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The Boss

(Under Red Sky #1)

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Nicholas Erickson is happy to be the smallest cog at the US Embassy in Singapore, a big step up from prison. Nick lives with a terrible secret: he killed a family of three in a traffic accident, for which he was imprisoned and became a pariah back home. The only threat to his second chance is the truth—and Nelson Graves.

Shipping Magnate Lord Nelson Graves is secretly the h
...more
ebook, 306 pages
Published January 25th 2021 by NineStar Press (first published January 15th 2021)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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suebee ~Always Reading~
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Becky
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
If you like sprawling ensemble action films with a smattering of romance and dubious morality, you should enjoy this.

It's written mostly as a dual POV story, however some supporting characters do have their own POV sections (mostly Jeanne, once Mac). These instances are always clearly indicated, so it's not confusing.

The concerns Nick, a young drifter-type with a shady past, and Graves, a mob boss battling a mole in his organisation. Nick meets Graves when he's trying to start a new life in Sing
...more
Joyfully Jay
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sue
A Joyfully Jay review.

4 stars


The Boss was an interesting, if somewhat uneven, action and character driven story about two men who seem made for one another.

Nelson Graves isn’t a particularly good man and that made him difficult to like at times. He’s an international weapons and drug dealer and associates with some pretty nasty people. So I struggled to really connect with him. But his devotion to the family he’s made is admirable and ultimately what made him relatable. Nick was harder to gras
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Jennie
Jan 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a gritty, interesting and original story that had me intrigued and kept me turning pages right till the end.

Although, the many people sometimes made it difficult to keep everyone straight and remember who's who.

There was plenty of action and adventure. I liked both Graves and Nicholas and was wishing for them to get their hea.

The epilogue had a twist I didn't see coming and definitely leaves the story open for a great beginning to the next book.
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Chiara D'Agosto
Feb 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
I don't like to give 1-star ratings to books that are not yet popular. It always feels like I'm nipping it in the bud, and I would have not if this book was self-published, since I'm not an evil monster that likes to crush authors' dreams apart. But this is not, and I can't believe for the love of God that this has gone through an editing process. If it has, then the editor is totally incompetent, because this looks like a first draft, and not even a clean one.

The writing is clunky, repetitive,
...more
Amy Stauffer
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtqia-plus, arcs, meh
3.25 Stars

This book took me on a rollercoaster, and I’m not just meaning because of the storyline.

This book was about two gritty, flawed, and morally corrupt characters. They weren’t always likable, and it took a while to find a connection with them. That’s the thing about people; we don’t all fit into neat little boxes.

The story was a slow build in some ways, and fast-paced in others. Being in the lifestyle they were, there was plenty of action. I wish they kept the POV to just the two main cha
...more
Shari Sakurai
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

Nick Erickson tries to keep a low profile both in his job and his personal life. With mistakes from his past still haunting him and coupled with the fear of anyone finding out, he keeps himself somewhat closed off from those around him. Nick just wants to keep his life quiet. And that all changes when he meets Lord Nelson Graves. Graves is the owner of a shipping firm and also secretly the head of the crime syndicate Red Sky. Circu
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Juniper Greer-Ashe
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Both Nick and Graves have blood on their hands: Nick from a past choice that haunts him daily, Graves from his long tenure as a soldier and the head of a crime syndicate. To say they're complicated is an understatement, and much of the relationship that forms between them does so in the liminal space between the intuition they have about each other that not everything is as it seems and the desire they seem to share to connect no matter what the obstacles. I liked both characters: they're comple ...more
Taya
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-faves
After finishing it, I wanted to sit on this book, but I couldn't stop thinking about my feeling after reading this book. I was just a passive reader initially, and I was struggling and had to put it down after reading few pages and took it back up a couple of weeks later. I just started where I left off and didn't want to put it down. It could have been Nick's describing his loneliness or Nelson Graves just entering the scene. Nelson Graves and his circle are characters I wanted to know more abo ...more
Elaine Gray
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
J. Calmay is a first author read for me and I have to say I wasn't disappointed. The book is action-packed, gritty, some angst, all the characters are likable, romantic, and I enjoyed it. Nicholas just wanted to do his job but his past keeps coming back to haunt him. He lost his job because of Nelson Graves and he was given an opportunity to work within his circle. Nelson Graves is the boss of all bosses and he cares for family and people. He has a soft spot for Nick and the two are attracted to ...more
Siobhan Flynn
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a rush, oh man this book was a trip and a half and just oozed that something special. Graves was a man of mystery and very intriguing, whereas Nick was a conundrum that was in such turmoil. The story was complicated and one you have to pay attention to understand. Full of drama, first time experiences and an amazing yet funny found family. I enjoyed the closeness of everyone and how much they all took to Nick, he so desperately needed someone to care. This had me on my toes as I never knew ...more
Ida Umphers
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There are no punches pulled here, both Nick and Graves have pasts and their present situations aren't good either. If you are willing to accept one MC who is the head of a criminal organization and one who served time in prison and just let them show you who they are over the course of the story you are in for a wonderful, original ride. There is action and suspense galore but it doesn't overpower the relationship that builds between these two men. The ending left me wanting the next book in the ...more
Julynn
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
There is a lot to love in this story. Graves’ crew, known as the Horseman are just as much of a family as blood and you get that sense in how they welcome Nick into the fold. Which is just what he needed to come back to life after how he had been drifting for so long. Their antics were fun to read.
Patricia Nelson
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this intriguing, grab-you-by-the-feels, simmering, intense, fantastic, gritty, raw, gripping, and totally awesome start to an interesting new series. This is a debut book by a new-to-me author, and I can't wait to see what happens next. ...more
ML
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Characters are introduced fast and furious. You have zero clue who they are and they all just get jumbled into a pile of names. Not the best way to start telling a story. I feel like chapter 1 is already the middle of the book.

Also if there’s going to be MF sexual relations a warning would have been nice. Pelvic floors are not what I want to read if I’m expecting just MM in a book. That should definitely be in the blurb. Plus it was one of the MCs in the story. Ugh 🙄
For this reason, this book w
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Joscelyn Smith
Jan 31, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable

Nick and Graves were wonderfully complex characters, both were haunted and by past decisions. I really enjoyed this fantastic series opener, I cannot wait to see what the rest of the series has to offer.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
pasghetti
Feb 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Man, I haven't read a book with this kind of writing in a long fucking time!! More, please. 😭😭😭 ...more
Shelf Blame
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to Nine Star Press and Pride Book Tours for the ARC of this book!

The Boss is a gritty, action-packed mm romance set against the backdrop of Singapore. Nick Erickson is a low-level grunt at the US Embassy, having escaped his life and the horrific mistakes he made back in the US. Nelson Graves is a shipping magnate, important enough to have government officials and noble peace prize winners on speed dial -- he also happens to be head of the Red Sky drug cartel. When their paths d
...more
Tashyka
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
very interesting set up. took me a mn to get into it as there was multiple POVs but once I did, I really liked it.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Jocelyn Whaley
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Boss was an interesting read. I’m not one for smash, bang, and shoot outs, but this was a cool read. I can’t wait to see where the author goes with this story.
Alethea
rated it really liked it
Jan 30, 2021
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rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2021
J. Calamy
Jan 13, 2021 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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J Calamy is a queer disabled vet and foreign service wonk who spends a good part of the year bouncing down dirt roads in the back of Range Rovers with men with guns. Coffee, romance novels, and embassy scuttlebutt are her last remaining vices.

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