Gordon Merrick created the legendary Peter & Charlie gay romance series. The trilogy portrayed the first mainstream love story between two men that concluded happily ever after. Another milestone in gay fiction occurred when they were reprinted in the 1980s. A young artist named Victor Gadino illustrated the iconic clinch covers. Never before had two men been pictured so intimately on romance novels.
The 1980 Mills & Boon reissue of Violet Winspear’s book Lucifer’s Angel is said to be the first romance (contemporary or category, anyway, not so sure about historicals) to feature a kissing couple on the cover. And what a pretty one it is.