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cherish me, embrace me berni

Historical Romance Review: Cherish Me, Embrace Me by Sylvie F. Sommerfield

book review historical romance
Cherish Me, Embrace Me by Sylvie F. Sommerfield
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1983
Illustrator: Oliviero Berni
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Civil War Romance, Historical Romance
Pages: 528
Format: Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon

Historical Romance Review: Cherish Me, Embrace Me by Sylvie F. Sommerfield


The Book

This review is of Cherish Me, Embrace Me by Sylvie F. Sommerfield, a 1983 Zebra historical romance set during the American Civil War.

The book begins in 1851 in France. The coming revolution forces Jules Dubonne, his wife Marie, their three children, sons Alexander and Dante, and daughter, Celeste, to leave France. They sail to a new home they believe will be free from war and violence, America.

They will soon discover the fallacy of that belief.

The Plot

Tragedy strikes when a storm hits, throwing Dante overboard. He is taken in by a couple, Virginia and Gregory Wakefield, who desperately wants a son. Virginia has had four miscarriages. Dante, who believes his family is dead, is adopted by the Wakefields. He takes the name Dan Dubonne-Wakefield.

The rest of the Dubonne family make their way to their planned destination, Philadelphia.

At 16, Dan meets Abby Southerland and falls in love with her. Abby, however, doesn’t share his feelings.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the other Dubonnes’ lives go on, albeit with a hole in their hearts for Dante. Daughter Celeste falls in love with a young man, Wesley Rainey, whom she later marries.

Meanwhile, Alexander meets Abby at a party. They soon become lovers.

What Alexander doesn’t know is that Abby is a Confederate spy. The information she receives from him and other Northerners is used against them in the Civil War. Alexander later finds out about Abby’s activities, thus creating a major rift between them.

At one point, Alexander and Dan/Dante face each other on the battlefield, bringing home the stark point of the Civil War was “Brother against Brother.”

Cherish Me, Embrace Me concludes as the Civil War ends. Dan marries Catherine Markland, Abby’s cousin, and Alexander and Abby marry. Dan learns the truth about his past.

Finally, a figure from Alexander’s past helps the Dubonne-Southerland-Wakefield triumvirate heal the wounds. They all can look forward to a bright future and several Happily Ever Afters.


Cherish Me, Embrace Me is Mrs. Sommerfield at her best with this Civil War drama. It’s a quality Zebra romance that is very emotional. The characters find themselves dealing with changes and heartache but come out the other side stronger.


Despite the emotions displayed, I feel Mrs. Sommerfield could have gone deeper into her character’s emotions than she did.


There are several love scenes focusing on the emotional aspect of lovemaking and far less on the esoterics of the act.


Most of the violence takes place “offscreen.” There are scenes of Jules having to kill two people who try to stop the Dubonnes from leaving France.

Bottom Line on Cherish Me, Embrace Me

Cherish Me, Embrace Me by Sylve F. Sommerfield was a wonderful, highly emotional book, but there was still the potential for more.


Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.7


Possess me. Never let me go. These fiery words of love lingered in Abby’s heart, although she knew it was wrong to want Alexander. She’d sworn she’d never surrender to the Yankees, that she’d never let them rule her plantation or her life. But once she felt the exquisite ecstasy of his demanding lips, she damned him, despised him, yet desired him like no other man she had ever known.

Caress me. Be mine forever. If only Alexander could convince the southern vixen that passion was more important than loyalty that together their love could conquer the war! No matter how hard she tried to fight him, he could feel her whole body respond to his touch. He would tease her with searing kisses, torture her with his flesh, make her cry out in rapture and torment.