Friday, September 16, 2011

The Sunfire Series


A couple of days ago on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood loop, a bunch of us were talking about the first romances we ever read. I will admit I can't remember what the first adult romance I read was, but for some reason, this whole discussion made me remember this fabulous historical romance YA series called "Sunfire."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunfire_%28series%29

I'd actually forgotten it was a YA series, but authors Vivi Andrews, Addison Fox, and Liz Bemis set me straight. The email thread turned into one big reminiscence as we all named our favorite heroine (mine was Heather, the spunky New York Colonial girl from 1665, but I also really enjoyed the book set during the San Francisco earthquake about a girl named Nora).

The premise of the series was simple. The series was written by a group of authors. Each book featured a teenage girl who was present during a particular notable historical event. She was always torn between two potential suitors, and the book cover were total spoilers...once you knew the pattern. The cover would feature the heroine flanked by both guys, and the one she was smiling lovingly at (or even touching) was always the one she gave the boot to in the end. The true hero of the love triangle was always brooding in the background on the cover, yet for some reason I was always surprised. (Maybe because I was only 10 or 11 at the time while reading these. I hadn't read Pride & Prejudice yet.)

The titles were exceptionally clever: Amanda, Susannah, Elizabeth, Danielle, etc. ;) Considering as both my first name and middle name were both used as titles, can you guess why my mom originally bought me my first one? And I was immediately hooked. A romance reader for life!

I mean, really, how could you resist a book with this premise:
With only a silk dress to protect her from the blazing frontier sun, Amanda fears she will die on the Oregon Trail. As the memories of Boston, the nightly balls, and Joseph fade, the hardships of life on the wagon train fill her days. Changing from a spoiled city girl to a strong young woman, Amanda finds drought and death, beauty and joy, and a love that will last forever.

Between the "Sunfire" series, the "Satin Slipper" series (about teenage ballet students at the San Francisco ballet academy) and Sweet Valley High, I was definitely hooked on 1980s YA romance. :)

Anyway, Liz Bemis noticed that although the series has been out of print since the 80s, apparently you can still find used copies on Amazon. So I am proud to say that sometime next week I will be devouring the Sunfire series once again! I hope they're just as good nearly 25 years later. :)

Do you have a favorite YA series from your youth that is out of print now, but you have a yearning to re-read? What was the first romance, either YA or adult, that you ever read?

7 comments:

Dara Young said...

OMG! This was my first romance too...Danielle. I loved that book! Read it over and over and fell in love with my first sexy pirate. I remember being so shocked that the hero was a dastardly pirate. LOL! Sigh. Those were the days.

Brandy said...

Good gosh! I remember those! You've made me want to go back and reread them.

Melanie said...

I loved this series! Mostly it was the dresses the heroine wore on the cover that attracted me ... but yeah, the romance got me too.

Probably my favorite YA series that I spent countless hours reading (and my mom even banned me from reading any more for whatever reason) was the Nancy Drew Files. A bit edgier than the 20's version, which is what mom wanted me to stick with...

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Unknown said...

I recently rediscovered these books and have been ordering them from Amazon and eBay. I remember reading them shortly after I finished the American Girl Books as a kid (back then, there were only 3 girls!). Some of my favorites were Amanda, Jennie, and Caroline!

Rebecca Cottrell-Diehl said...

When I ran across some SVH book in a local thrift store it reminded me of the sunfire books! I would love to read them again to see if they are just as good as they were when I was little. Cassie was my favorite, but I remember liking Renee too.

Rebecca Cottrell-Diehl said...

When I ran across some SVH book in a local thrift store it reminded me of the sunfire books! I would love to read them again to see if they are just as good as they were when I was little. Cassie was my favorite, but I remember liking Renee too.