Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

A solid thriller but felt rather formulaic at times and the pacing seemed off. I am a fan of Catherine's novels so will definitely continue to read what she puts out, this one just unfortunately wasn't for me.
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𝘼 “𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙥𝙪𝙡𝙨𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙨𝙚𝙘𝙧𝙚𝙩 𝙤𝙧𝙜𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙯𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙝𝙞𝙙𝙙𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙨, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙩𝙝𝙨 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙜𝙤 𝙩𝙤 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙢 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙞𝙛𝙚.”

This was my first read by this author and I’m so happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. I kind of went into this book not knowing much and I’m glad I did. I had a great time and flew through it. 

I was very entertained by this author’s writing style and the way the story was portrayed. Sisterhood is such an important thing in life and I liked how it played an aspect in the story. 

In this story, we follow Nicole Mueller whose life is falling apart. She was recently struggling in her law career and had to give up her loving apartment. She ends up receiving an invite to a group event by Panthera Leo, a women's networking group consisting of successful professionals, Nicole is anxious and hopeful it’ll help her relaunch her career. 

Her husband, Dan, is very wary and thinks this group is a cult - is it? Nicole ends up taking the offer and goes to Colorado for the retreat. Little does she know, there’s something sinister behind this group - something she never would’ve expected. 

I really enjoyed the overall structure of this book, the characters were super interesting. I also really connected with the style. 

Again, I flew through it and enjoyed the way the story wrapped up. Please Join Us was so well written and is one you’re not gonna want to miss.
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I was hoping a cultish story about women trying to take back power in a world made for men would drag me right in but this story had a slow start. We follow lawyer Nicole after she gets a bad review at her high end job and is then recruited to a women's group, Panthera, geared towards helping women up in 'the boys' club." 

The book is written with Past and Present sections which is something I always enjoy and lends interest to the story because I want to be able to understand whatever drama happened to lead to the past or present events. It definitely helped this story stay more exciting and engaging. This was a quick and entertaining read but it lacked something to really make it hit hard. I also thought the end twist was a little underwhelming when I was really hoping for something to make this story take off. I'm not sure I would call the book a thriller. 

I would recommend this to those that like a bit of mystery or cultishness in their books or something like A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC!
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Nicole has just received a bad review at work and it looks like she is going to have to step up her game or lose it all. So, when she is recruited by an exclusive networking group all about helping women succeed, she jumps at it. Her husband, Dan, calls it a cult. Nicole does not see it that way. She soon reaps the benefits of being a member. But, then she is called in to cover up a murder and this exclusive group just became a twisted group about something completely different.

I have followed this author since her very first book. Her first book was called Spin. I won a signed copy back in 2009 and I have been hooked ever since. Now, she has changed her genre. Her first several novels were chick lit. She changed over to thrillers and she has not looked back.

This novel started a bit slow but it is just setting up a smart manipulation game. And I will be honest, I was not a big fan of the main character, Nicole, in the beginning. I thought “you are a hotshot lawyer! Why are you doing this!” And I still don’t quite understand why she fell in with this group but my favorite part of this book is when Nicole figures out what is going on and she is taking no prisoners.

I love a smart read and this one is one of the bests! The plot is intricate and don’t skim a word because you will miss a key point of evidence!

Need a story with manipulation as it’s main goal…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for an honest opinion!
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Please Join Us is my second Catherine McKenzie novel and I cannot believe there are 11 others that I haven’t read by this author. This book about an elite women’s group that empowers women to “act like men” and unapologetically take what they want in life. While some parts were a bit slow for me, once all the pieces started to come together, I could see why they were necessary. Nicole is a lawyer who has just found out her job is in jeopardy when she receives an invite to this elite group. Her husband is afraid it is a cult, but she jumps in with both feet to save both her marriage and her career. Little does she know what is about to happen as she does all of this. Shady shenanigans ensue, and it is one heck of a ride. 
Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The first chapter is going to grab your attention for sure. And then get ready for the ride of your life. You know this group that Nicole has gotten herself involved with is up to something but you'll never imagine the depth of the conniving and deceit that they are capable of. 

The intensity, the drama, and the twist and turns will suck you in and you will not want to stop. Are these people really capable of the things they do? Catherine McKenzie is not only an amazing author but she's also a lawyer so there is plenty of the legal world in this story. If you like legal drama thrillers, Please Join Us is the book for you. 

