Cover Image: Please Join Us

Please Join Us

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Member Reviews

Please Join Us is about Nicole Mueller it is a character driven book with High profile women who’ve claimed top positions that men once held. This is an informative read. This is a well plotted and well thought out concept. It’s so carefully orchestrated that it took my brain some time to process all the information.
I enjoyed this fresh new take on women taking over a man’s world. Catherine paved a solid path explaining the way the group works and how it benefits women. The story alternates between the past and present with relevant information.
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Nicole seems to be hitting bottom.  On the partner track in her law firm, she’s suddenly on the outs when she loses a big account.  The apartment she and her husband have been counting on to buy is suddenly in jeopardy and she’s out of sorts.  When she receives an invitation to join an elite group of women called Panthera Leo, she is quickly folded in and becomes a member of a pride.  With hoops to jump through, she takes it all in stride and soon her career is once again taking off.  The only catch is there is going to be a “test” at some point.  Will she be up for it when it comes?  When the test comes, it’s way more than she’s bargained for and she wants out!  Can she extricate herself from the group or has she made the biggest mistake of her life?  McKenzie has written a unique page turner, filled with a tangled web of lies and deception.  Some people will stop and nothing to get what they want, but who will be the victor in the end? Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for an ARC of this book.
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Thank you to Atria, Catherine, and Netgalley for an advance copy of Please Join Us.

Nicole’s at a crossroads in life. She’s floundering in her job, she’s about to lose her dream apartment to her sister-in-law, and her and her husband may not be on the same page about everything as she previously thought. It’s time for a change. So when she receives an invitation to a women’s secret society of sorts that promises to get her career back on track and thriving, she takes the opportunity without much of a second thought despite her husband’s hesitations.

At her first meeting (which is a getaway to a remote ranch) she meets four other fierce, independent, and very successful women who will support her, guide her, and advance her career. What Nicole does not understand is that this kind of support comes with a price. Soon she is expected to do immoral and sometimes illegal things in order to help enhance her group’s placement in life. 

It’s a man’s world, but what will women do to make sure they’re in charge?

This was a fun toxic friends thriller that also crossed over a bit into the currently popular social thriller genre. It touches on a subject that any woman in a male-dominated industry can relate to - we work harder, we work longer, and in turn we tend to get less credit, less pay, and less respect than our male counterparts.

While I believe this is a feminist novel at heart, it does beg the question of whether some women aren’t just as big of a problem as men in their own ways. We can be awfully toxic creatures to people we call friends, which I found to be the most dominant theme of Please Join Us. 

Nicole wasn’t a character that I loved, but I saw a lot of myself in her…specifically the traits that I don’t really care for. However, that made for a more enjoyable and relatable book overall, so I don’t mind seeing my ugly parts played out in print once in awhile! 

The twist on this one was definitely not something that I saw coming. It felt like I was unraveling a braid, I’d get one twist undone and then there’d be another, and another, and then one more. 

Will definitely be reading more Catherine McKenzie in the future.
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This fast-paced and exciting thriller had me guessing all the way through. I love the overarching theme of female empowerment and the author does a great job of pulling readers into the world of secret societies and cults. 

This story has more of a legal thriller vibe than McKenzie’s previous novels, but she still managed to shock me with a few twists I definitely didn’t see coming. Overall, a great read. 

My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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3.5 stars

Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie is an enjoyable read which started slowly but ended up being a well-paced and suspenseful story with some underlying serious themes.
Nicole, the protagonist and narrator, is a lawyer struggling in her career at a large legal firm.  She is invited to join a women’s networking group, Panthera Leo, and, after surviving the “training,”  finds it a supportive group who helps her with her career and in other ways.  As she tells her husband Dan, “They are the most benign group of women….they take on the world….but in a good way.”
No spoilers here—the rest of Nicole’s association with the cult-like PL involves the actions of oddball leader Karma, covering up a murder, and exposing the insidious reach of the PL, culminating in a suspenseful, cleverly constructed conclusion.
The author is an experienced attorney and can provide great details about Nicole’s profession and the legal intrigue in the story.  I especially liked the larger, more serious issues the book  touched upon—what is Friendship? Trust? Justice? Punishment? Revenge?
Read it and see what you think!

