Conrad Stokes is working late because he can’t reconcile the numbers on a spreadsheet when he sees something he shouldn’t. The men ransacking his boss’ office shouldn’t be there, and the glimpse of glowing eyes has to be just a trick of the light. But when Conrad wakes up the next morning, he finally is able to work through the missing pieces and what he finds can’t be ignored. Add to that his boss’ untimely death, and Conrad knows he’s in trouble.
Ryder Weller’s pack works as private investigators and security, and when a friend of the pack calls asking for help, Ryder rides to the rescue. Connie’s brother is in trouble, and the moment Ryder meets Conrad, he can tell the young man needs help. However, Conrad doesn’t have a chance to tell Ryder what’s really going on before an accident nearly sidelines them.
Ryder feels a pull toward Conrad he can’t explain, and when Conrad admits to the pack what he found, they all immediately get to work trying to solve it. But things get even twistier when Connie admits she knows that the pack aren’t human, and even more, her sons are shifters too. A whole new world opens up to Conrad, and he can’t wrap his mind around the fact that the man he wants is a werewolf.
Conrad and Ryder’s attraction grows even deeper, but neither man understands why, until Ryder finally realizes they’re mates. But mates haven’t been real in their world in a long time, and when Conrad is taken for what he knows, they may never get their happily ever after.
Convincing Conrad is set in Macy Blake’s Chosen One Universe, but is a complete spin off and written by Casey Drake. For those who have read Blake’s series and spin offs, this book goes back in time before the events of the Chosen One series. How much farther back, I’m not quite sure. But if you haven’t read that series, this one can stand on its own. I will admit, though, that I picked this book up because it was set in the same universe. Drake does a good job of sticking with the world that Blake built, and the world is fully fleshed out and realized here.
Conrad has no idea the supernatural exists, so his world is thrown upside down and backward within the space of a couple of days. First, the whole thing with his work and realizing what the discrepancies he found mean, and then add on the fact that Ryder and his team are really werewolves. Drake does a great job of really letting us feel his confusion, his fear, and his gradual acceptance. It’s always been just him and his twin sister, and the only reason he trusts the pack is because Connie does. But he comes to understand on his own, and his pull toward Ryder helps him accept things faster.
Ryder is just an endearing character. He prefers sweats to suits, and he loves to cook and take care of his pack members. He’s got a huge heart, but he also will do whatever it takes to keep people safe, even if that includes violence on occasion.
I loved that these two guys take their time, and that Ryder constantly checks in with Conrad, not wanting to push him too far. He understands how difficult this is for Conrad, and he’s willing to take time and care for Conrad to be in a good mental place for them to go forward. They are really sweet together, but there’s a lot of spice here as well. These guys are made for each other, and it’s easy to feel and see while reading their story. Though they are fated, they also take their time, and I love that it wasn’t an instant acceptance just because of the mate bond. Drake did a great job with their romance.
The secondary plot of the secret that Conrad uncovers and where it all leads isn’t entirely surprising, but it’s solid and believable. It also sets things up nicely for the next book, though I’m not sure where it’s going. Which I actually appreciated and it builds the anticipation for the next in the series.
All in all, this is a solid book, especially for a fairly new author. Fans of Blake’s series will definitely enjoy this one, as Drake’s style is similar. The world is already solid, and Drake just took it and wrote endearing MCs and a pack readers can fall in love with.