I've said it before after reading one of Catherine's books—her stories just keep getting better and better, with each one more fascinating than the one before. I always look forward to her next book. I highly recommend Please Join Us!
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This concept is like “a thing” right now. I just finished The Collective and I read The Favor earlier this year, but Come Join Us fell especially flat for me. It just seemed way to far-fetched and I didn’t connect with Nicole at all. Her empowerment to join this female empowerment group while allowing her in-laws to basically steal her home didn’t jive at all. It also seemed odd that all these high powered career women joining a club with career advancement in mind has so much free time. It just didn’t work for me, but I also just don’t seem to connect well with this genre. It often feels like forced feminism and fails for me.
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Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie is a highly recommended psychological thriller.

Nicole Mueller has just learned that her law career is taking a dive and that she and her husband Dan are going to be forced out of their apartment, when she receives an invitation to join Panthera Leo, a networking retreat exclusively for women in Colorado. While Nicole sees this as an opportunity to reclaim her career, Dan thinks it sounds like a cult. Nevertheless, Nicole proceeds to attend the retreat and joins the group. Since it is composed of professional women, she is sure it will benefit her career.

At first Nicole appreciates the four other women who will compose her Pride: a CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, and a congresswoman. Their existence is based on the need for a women’s club in a men’s club world. At first she sees all sorts of benefits and billable hours that result from joining a Panthera Leo Pride. She has an impressive new client, a new apartment, and a new group of supportive friends. But she is soon called in to help with something that is a crime and her involvement means she is involved.

Nicole is an interesting character. As a lawyer, she questions everything and everyone. Her curiosity and willingness to confront and question events is what propels the novel forward to greater levels of excitement and tension. Everything must extract some kind of price, so the question is really what is Nicole willing to pay for her curiosity. As the plot advances, Nicole becomes increasingly suspicious and aware of the problems and aftermath that are looming overhead.

This is a well-written, complex, fast paced legal psychological thriller that will hold your attention to the end. There are plenty of twists, especially in the second half of the novel. Please Join Us ties into the MeToo movement. There is some suspension of disbelief which must be applied while reading, but beyond that the narrative is totally entertaining. I believe that I have encountered a very similar plot before.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books via NetGalley.
The review will be published on Barnes & Noble, Edelweiss, Google Books, and Amazon.
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Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie is the second book I have read from the author-and I was not disappointed. 
This thriller follows our main character Nicole whom is a lawyer struggling in her career and life. She is partner at a firm but has just learnt the company sees her as potential expendable. Her husbands aunt is terminally ill and they also risk losing their home. It feels like fate when Nicole receives a mysterious email asking her to join a women's networking group. She ends up on a retreat with these women. After this her life starts to turn around. She lands a huge client-her work life is going well , she has a beautiful place to live and she has friends whom cheer her on. Nicole begins to become suspicious when more and more favours are being demanded of her and she is expected to obey blindly and with no hesitations. Nicole becomes to suspect something sinister is going on... 

McKenzie has a way with thrillers-she gives just enough so you think you know what is going on and you are partially right but never 100%. I had a hunch something was suspicious and McKenzie gave little clues throughout and I put them together-I was very wrong. The main character, Nicole was very frustrating main character but I had empathy for her. She wanted to trust everything place in front of her instead of going with her gut. I personally love a thriller that keeps me guessing. 

I definitely recommend giving this thriller a read if you love a suspenseful, drama pact thriller with a hit of legal drama. I absolutely loved this story.
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**3.5-stars rounded up**

At 39-years old, Nicole Mueller's life is floundering. This is not where she pictured herself being at this point. Once her law career seemed destined for greatness, but now she's been put on notice by her firm's senior partners. Making matters worse, Nicole and her husband, Dan, are soon to be displaced from the apartment that they love.

As Nicole's emotional level is reaching hopeless, she's thrown a bone by way of an invitation to join an exclusive women's networking group, Panthera Leo. From what Nicole can tell, although membership is anonymous, every member is a successful business woman of one kind or another; think of the list of potential clients. This may be exactly what she needs to jump start her career.

After discussing it with Dan and despite his misgivings, Nicole accepts the invitation and signs up for the group's retreat in Colorado. Once there she meets a very small, hand-selected group of women who will make up her Pride. As Nicole begins to learn the philosophy of the group, they stress one thing in particular, they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.

