Sunfire Romance Novels
In the 80s, the world was lit by Sunfire!

Dawn of Love Book 2: Wild Prairie Sky

Book 2 in this series was Wild Prairie Sky by Cheri Michaels, copyright 1985.

Wild Prairie Sky Front Cover (Credit: Joe Cellini)

I think this was the first DoL book I bought, and I first picked it up because of that ah-MAZE-ing dress, which spills onto the back cover. Now all I can think is, “How did she deal with that huge dress all across the country?”

Front Cover Blurb: Is sixteen too young for love under a…Wild Prairie Sky

Yeah, that one’s a bit of a stretch.

On the Cover: Betsy Monroe and Charlie Freeman

Setting: Wagon train to Oregon, 1846 or later. No specific date is given, and 1846 was the latest date carved on Independence Rock.

Similar Sunfire Book: Amanda

Main Character: Betsy Monroe, who turns 16 a few chapters in; very tall, waist-long chestnut brown hair (despite the short-ish hair on the cover), and brown eyes compared to the color of root beer. (I’m thinking that’s an anachronism to make it easy on young readers. A quick Internet search shows that root beer wasn’t actually produced until 1876. See what fun facts you learn on this blog?) Betsy and her older sister, Willa, were traveling to Oregon with their parents, who died of cholera before the book starts. Even though they are two young single women, they decide to make it to Oregon on their own. And Betsy has enough spunk to get 1,000 teenage girls across the country. She’s a very down-to-earth, stubborn, and courageous girl.

Only Real Suitor: Charlie Freeman, 18; golden-blonde hair, blue eyes. He’s sort of an assistant wagon train guide, and a well-known ladies’ man (“Freeman” is probably no coincidence!)  He finds Betsy and Willa camped out somewhere in Nebraska. They’re hoping to meet up with a wagon train, and Charlie takes them right to one. Betsy and Charlie do not exactly hit it off, and it’s love/hate at first sight. They proceed to argue their way to Oregon.

Not Really a Real Suitor: John Taylor.

No, not this one.

John is a member of the wagon train, and has black hair and brown eyes. He flirts with Betsy, and then unknowingly puts a huge wrench in Betsy and Charlie’s growing romance. Betsy does a little bit of flirting, John does a little bit of bragging, and before you know it, the fragile trust Betsy and Charlie have built up between them is torn to bits. Each believes the other wants them to be just another notch on the bedpost.

Back Cover Blurb: How Could She Fall in Love…

How does it stack up against its Sunfire counterpart? Actually pretty well. Amanda has more backstory and more details, and starts earlier on the trail, but Sky holds together well for such a short book. You actually get a progressive sense of development in the relationship. Which is astounding given that it’s one step forward, two steps back all the way through! I get a little bit of Scarlet and a much, much younger Rhett out of them. Betsy calls him all sorts of names, they insult each other in every exchange, yet you know it’s because they’re fighting their attraction and jealousy.


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