Thank you to Atria Books/Simon & Schuster/NetGalley for the ARC.  This is my unbiased review.
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This book was so incredibly good, and a very fast read! I got into it immediately, and couldn’t put it down. Will absolutely be recommending it to others!
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Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie is a FANTASTIC exciting fast paced thriller.

I absolutely love this author. Her characters are so well written. 

The twists really kept me guessing. A well written thriller.
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✔️unique, fast paced storyline with lots of twists and turns - I read it in a day 
✔️lot of powerful, smart female characters 
✔️ lies, deception, gaslighting, revenge, a cult like atmosphere 
What more could you want ?
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3.5 Stars
Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie takes the good ole boys network that has worked for Centuries and turns it on its ear with the cunning and smarts of women. 

At first, I got the flavor of the movie from the 80s, The Star Chamber starring Michael Douglas. In this movie, a group of judges feels like their hands are tied by the law allowing those they feel are guilty, off. Michael Douglas is a young judge that is approached by this group of judges to join them. 

This book involves the legal system and the need for career women to stick together like men for a common good, them. To be part of this group means so many doors opening and could be the answer to a woman's prayers. 

What happens once part of it, may become a nightmare.
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This was an easy, fast-paced legal thriller(ish). I absolutely adored this book, I love the premise of a women's club linking up to exact revenge. The end took me completely by surprise, which is a great thing and it made sense so it wasn't a blind side just to blind side you. Not all the characters are likable, which is true to real life so I enjoyed that aspect as well.
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This started off really interesting and then I quickly realized it was going to be a "legal cult" thriller. This was my first experience reading one so I didn't know what to expect going in, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. That's not to say it's the best cult thriller book I've read but it did have an interesting take on the whole concept. The whole women empowerment idea was very unique and I always like reading from a lawyer's point of view. I would suggest picking this one up if you are a fan of legal thrillers.
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At the start of this novel, main character Nicole is a partner in a NYC law firm who gets an invitation to join a secretive women’s only networking/empowerment group which aims to counteract the old boys’ club nature of the world, and since she has just received some less than favorable news at work, decides to give it a try. Is the group more sinister than it appears? Well, this is a psychological suspense/thriller, so what do you think? 😉 And that’s not a spoiler as there are scenes intercut in the book from months later where we can see that something has definitely gone wrong.

I’m a long time fan of Catherine McKenzie, both of her earlier books that are more contemporary women’s fiction through her evolution to suspense and thrillers, though I still have a few of her early books to catch up on. I must admit that her book last year, Six Weeks to Live, disappointed me, so I’m happy to say she’s back in too form with this one! Perhaps not everything that happened in this book was entirely believable, but it was a super-entertaining and suspenseful book that I couldn’t put down.

Though as a former NYC lawyer, I have a small quibble with some of the terminology used (at least in my ARC) that might be accurate elsewhere but definitely not in NYC - it’s “Trusts and Estates” not “Wills & Estates” and a litigator would never refer to a matter they were working on as a “file” but instead would call it a “case.” I know these are super minor details but while they did not detract from my reading enjoyment, they did distract me. But descriptions of law firm life and law practice were good though!

If you were a fan of Chandler Baker’s The Husbands or Allison Gaylin’s The Collective, I think you would like this one too - slightly similar vibe but in the corporate world.
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I loved to concept, the long game and the players. Nicole was behind the 8 ball for most of the book but found a way to turn the tables and come out on top. Well written!!
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This one kept me on my toes! I loved the secret society/secret cult angle. My feelings about the Pride changed throughout, each chapter dropping more into the story. I think this was perfectly paced to keep interest building.