As Nicole settles in and is cut off from the rest of the world, she begins to bond with these new women. It's hard to believe they were strangers such a short time ago. Each day of the retreat the women are put through exercises and challenges that push them to interact and rely on one another. Their relationships develop quickly and deeply. It's a unique experience.

After Nicole gets home, she's surprised by how quickly she begins to reap the benefits of her new relationships. Things seem to be turning around, but then things turn a little too far.

Initially, Nicole enjoyed the new clients pushed her way from the other Pride members. Also, a new, gorgeous, modern apartment dropped in her lap, but when she gets called to one of the member's apartments late at night and she's pressed to help her cover up a very serious crime, her opinion shifts drastically.

From there we follow Nicole as she tries to decipher the truth behind Panthera Leo, including why she received an invitation in the first place. Through her search for the truth, Nicole deep dives into the club and its members. She shocked by all she uncovers. It borders on diabolical. We're talking A Few Good Men levels of corruption and intensity.

While this did start out a little slow for me, I will say that McKenzie succeeded in building the intensity throughout the story. I do feel like everything she included, even the slower bits in the beginning, were necessary to build out this story.

Towards the very, very end, I felt it got a little chaotic. I had to reread a couple sections a few times in order to follow it. There were just a lot of characters and as you're watching them come together, it got to be a bit much right at the conclusion.

Overall, I did enjoy this. It was fun. I feel like I tend to pick up anything that is pitched to have a cult-like vibe, but I'm always disappointed. This story did the most for me out of any recent books to claim that sort of atmosphere. I definitely felt the cultish influence and it had me freaked right out.

Our main character, Nicole, is an attorney and the way she goes about looking into Panthera Leo definitely lends a Legal Thriller feel to this story. I loved that aspect. That was probably my favorite part of the book. I'm not sure if I am explaining that correctly, but I just loved following her as she began to unravel the truth behind this mysterious organization.

Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This is the first I have read from Catherine McKenzie, but it definitely won't be the last.
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I have enjoyed Catherine McKenzie since the very first book.  Please Join Us is about a husband and wife who are both attorneys, but she (Nicole) has been having some rough times in her work life.  When Nicole receives an email inviting her to join a women's networking group, she jumps at the chance.  This seems to be the chance she needs to network with other women and have a better chance in the "old boy's club".  She goes to Colorado for a group meeting and meets many other strong women in the group.  They all vow to help each other when needed.  This is where some of the twists start and continue until you are turning the pages as fast as you can!  
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for this ARC.
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Looking for a fast-paced mystery/thriller/drama complete with women’s power, #metoo themes, cultish vibes, and revenge? Look no further. 

Nicole and Dan are married attorneys in Manhattan. Things aren’t going well for Nicole in her competitive law firm when an invitation from a secretive and elite group called Panthera promises to help her worries fade. Of course she jumps at the chance. What follows is a dangerous maze of mystery and wondering who to trust. 

I love the pace of this novel. One more chapter was my nightly mantra while reading it. The twists are great, and it has an intriguing vibe to it. My only issue—and it’s a minor one—is the cast of female characters gets a little difficult to keep straight at times. Maybe it’s me. But overall, I really enjoyed this one!

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the advanced copy.
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Thank you Atria for my gifted electronic ARC.

I think 2022 is the year of cult books, and Please Join Us is a captivating suspense that includes a women's corporate cult.

Things I loved about this book:
1. Fast paced and shorter chapters
2. A group of women - who can you trust?
3. Dual timelines (then, now) that merge towards the end

This is getting four stars from me because while the end had a twist, it didn't blow my mind.
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Nothing is going right for Nicole until she gets an invite to a retreat for Panthera Leo. A group of professional women set on helping other women get the leg up they need in life. However, the deeper Nicole gets into the group, the more things seem to be more than she signed up for.

Please join us had me addicted. Told from both then and now points of view, the story really draws you in. I found it to feel fast paced even when the scenes weren’t. This novel flows so well and kept me on my toes the whole time. A lot of the scenes were unexpected and I loved every minute.

The story really comes together because of the characters. The women of Panthera Leo are really a interesting group of characters. They are all different and make the story itself. I feel like Dan is also a really good secondary character. Nicole was likeable and smart. I think she was the perfect main character for this novel.

