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The Lord Won't Mind (Peter & Charlie Trilogy #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  359 ratings  ·  44 reviews
In this first volume of the classic trilogy, Charlie and Peter forge a love that will survive World War II and Charlie's marriage to a conniving heiress. Their story is continued in One for the Gods and Forth Into Light.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Alyson Books (first published January 1st 1970)
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Maurice by E.M. ForsterBrokeback Mountain by Annie ProulxThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGiovanni's Room by James BaldwinTales of the City by Armistead Maupin
Best Gay Fiction
121st out of 1,269 books — 1,548 voters
Stalking Darkness by Lynn FlewellingThe Persian Boy by Mary RenaultLuck in the Shadows by Lynn FlewellingSwordspoint by Ellen KushnerThe Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren
Best Gay Romance Published Before 2000
15th out of 83 books — 28 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 697)
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I gave this book 5 stars as it was the first gay novel I had read that did not have the main character killed at the end. As a horny pent up 19yr old I used to love reading about the man to man sex, but this book also gave me something else, that relationships between gay men could be positive. Something that was not obvious to me in London in the early 80's.
This is a really quick read, though I confess I ended up skimming a bit. There's a lot of sex scenes and a lot of drama: if it weren't a popular early gay story it wouldn't mean very much, I think. But it was one of the earliest novels to feature gay characters who struggle with their identity and have a happy ending, and I was surprised at how quickly it got to that, too. Our sympathies are unequivocally with Peter and his desire for commitment, his passionate love for Charlie; while Charlie's ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Ted rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: romance fanciers
Shelves: gay-fiction
“The Lord Won’t Mind” is a peculiar but entertaining novel. Gordon Merrick writes of the all-consuming pre-War love between two young men from respectable families both of whom put Adonis to shame. God’s gift to beauty, they even look alike. A possessive, overbearing grandmother introduces the younger Peter to her beloved 23yo grandson Charlie. She has mentoring in mind, but the two men fall instantly in love. But this is the early 1940s, right before World War II, an era in which being openly g ...more
This book was a mess in so many ways. Smutty, racist, sexist. I understand it was groundbreaking for its time and the racism was surely realistic given the time period of the novel. However, the misogyny was really hard to take and, in my opinion, unecessary to the story of the two main characters.
Suzanne Stroh
Launching the Peter and Charlie trilogy, this incredibly entertaining and seriously sexy novel about cousins falling in love was too hot to handle for publishers for years after they were written from 1959-1961, and they're first rate.

The series is a genre-bender that crosses over from literary-quality erotica to romance. It's never cheesy. Nor is it precious. And when the scene calls for (a) hot sex or (b) character/plot development, you can pretty much guarantee it'll be hot sex. Even so, the
The Lord Won’t Mind is the first book in a trilogy about Charlie and Peter. The story is meant as a juicy gay romance for “housewives.” I suppose in many ways it succeeds since the story is first and foremost extremely entertaining. There is lots of sex, instant love, a ton of drama and tears, and very stereotypical situations and attitudes befitting the time. The story offers a very superficial romance without the complexity and depth of its contemporaries. I wouldn’t necessarily call this gay ...more
Wow, there I was scribbling tales of gay romance, thinking I was a freak. Imagine, this was 1978, I was 18 and female.

Then I discovered Gordon Merrick and suddenly I felt much more grounded, happy, thrilled, pick a happy adjective and that was me. Granted I still felt a little freaky but not so alone.

Carlos Mock
The Lord Won't Mind by Gordon Merrick - First book in the trilogy

Peter Martin is coming to visit Charlie Mills in the family's country house in New Jersey. Charlie's grandmother, Armira Barton Collinge - C. B. - has arranged it. Soon they are in love. Charlie is older: he has just finished college (Princeton) and is about to start a job in New York City the next fall. Peter is nineteen, just graduated from high school and was supposed to start West Point in the fall. C. B. wants Peter to go to P
The novel is definitely erotically charged, without it being overtly done. For it's time, it was obviously very contraversial, not only because of the guy on guy coupling and the steamy sex scenes but also the hard to ignore prevalent racism. I'll admit, I winced a couple of times with the racial slurs. But given the time it was written let alone published, it's very honest in it's blatant view of what it was like in that time. With that being said, I'm glad I read the book the way it was suppos ...more
Love Bytes Reviews
4 Heart Review by Dan

I want to start by saying there are words and situations in this book which some might find highly offensive. I’ve included some of them in my review below for examples. They are by no means words I would ever utter.

