Years ago, my mom had a yard sale. We got rid of a lot of stuff, including many of my old books, but I kept Emily because it was my favorite of the Sunfire romances. When I was about eleven years old, I devoured these things. Each was about 400 pages of historical romance fiction, set at various times and locations, all in the U.S., if I recall correctly. One was on the Titanic, one was in the early 1940s, one was in the California Gold Rush, one was in the 1840s, etc. The title was always the heroine's name, and she was always torn between two men, each of whom was perfect, but the heroine had to follow her heart. Did anyone else read these? I'm thinking Wolfangel is the most likely to have, heh. (Click thumbnails for larger images.)

A lengthy excerpt follows. Read it!

Suddenly he smiled, revealing perfect white teeth; it was an amazing transformation. His smile was so angelic, so fetching in its dark countenance, it was like the sun coming up over the mountains. Emily's knees trembled.

"I suppose I deserved that," he said. "Let me explain. Dr. Marsteller has always had . . . an interest in my career, you might say. He asked me to go with him on his society rounds, and at every stop we were given refreshments. I've done more eating today than doctoring."

Emily was puzzled by something he'd said. "Society rounds?"

"You know, Fifth Avenue. At the hospital we call doctors like him society doctors, because he tends to you rich people."

Well, of all the arrogant -- She took a deep breath and replied coolly, "Rich people have a right to medical care, too."

"Oh, they're certainly never denied their rights, though other people might be."

"I don't understand you." Actually she wished this dreadful boy would leave. She was worried enough about what was going on upstairs without further aggravation.

"It's very simple, Miss Blackburn," Stephen said, enunciating very carefully as though speaking to a three-year-old. "The more money you have, the more attention you get. You see, this is my first time uptown, and it's been a real eye-opener."

"Indeed?" Emily knew she was sounding as frosty as her mother, but it was the only way to put this Stephen Reed in his place.

"I don't suppose you want to hear more."

"Of course. Do go on."

He glanced around the hall where they were still standing. As his eyes came back to Emily she saw that his anger had returned.

"You'd never understand," he said, dismissing her.

"Mr. Reed, you started to tell me something. Now, I'm more worried about my brother than some revelation you might have had, but since you brought it up, have the courtesy to finish."

"All right, Miss Blackburn, I'll tell you. Every visit Dr. Marsteller made today was an absolute waste. He saw spoiled ladies who only had an attack of indigestion from eating too much rich food or from those blasted corsets. I'll confess that there was one legitimate complaint -- a woman had to have a bunion treated, which will never really get better unless she stops wearing shoes two sizes two [sic] small. I never saw so many women who called the doctor for nothing but attention. I'm thoroughly disgusted by pampered ladies who had to have their imaginary ailments indulged while women and men on the other side of town are dying because they can't afford a doctor. And this house, I see, is just like all the others I was in today."

Shocked, Emily looked around, trying to see things through Stephen's eyes. She could imagine his hatred as he first saw the Blackburn four-story mansion with the elaborate stone carvings over the many-paned windows. He undoubtedly resented their view of Central Park, the protective spear-crested bronze fence that enclosed their well-kept grounds. As Dr. Marsteller's buggy drove between the granite pillars topped by kneeling bronze lions, blue-green with age, his eyes would have narrowed.

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The more I reread these old books and fully comprehend the white, middle-class femininity inculcated therein, the more disturbed I get.

(First I tried to leave a comment as "Clancy," but it wouldn't let me because that name is already taken by a registered user. Good to know.)

I totally remember those

Or at least that one, which I think is the only Sunfire Romance I ever read. It probably got into the library at my little private Southern Baptist school by mistake. I was about 11 at the time too, and read the whole thing in a day or two and loved it.

BTW, since I'm a registered user it still wanted me to register to comment. grrr.

Sorry about that

Yeah, if you tried to sign your comment with the same name under which you're registered, it won't let you. Do you want me to delete your account so it won't recognize you as a registered user anymore and it won't prompt you to login?

What a flashback

Wow. I read a lot of those when I was, say, 11 - 13. Until my dad moved a few years ago, I would even pick one of these up now and again when I was back there for vacation. I remember one set in Galveston at the time of the 1900 storm, and there was one set in NYC where a daughter of immigrants wanted to be a journalist. I know I had more, but those are the two that stand out in my mind. Actually, looking over this and this, I think I read most of the series, because quite a few of the plot descriptions/settings look familiar.


Go ahead and delete me. That'll work.

BTW, did anyone else read The Babysitter's Club obsessively around that age? I think I had the complete collection up until about 1990.

Sunfire Romances

Goodness, what a memory this is. Emily was my favorite as well, and I've just discovered that I still have almost the whole series, dogeared and ratty, in a box. I think I see vacation reading...

Sunfire romances

I loved these books. Every month or so, our school would send home order forms for books through Scholastic and I would always ask my mom to buy me the new sunfires. I remember the one about the Southern girl who fell in love with a union soldier, another about a girl travelling out West, another took place during the Salem witch trials. I think the only one I didn't like was one that took place in Louisiana during the war of 1812. I thought the guy she ended up with was boring (there was always a "good" guy and a "bad" guy). Another was about WWI and the flu epidemic. I think my favorite was the one in Alaska -- she fell for the poor Russian boy who couldn't speak English.

Sunfire romance

I LOVE Sunfire Romances ! I started reading them when I was about 10 years old. I saved them all and my daughter now likes to read them. My favorites were Amanda,about the Oregon Trail, Caroline,about the gold rush, Cassie, about a girl raised by Native Americans, Victoria, about The Alamo, Megan, about Alaska, Rachel, about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and Sabrina, The Revolutionary War.

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