I give this one 5 stars due to the plot twists, the characters, and the overall story. I really enjoyed every part of please join us and it’s definitely my new favorite Catherine Mckenzie novel to date.
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Things aren’t going the way Nicole Mueller hoped. She’d once been a up and coming superstar at her law firm, almost certain to make partner. But then a lost client seemed to change things overnight. Her once shining star now appears to be fizzling out.  Then along comes an invitation to a retreat from Panthera Leo—a selective and somewhat secretive ‘networking group’ with the mission of women helping women succeed in a man’s world. It seems great, just the thing Nicole needs to turn her life around.

Trying to avoid spoilers, but I’ll just say some things are too good to be true. Nothing in life is free and there are consequences for every decision we make. Just what has she gotten herself into? And is there a way out?  

Please Join Us is an excellent thriller, with an interesting cast of characters and a compelling storyline. And while the stories are quite different, while reading it gave me a sort of The Firm vibe. 

Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an eARC of Please Join Us.
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I really enjoyed this new cult thriller from Canadian author Catherine McKenzie! There have been some really great cult books this year so far but I loved that this one was formed by and for smart women with the intention of giving them advantages that men get all the time. Lots of great twists to keep the story interesting and a bit of a shocking end that I wasn't expecting - plus lots of great bad men getting what they deserve too! Perfect for fans of books like A special place for women by Laura Hankin. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
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💅 ᑭᑌᗷ ᗪᗩY ᖇEᐯIEᗯ 💅

•••𝑶𝒖𝒕 𝒕𝒐𝒅𝒂𝒚 𝒊𝒏 𝑨𝑳𝑳 𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒎𝒂𝒕𝒔•••

▪️𝗣𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗨𝘀 
▪️𝗕𝘆 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗠𝗰𝗞𝗲𝗻𝘇𝗶𝗲 
▪️𝟯𝟮𝟬 𝗣𝗮𝗴𝗲𝘀
▪️𝗣𝘂𝗯: 𝟴/𝟮𝟯/𝟮𝟮

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ • 5/5 stars 

Happy book birthday to the fabulous @catherinemckenzieauthor ! 🥳 I fell in love with this author in 2020 after listening to her whip-smart cultish thriller "You Can't Catch Me" narrated by the amazing Julia Whelan. I have since been making my way through her backlist.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to receive an eARC of "Please Join Us" via @netgalley .

Please Join Us - which is also somewhat culty - is an unputdownable page-turner about a woman who gets in 𝒘𝒂𝒚 over her head with an elite "Women's Club". 

Nicole is pushing 40, and life isn't turning out how she planned. She's in a rut. As a lawyer, the 'Boys Club' has prevented her from climbing the ladder at her job - despite her working harder than the men. At her wit's end, and with her job on the line, Nicole joins an exclusive club for powerful women: Panthera Leo. A "girls club in a boys world." The club promises to help women achieve success with the help of their pride...

...but what the club also promises, is much more malevolent. Nicole finds herself at the center of a cult-like group of women who will stop at nothing to get ahead . No matter who they have to step on (or whose dead body they have to step over) to get there. 

This was fantastic!! 🙌 Absolutely loved every second. Twisty, engaging, and action-packed, told in first-person and past/present. Its not often I stay up half the night reading (I'm getting old, I need my sleep 😂). But I literally couldn't put this one down!! The bags under my eyes are proof! 👀

Thank you  @atriabooks @catherinemckenzieauthor
@netgalley for my free e-copy in exchange for my honest review 💕
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Nicole Mueller is struggling. She had been top of her class at Yale Law School, and she had been given an offer to a prestigious New York law firm. She had been fast-tracked to partner, but last year one of her clients had folded. She lost an important customer and lots of billable hours. Now her career is fast-tracked to nowhere, and she is put on notice by her mentor that if things don’t change for her, she may be asked to leave the firm. 

Nicole’s husband Dan is also a lawyer but works as in-house counsel for a bank. He doesn’t have the crazy hours or the need for clients to bill, so while he makes less money, he has less stress. And they live in a large apartment that belongs to his aunt, who gives them a discount on the rent. But when his aunt passes away and his mother and sister let them know that they have designs on the apartment, Dan and Nicole know they need to find a new place to live, quickly. 

One day, Nicole’s phone buzzes with an email. “Please Join Us,” the header says. It’s an invitation to an exclusive women’s networking group. The invitation was for a week at a dude ranch in Colorado, a chance for her to get out of Manhattan and bond with other successful women for friendship as well as personal and professional enrichment. She decides to go, justifying the time away from the office and the expense by telling herself that it will pay off with its own rewards, and hopefully some wealthy new friends in need of legal counsel. 