How do you do a review on a book that spent 16 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list when it was published in 1970? I remember the first time I saw this book in a book store in Manhattan in 1980. I had to have it, lurid cover and all. If any of you remember
This book is not what I was expecting at all. First off... It started off kind of slow for me. It obviously picked up when Charlie and Peter started measuring themselves.
Ok... I thought it was kind of quick... But hey... I went with it. The sex was incredibly hot. I loved how Peter was exploring Charlie.

But when Peter said he was in love with Charlie...
Ughhhh... Really! Why go there so damn quick! They just met that day!!!! And they are already exchanging I love you's between each other!
I have a
Warning: Spoilers throughout.
If I could give this book zero stars I would. I understand that this was a shocking bestseller in 1970 and that it was hailed by many for showing a homosexual relationship that didn't end in tragedy. Maybe 45 years ago it was the Fear of Flying for the gay community. And now M/M romance is a hot commodity, so why not re-release it?

Well, how about misogyny, racism, sexual violence and completely contemptible characters as a good reason for this book to stay buried? M
Taylor Snyder
This book can be summed up in one word, PHENOMENAL. It is a simple story with undertones similar to the well known film, "Brokeback Mountain." Yet the story is a period piece told from the view of the wealthy elite of our society. The description is so passionately charged it will move you to laugh, cry and turn away from the book (as you would a movie) when it gets too violent. A great read.
Dave Ballance
Read this book when I was a high school kid in a small southern town. I had to hide it in my room so my mom wouldn't see it. It was a blessing at the time to be able to read about feelings I had and didn't understand. Just to know that someone had actually written a novel about two men in love was so great to see at that time in my life.
Alysa H.
Anthropologically, this is one of those books -- like James Barr's Quatrefoil -- that is important to an understanding of the psychology of a certain generation of gay men. That's not to say that characters in one book by one author should be taken to represent of a large number of real people -- they should not! -- but only to say that many elements in this book do represent well-known erotic tropes from its time (as well as more timeless and universal tropes, in some cases), and there are plen ...more
Kathy Orr
There were so very few "gay" novels that you could walk in and buy from you local chain bookstore. It was not the bet writing, but it was good compared to what was out there at the time. A lot of stereotypes, but it did venture forth a few newer sentiments.
What nonsense. Sort of a gay-lit Gone With the Wind: a "classic" that's morally objectionable by contemporary standards and has really never been anything but good period-piece trash. I was riveted.
I recall reading this series back in the early 80's before it was cool for woman to flip over gay love stories. Even at 16, I knew this was a trashy, over the top, soap opera that was only made palatable by featuring a taboo (at the time) romance, but yeah it was fun. I recall hiding the books and bringing them out only late at night, terrified that someone would figure out what I was reading. So sorry that I throw the books down the incinerator before leaving for college because I was so worrie ...more
Galathea needs "Kings Rising" now! =)
Ugh! Despite the fact that this book (this series, actually) was recommended to me by a dear friend, someone I admire as a gay man and a writer, I cannot keep reading this. The characters are annoying me too much and things between them are happening waaay too fast for my liking.

It's interesting, though, that Gordon Merrick published this story over 40 years ago, still at a period of time where people could mainly find "all porn" stories, or more serious gay lit stuff, like Patricia Nell Warren'
OK, so finally I get round to writing up a review of this book. I normally like to have the book available, to check references, quotations, etc. but following remodelling building work on my home, the book is packed away somewhere, along with all my others, in the depths of my garage, under 14 years of possessions. The place is decorated throughout in authentic 1970s style - the stage is set but so far, with pressure of work, etc. I haven't had the chance to start to dress it!

Anyway, on to the
The writing is purpler than an enflamed sunset, but one can see why Gordon Merrick’s lurid, sex-and-histrionic soaked gay potboiler spent months on The New York Times bestseller list when unleashed on an unsuspecting world in 1970.

