Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Overall, I was really into the plot and the characters. It was fast-paced and I found myself unable to put the book down on more than one occasion. There were some bits I found a bit far fetched, but I was able to mostly overlook them. The story was really different from anything I’ve ever read and I enjoyed the twists at the end. Would definitely recommend!
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I did not enjoy this one. I found it very boring and it just did not vibe with me . The ending was a predictable and I had to force myself to finish unfortunately. I have enjoyed other books by this author so I will pick up their book in the future.
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As a female attorney, I was very much intrigued by the description of this book. And while this was my first Catherine McKenzie book, it certainly won't be my last. 

I truly loved the plot and the character development. Ms. McKenzie's words absolutely came to life and this book hooked me until the very end. A great book for 2022!!
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Definitely didn’t see any of the twists coming. Fast paced with good plot. The story was really well written and kept my interest the whole time. It was fast paced and I have already recommended it to several people.
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If something seems to be too good to be true, it probably is. Nicole is struggling with her legal career and is invited to join a secret group of women. Her husband thinks it’s a cult, but off she goes to the retreat. She joins the group, and life gets better, or does it? Full of twists and turns and lots of surprises this book will keep you reading until the end!
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A select group of business women are hand picked to attend a retreat. They think they are lucky, however a retreat can sometimes lead to deadly secrets.
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I’m a huge fan of Catherine Mckenzie and will continue to read anything she writes, this one just didn’t do it for me. I loved the idea of a woman’s club this just went off in an unexpected direction. I didn’t connect with any of the characters and all of the interest happens at the very end. Overall, I think this one just missed the mark.
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Thank you to Atria Books & NetGalley for an ARC of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.

I will say I was so excited to read this as soon as I discovered it was about a cult. Nicole is hitting a dead end in her career and her marriage. So when an email shows up to her inbox about joining a secret group called Panthera, for women that can help provide networking opportunities, she jumps at it. 

After attending the retreat for the organization, she is apprehensive but still moves full speed ahead becoming a member. As things in her life quickly become easier, she is so elated to know she made the right decision in joining this group. But it doesn’t take long for things to begin to unravel, and go awry. Blackmail is only the beginning of what Panthera wants Nicole to do. Will she do it all? Or will she outsmart them? 

This read like a true suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat while reading. I will say towards the ending all of the legal jargon did get a bit overwhelming. Although the ending didn’t answer every question, I couldn’t help myself but smirk at the last two pages.
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Nicole Muller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband 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 her husband's concerns the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.

At first, Nicole finds the group to be the answer to all of her prayers.  But can it really be this easy?  What if she has more to lose than to gain?

I thought this was a fun and exciting thrill-ride and the perfect addition to my beach bag.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for Catherine McKenzie in the future.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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I liked this a lot. I loved the premise of a women’s networking group, as I am currently looking for one myself. Hopefully whatever I find will not…require so much from me :) I loved the characters and the city setting. I also loved the legal twists and the business acumen in this, it made for a complex story. It all came together in the end and it was so satisfying! I can’t wait to read this author again.
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Please Join us is a fast-paced and suspensful legal thriller, complete with a cult vibe. I enjoyed the alternating timelines from the past to present. The tension was high throughout the book, which I really enjoyed! This was a page turner for me and I'll be sure to read more of Catherine Mckenzie's novels in the future.

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Thank you to the publisher for my copy - all opinions are my own.

This was SUCH a fun book to read and SUCH perfect escapism reading at that. I love a story that centers around what is (essentially) a cult, and this had those cult vibes without really being EXACTLY a cult. Instead, a group of powerful women who claim to be a support group to lift up other women.... but at a cost.

Absolutely no spoilers for this one as you should read it relatively blind, but I will confirm that the pacing was on point, and you stay glued to the pages to find out to what lengths these women will go to get what they want, and who is going to come out on top in the game of matching wits and manipulation.

BRILLIANTLY crafted, a must for thriller readers!
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When 39-year-old lawyer Nichole gets a mysterious invitation to the women's networking group Panthera Leo, it couldn't come at a better time. She's hit a plateau at work and finds it difficult to break through the barriers placed there by the men. On top of this, her personal life is a bit of a mess.
Invited to a retreat in Colorado, Nicole decides to attend. It's tough at first but she builds a bond with the women there - her Pride. They're all successful, self-assured professionals and seem to have benefited from the strong networking of women. Once home, Nichole begins to find her groove - exercising, spending time with her Pride and all the things that seemed wrong in her life have somehow resolved with the help of her Pride and the contacts they've made.
Nichole's never been happier - for a while anyway. Things begin to go south when she's called on to return a few favours and it isn't long before she realizes that things aren't quite what they seem.