Even before she gets to Colorado, when she’s on the plane remembering how nervous flying makes her, she meets her first fellow member. Congresswoman and former model Athena is sitting nearby and offers Nicole medication (which she refuses) and friendly conversation (which she gratefully accepts) to distract her during the flight. 

At the ranch, Nicole meets the leaders of the group, former singer Michelle and businesswoman Karma. They had both reached international fame with their careers, and now they want to give back, offering strong women the chance to rise through the ranks of their careers with the kinds of networks and favors that men generally saved for themselves, so they created the group, Panthera Leo. The others at the ranch, besides Nicole and Athena, are another business owner, an actress, and woman whose financial know-how could make or break a company. They bond together through group and personal challenges, and by the end of the week the women are bonded and thinking of themselves as a Pride. 

After the weeklong retreat, the women all go back to their lives, but the Pride meet together regularly to talk and support each other. And when Nicole finally opens up to them about her challenges at work and needing a new place to live, Connie steps up and offers not only one of the rental apartments she keeps in the city but also a new client who has been looking for new counsel. At the same time, however, there are demands from the others. A donation for a favorite charity, a signature for a petition needed by Athena, even a job for a young lawyer. The lawyer is from Harvard at least, but Nicole rankles at being asked to get involved with her firm’s hiring. 

As Nicole gets deeper into the new case she was handed, she starts to have more and more questions about the group and its reach. At first, it seemed pretty harmless, just a way to connect to other powerful women. But as more is asked of her, she wonders just how far the Pride will go to get her to do what they want. And when The Test comes, and she’s asked to put her career and maybe even her freedom on the line, how far will Nicole go for the sake of the Pride? And if she does say no, will they use what they know about her to destroy her life? 

Please Join Us is a twisty thriller from bestselling author Catherine McKenzie. It has a delicious cult flavor to it, with an element of menace that builds throughout the story. The book opens with the The Test, so that sense of imminent danger is strong right at the start, and then we head back to before Nicole knew about the group. Those stories unravel, intertwined, throughout, until after The Test, when Nicole has to decide what she really wants for her future. 

I was really wanting to like this, but I was a little concerned about the culty idea. There is a lot that could go wrong using a cult-like group as the center of the story, but McKenzie navigates it all with ease and grace. I thought Please Join Us was as close to perfect a thriller as I’ve read recently. I was hooked in right away and never lost focus. I just wanted to keep reading, every single word, all the way to the end. Thriller fans will find a lot to love in this book, and a lot of fun surprises as well. 

Egalleys for Please Join Us were provided by Atria Books through NetGalley, with many thanks, but I also won a copy of the ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.
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Rating: 4/5⭐️
Pub day: Today! 

Does anyone else think there should be a genre called, “corporate cult suspense,” even if it’s just for this book? 😂 

There were a few stress inducing moments that could fall into the thriller category, but overall this was just a tense story following high-powered women. Not a bad thing, but I find it’s important for my expectations to know when it’s a suspense vs. a true stress-inducing thriller.

Two days after finishing, and I still can’t quite land on how I feel about this book. The descriptions of NYC and Aspen were very well done. I also enjoyed the steady cadence, the cultish vibes, and the chess-like structure. It wasn’t fast paced, and I was never surprised by anything. But I did read it in two days, so it clearly had my attention. 

If you decide to pick this up you should expect intrigue and some quizzical twists. Enjoy!

Thank you Netgalley and Atria Books for the digital arc. Opinions are my own.
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You know we are always most vulnerable when things aren’t going our way.  Nicole is slipping at work, needs somewhere to live and to sort things out with her husband. When she’s approached to join a private women’s networking group, she’s skeptical but willing to try it and find out if it can help her work situation. Her husband teases her about it being a cult but she is convinced it’s a networking group. 

I will admit the group screamed cult at me and yet I could grasp the appeal.  I was engrossed from the start and drawn in by the favor needed in the present and how Nicole would deal. A little bit a legal thriller, without the courtroom, a little but Me Too, and a whole lot of layers to keep you guessing.  The plot never stalls and while it has one of my least favorite types of endings that needs a little extra explanation, I couldn’t put it down.
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