I received an advanced copy. All thoughts are my own.
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I really loved this book!! It had so many twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!! This was my first book by this Author, and it won’t be the last!! Quick read!! Highly recommended!! You won’t be disappointed!!
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Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for this e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

"As fate would have it"...I LOVED this book! The twists and turns in this book just kept coming. I stayed up waaaay too late desperately turning the pages of this amazingly plotted thriller! Seriously loved this all-female club. Nicole was definitely my fave. This is one wild ride you don't want to miss out on! 

Highly recommend!
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Review of Please Join Us by Catherine McKenzie


I really enjoyed this book. It was a solid thriller that was packed with tension. The topic was somewhat unique and a departure from the common thriller plot so I enjoyed that aspect a great deal. I enjoyed some of the relationships between characters. One complaint is a lot of it just seemed so far fetched and implausible to me.

Quick synopsis: Nicole is a bit down on her luck. Her work as a lawyer isn’t going as well and she and her husband are going to have to vacate their adored apartment. Then Nicole gets an email inviting her to join an elite group of high powered women. She is excited though her husband is suspicious. She does join and finds her new tribe (or pride as they call themselves) are really there to help her with everything. The problem is you never get something for free so they soon are calling upon her for huge favors as well.
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This was a solid read overall. I enjoyed the twists and the turns that this book took, but I was expecting something more suspenseful. It had more of a legal drama feel to it. I definitely enjoy anything involving cults or women's power but I feel like this fell a bit short on both ends. It was a fast read and kept me entertained though. 

Thank you #netgalley and #atriabooks for my e ARC of this one in exchange for my honest review!
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I absolutely love books about corporate life in NYC. I spent several years working in investment banking before switching to commercial banking. There’s not many books about finance, so lawyers are as close as we get! 

Nicole’s job at her high paced law firm isn’t going as planned. She lost a client and is now down on her billing hours for the year. Her bosses issue her a warning that she needs to pick up some new clients. She and her husband Dan are being forced to move from the apartment they love. While very stressed out, she gets an invitation to an exclusive women’s networking event that seems like exactly what’s she’s looking for to get her career back on track. 

The women’s group is filled with successful women who all help each other move forward. This includes helping with new clients, dating, and even helping Nicole find a new apartment. It seems too good to be true! Well you know what they say…

THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME! It completely captivated me. It reminded me of many women’s networking events I’ve been too, although obviously to an extreme. I know the stress that Nicole and Dan were under to find the perfect affordable apartment. I loved that there were flashbacks to how the group came together and then the present day. I also loved all the clues about what was happening sprinkled in and how the characters were all related. If you loved the Boys Club or the Whisper Network, I think you will love Please Join Us! 

Thank you so much to @catherinemckenzieauthor @kccpr @atriabooks @letstalkbookspromo for my gifted copy. Please  Join Us is on sale now!
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I have read many of this author’s books and was really impressed with all of them and this might be her best yet. Nicole is a lawyer and finds out her law firm is unhappy with the lack of clients and billable hours she is bringing to the firm. A lot of Nicole’s self worth is in her career so she is distressed to feel she is not on an upward trend. Just after this happens she learns of a self empowerment retreat for women. After attending the retreat things start to escalate in Nicole’s life. As Nicole tries to fulfill favours for the women in her ‘Pride’ group, from the retreat, she becomes increasingly uneasy. When some of these requests become unethical and illegal Nicole has to try and figure out how to exit this cult she has unknowingly gotten into. The suspense is palpable and the variety of characters is entertaining. This is a book that was hard to put down. I found it fast paced and the plot is layered and complex. I was very invested to see how all the moving pieces fit together in the end. The book is about empowerment of women and it definitively shows how much more needs to change before women are treated equally in the work place and society. I highly recommend this as the next book you should read.
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