I read this reissue from Open Road Media with guilty pleasure, furtively in instalments over an extended period, as it is such a heady concoction of heightened lust and drama that the book threatens to overwhelm one’s sensibilities. (How different this is compared to c
Jarrod Scarbrough
This story and I have quite the history. After coming out during my high school years in the 90's, I visited a lovely LGBT bookstore in Albuquerque, NM by the name of Sisters and Brothers (years later, I cried rivers the day that store went out of business), and purchased this, my first ever gay book! It sounded like an exciting romance novel, plus the historical aspect of the story and its publishing history got the geek in me super psyched! I had the book hiding at home with some magazines and ...more
Merrick's best-known book, The Lord Won't Mind, is a gay romance starring Charlie Mills and Peter Martin as handsome and well-endowed young men. They meet and fall madly in love. While the emphasis is on physical beauty it also speaks to the way persons define themselves. The response to beauty is certainly an aspect of the complexity of relationships. The book follows Charlie's path from a closeted gay man to a person who accepts himself. Charlie is terrified of rejection, especially that of hi ...more
Eine turbulente Liebesgeschichte, die sich sehr schnell entwickelt und fesselnd war, so dass ich das Buch in 2 Tagen durchgelesen habe.

Zwar ist alles etwas dick aufgetragen und entsetzlich schnulzig, aber vielleicht auch gerade deshalb ein willkommener Urlaub von der "harten Realität". Da das Buch schon etwas älter ist wirken die inflationär benutzten Koseworte etwas angestaubt, und doch wünschte ich mir manchmal diese "alten" Zeiten zurück.
Charlie and Peter are beautiful blond guys with big dicks (this is mentioned a lot). They fall instantly in love when Charlie's grandmother brings Peter to stay for the summer. They move to New York to live together, but when Charlie insists he isn't a "fairy" and has his controlling grandmother to contend with, their happiness together is not guaranteed. The story is set pre WWII.

I didn't find Charlie and Peter a particularly seductive couple - in fact, the story was more interesting when they
This was the first gay fiction novel I ever read and I was mesmerized by it. It opened up a whole new world for me.

As far as the book itself goes, it is a very enjoyable read. The characters are very realistic and I found I could relate to pretty much all of them even if they had conflicting POVs. The storyline is engaging and has a good pace. There is an improbable guardian angel who saves the (financial) day at the end which I found a bit annoying even though I liked the character. It would ha
Charlie's a gorgeous and well-endowed blond who's used to getting what he wants from other boys, but refuses to think of himself as queer. He's never been serious about anyone until he meets Peter, a beautiful virgin who falls head over heels for him. Their affair is complicated by Charlie's denial of his own sexual nature.

Misogyny and racism unfortunately abound in this story, so be warned. And there's considerable violence, much of it sexual. Peter is much more tolerable in this regard than C
Gary Cantara
I really don't remember this book very well, so I give it a neutral, smack in the middle rating. I read this novel as a horny teenager in high school. I do remember that it was quite sexy. But it did cause problems in the family. My mother was a very religious woman, though not much of a reader. None of my books had ever been in danger of her perusal; my mother had zero interest in the written word, unless it came from the Bible. But then she stumbled about this Merrick novel. The title made her ...more
Totally trashy but absolute fun! First gay novel I read when I was going out in the 80s.
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
I'll have to think about this for a while...
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Son of a stockbroker, Merrick studied French Literature at Princeton before becoming an actor on Broadway. Prior to WWII he landed a role in Kaufman & Hart's The Man Who Came to Dinner and even became Hart's lover for a time. Due to a hearing problem he had a draft deferrment but served in the O.S.S. rising to the rank of Captain for his service in France. His first novel, The Strumpet Wind (1 ...more
More about Gordon Merrick...

Other Books in the Series

Peter & Charlie Trilogy (3 books)
  • One for the Gods (Peter & Charlie Trilogy)
  • Forth into Light: A Novel (Peter & Charlie Trilogy)

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“Affection expressed physically made friendship so complete and binding.” 2 likes
“I pronounce us man and something-or-other. We’re married, big boy.” 0 likes
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