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King of the Sea

(The Bay Boys #1)

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  62 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Plunge into the icy dark waters of the San Francisco bay with this gay erotic tale of murder, mutiny, and mermen.

Carlos Santiago is a man on the edge of sanity. After battling cancer, he's developed an obsession with death, fearful that it's lurking behind every shadow, waiting to steal his last breath. Then a heart-pounding encounter with a mysterious merman turns his wor
Kindle Edition, 102 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Bay Cove Press
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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 ·  62 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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2.5 HEARTS--New author Nathan Bay's novella, King of the Sea, is a story with a lot of elements. Set in San Francisco, 28 year-old Carlos Santiago has survived. His testicular cancer is in remission. But his body wears the scars from the battle. He has a single testicle. The scars from the surgery is wreaking havoc on his body including his pleasure for sex. His older lover, obstetrician Tyson, has been distant and not helpful during his recovery. And he finally has had enough. On their one year ...more
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it

This novel was provided free of charge by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Very predictable.

I won't bore you with a synopsis of the book, you can read that above, but that pretty much covers the story and then some. Honestly, I didn't find it all that exciting. First, it's a short story and it's hard to create a lot of tension in less than 200 pages. There is obviously very little character development. You really don't have time to really get invested in the characte

Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down as the author took me on an unexpected journey of mystery, murder and fantasy.
David Avery
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
KING OF THE SEA is a fun, sexy unexpected pleasure. It has elements of fantasy, science fiction, and erotic gay romance all neatly tied together in this taut, beautifully written novella. Carlos Santiago is the protagonist who has been forever changed after a cancer diagnosis called into the sharpest focus the meaning and importance of his life and who is in it. I was pulled into the story from its very first words: “What am I so afraid of?” The answer, Carlos says to himself, is “Nothing.”

I alw
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The lure of the sirens' call is hard to ignore and I am glad that author Nathan Bay heeded it and was inspired to contribute to the merfolk's lore albeit with a twist - a gay one with some mystery and mad science thrown in.
It was a delight reading this sweet fantasy romance set in San Francisco, one of my favorite places in the world and I am looking forward to the next book in the Bay Boys series.
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gay erotic tale of murder, mutiny, and mermen

California author Nathan Bay makes and impressive debut with KING OF THE SEA, joined in the editing by well-respected novelist Daryl Banner. Nathan also demonstrates his up front artistry by designing the cover of his novel form one of his own photographs of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and uniquely shares the name of his hunky model as Daniel Sobieray! Solid steps suggest that Nathan is a professional artist and this debut should assure his
Joyfully Jay
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: veronica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No spoilers or summary follows. King of the Sea is the perfect book to relax on the couch with and enjoy something unique. A fast paced fantasy-intrigue novella that pushes the boundaries of reality with its characters in a timeless story with some interesting and unexpected twists. What makes this story unique and really work well is the author chose to color outside the lines with his characters in both personality traits as well as physical form making it a wonderful read to escape daily real ...more
Lisa The Novel Approach
King of the Sea is a first book by Nathan Bay, and I had a hard time trying to review and rate it. The blurb, which sounds fantastic, is deceiving, and the execution of the plot was so farfetched, disjointed, and jumbled, that I had several “huh… what?” moments. There is a strong beginning, a happy ending, and it is neatly edited to a T, but those are the few saving graces.

Honestly, I would say the first chapter was the strongest and best. I could really empathize with Carlos. His life had taken
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this story of magic and mermen. Great idea! Well done! Looking forward to book 2 and how the merbabies will grow up and what happens to the parents! I would have love to read more about the doctors practice detailing the merman's growth from a baby to child to adult and what he as the original had to go through and also technicalities scientifically how this is possible with the studies and research. Would be an exciting book 3. Big fan here Nathan! Good job!
Michael Ryan Webb
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Woah. There was WAY too much going on here and it made the whole story disjointed and confusing. Started out strong, but took a quick left turn into what the hell town.
Oliver  Quebedeaux
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-for-review
King of the Sea.

Easily one of the best books I've read. Nathan Bay has done an outstanding job with his characters, storyline, and overall writing. This may have been his debut novel, but it was written with such a passion and expertise that I wouldn't be surprised if it had been written a million times over with years and years of practice until the perfect copy was finally made.

