it truly does fit there or not. How many times did I think I knew what was going on only to find out that I was wrong - but not completely. Read this book if you are in the mood to read without a break, and when you want to challenge your mind a little bit. So clever and witty, and I love the strong powerful women killing it and putting the boys’ club to shame! Because, after all, the boys’ club does still exist. No one wants to talk about it. Until now.

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Nicole has been on the partner track in a large, well-known corporate law firm. However, when she receives some unexpected bad news from the firm’s points committee, she starts to think that all of her hard work has been pointless. Then she receives an email inviting her to join an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo 🦁 Nicole goes all in and goes to an expensive retreat event. She is assigned to a Pride group and seems to be reaping the new benefits from the group. However, as Nicole has a very questioning nature, she starts to wonder if this group is too good to be true!

I really enjoyed the cult aspects, slight humor, and mysterious events that occur in the story. This book kept me up past my bedtime on a couple nights and was a page turner!

Thank you @netgalley and @atriabooks for allowing me to read this thriller ahead of publication in exchange for my honest review.

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This book kept me guessing right until the end. It was engaging and I enjoyed following the plot throughout the novel. The main character was okay to listen to her thoughts and I enjoyed listening to her slowly put everything together.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy to honestly review.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie.

Cult? Or a group of hard-working women sick of the things being run by the patriarchy?

A twisty tale you won't be able to put down.

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This review will be posted on August 21, 2022 to:

Mystery, secret society, and conspiracy, oh my!
This was a standard mystery thriller with a heavy dose of paranoia. I didn't love the bullet-style lists included in the narrative that represented the MC's thoughts. I thought it disrupted the flow and that simple prose could've been used to relay the information in them. Other than that, I thought the plot was clever and intricately plotted. There were several twists that I didn't see coming, which I always love. #PleaseJoinUs Rating: 🙂 / liked it

This book is scheduled for publication on August 23, 2022. Thank you @atriabooks for providing me this digital ARC via @NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I finished Please Join Us yesterday by Catherine McKenzie. First off, thank you to @netgalley the author and @atriabooks for the advanced e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

Please Join Us starts with Nicole who is a lawyer that has worked really hard in her career to move forward. But she receives a warning from a senior partner that she’s gotten off track and they’re not happy with her performance. She’s back at her desk thinking about what she should do and receives an email from a group called Panthera Leo.

The email asks if she’s tired of trying to catch up with the boys club and wants to join a group of high level women who are working together to advance in career. Membership is anonymous and all she has to do is email back to join the Pride.

I loved the premise of this book, of women working together to get ahead and of course there’s a thriller twist. I thought I had parts figured out but didn’t figure out everyone in the ways they were involved - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me!

This book publishes August 23, 2022.

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