What I Liked:
- Lots of female power vibes. Not just one or two characters, but nearly every important character is a successful woman.
- It places women in places of power - business executives, lawyers, Wall Street moguls, etc. It was a pleasure to see representation in those areas.
- It was well-paced and revealed enough as it went to keep you engaged. Definitely binge-worthy.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for sending a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I love Catherine McKenzie's books, and am so happy I got to read this one! It is a great thriller with plenty of twists.
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Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie explores the darker potentials of playing the game of networking in a man’s world. With an interesting premise and synopsis, I was excited to read this new release. This is not my typical read (or watch for that matter), but I figured I’d branch out. Unfortunately, I was not the biggest fan. Please keep reading to get my view on this book.

Please Join Us certainly had a mystery thriller element to it. As a reader, I felt the immediacy of the dangers and complications that the main character confronted. I was also unsure of how the mounting problems would be resolved (if at all) by the end of the book. In the end, I thought too many of the plot twists were… not great. This leads me to my second set of points on the plot.

I think this idea of a too-good-to-be-true networking cult was very interesting and what drew me in. What could have been a fascinating exploration into the power of culty groups turned into something less engaging. It read as a negative depiction of driven women in the workplace seeking to be successful, portraying them as conniving and underhanded to the nth degree. 

I do not think any of the characters felt very real to me. Motivations did not seem very consistent and this is aside from the twists and turns that the book took. The relationships between the main character and all others, even her husband, were not very convincing. I think what we got in Please Join Us was this trope of what strong career-driven women should act like (i.e. confident, take no prisoners, etc.) but add in some similarly stereotypical ideas of women’s inner anxieties (i.e. weight, diet, appearance, etc.).

While I wanted to try out Please Join Us‘s corporate/professional cult mystery and like it, it didn’t actually pan out that way. McKenzie did a good job in the beginning and middle of the book setting up the induction into the organization and some of the perks, but it didn’t really grow from there. The characters were not developed enough for my tastes, either. The final twists and revelations at the end felt a bit much. The resolution seemed to be a result of too much manipulation and (successfully) being one step ahead of someone else. This felt too far-fetched in terms of the ability for these actions to actually be carried out.
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This author is like none I have read before. She is so good at the characters and the twist and turns. Every book I have read by her I could not put down. Highly Recommend. So so so so good
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This is a novel that focuses on the sense of belonging that most people have, making it a relatable, thrilling story. It presents the dilemma of wanting to find a community of people, and even upon being warned, going against suggestions and gut instinct because of the need to find a group to belong to. It seems too good to be true, and often it always is.
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An email arrives in Nicole Mueller’s inbox. It is an application to join a women's networking group that promises to help women succeed. Panthera Leo may just be what Nicole needs to get her career back on track. So, why not?

She joins and goes off to the corporate team-building retreat. I could tell right away, that this group was up to no good. They are demanding and things turn pretty complicated and tangled. I had a hard time believing that Nicole would let herself be sucked into such promises. Her husband, Dan seemed to have a better sense of how things might turn out.

I found this to be more of a mystery than a thriller. There was quite a bit of build-up and team building where the women and their motivations start to become clear. I found much of the first half to be slow and a bit mundane, at 55%, I was still wondering if anything surprising would happen.

Then, yes, a nice surprise twist near the end, but the way it played out was so unimaginative. I was hoping the book would make a turn at that point (and save the book), but instead of using the twist to take off, it fell a bit flat and predictable.

Thanks to NG and the publisher for my early review copy. OUT May 24, 2022
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC! So obviously you had me at possible cult. And then give it a feminist spin? Yes please. Were the signs there that Nicole was joining a cult? Yes, even her husband saw the signs. But the level of deception and planning this women's group put in was a whole other level. This book honestly got wild and parts of the ending I did not see coming.
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Natalie has been working her butt off for years at her law firm only to have everything she’s worked for pulled out from under her thanks to the Boys club mentality.  Shortly after she is robbed of what is hers because of a skewed point system she is contacted by an organization promising to help women like her beat men at their own game.

Intrigued by this offer Natlaie joins the secretive group that promises to make her even more successful with other successful women helping one another.  What starts out as an amazing support system soon feels like a cult.

Now Natalie must extricate herself from the group before she loses those things she holds dearest to her.

My thoughts

I really liked the premise of this book about women fighting the patriarchy.  Unfortunately they turned out to be ruthless women doing more harm to fight against the patriarchy than good.  I did like that was somewhat rectified in the resolution of the book.  There was a lot of mention of the  Me Too movement and how there is still a lot that needs to be done for reall progress. Otherwise I really enjoyed this story! I would definitely read another book by this author.
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