I had the honor of being a beta reader for this book, but the difference of the beta copy and the book itself. Pheno
Dec 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is living proof that no book ought to be judged on the sheer amount of ideas it contents but on its literary ability to follow a plotted path with as much depth, lavishness of detail, and natural portrayal of characters as possible. King of the Sea looks to me like a crazy young puppy congenitally incapable of sitting still for one second while trying far too hard to please its master; it bounces and prances and preens and barks and chases its tail until the reader grows tired and desists i ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This debut story is beautifully written and quite poetic at times. We follow Carlos as he evaluates his life and truly sees the man he thought he knew and loved. The story flows smoothly through Carlos's pain, confrontation and determination as he (and us) are introduced into a new world of mermen and evil scientists. I enjoyed the adventure and hope to explore more facets of this tale if Mr. Bay writes a sequel.
Leigh Lorien
Jan 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I was excited to check out an erotic story involving a merman, and the tagline and cover drew me in easily. The concept behind the story is interesting, but I was unfortunately not a big fan of the execution. The emotional interactions between characters didn't feel genuine.
Lora Graham
Jan 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: short
Carlos has survived testicular cancer and now thinks he invincible (he literally says this several times). At one point, after finding out about his boyfriend's insane experiments and getting a hand job from a merman who only appears when convenient, Carlos decides to drive his boyfriend's expensive care to a sex club in a bad part of town, and proceeds to have sex with a stranger, but stops when the merman speaks to him telepathically. This pretty much sums up the ridiculousness of this story. ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the merman prospect, even though this didn't seen to be a fantasy story from first glance. Once I started reading I realized it's more sci-fi with a medical ethics twist. The idea of a doctor trying to solve future problems that might arise from climate change is intriguing and the solution that's suggested is quite interesting - which is where some of the medical ethics comes in.

Carlos has the best character development, which makes sense because it's really his story. The f
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very creative and alluring merman story. It involves a psychotic, maniacal, doctor (Tyrone) who's on a power trip and wants to play God while creating another species Carlos is his boyfriend who doesn't have a clue about what's going on right under his nose. I loved the merman aspect of this tale, and the writing (plus the execution of the story) was just exceptional. It was a great mystery which significantly held my attention. I couldn't have guessed how this was going to end, but I ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay, first, a caveat: I had NO idea that this story had a merman on it. I would have skipped it if had I know it, as I'm not really fond of them.

But, all in all, this is an entertaining, sweet short story. Yes, there are a lot of ideas that aren't executed the best way, but this is the author's first book, so it's kind of expected.

I think I keep reading this author :)
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Found this an interesting short read. have scored it low as it is one of these reads that is more like chapter 1 than a stand alone book. it may graduate to 4 or 5 stars once I get into book 2 or even reduce. but i am am willing to preserver with the series, once I have gotten through my backlog of books.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it

This story was a wonderful quick read. I don’t know if I would necessarily place this in the romance category but the plot was really good! Kept my interest and was a fast read I enjoyed it a lot.
Jul 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Not good, not bad
Mar 07, 2017 added it
Rating and review posted on The Novel Approach Reviews.
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, mermen, gay-fantasy
This was a fun, fast read for the weekend. I liked the twist on the merman angle. The MC's are sweet together. Carlos and Ross are both broken and sexually dysfunctional in their own way. I appreciated the subtle nods to larger issues like AIDS and global warming too.
Entertaining Merman mystery

I really enjoyed book one of Bay Cove. Nathan gives an excellent twist to the creation of mermen and the mystery surrounding them. I can't wait to read book two when it comes out later this year.
Jan 04, 2017 marked it as dnf
Just not for me.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2019
rated it it was ok
Jan 23, 2018
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Nathan Bay writes gay-themed fiction about ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances. The genres of his work span mystery, romance, erotica, and everything in between — always with an exciting twist!

Nathan currently resides in sunny California with his husband, son, and a schnauzer named Mrs. Madrigal. Learn more at and get connected at

Other books in the series

The Bay Boys (3 books)
  • The Invisible Plan
  • Young Forever

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