Emma Maxwell knew her stepmother, Celeste, must have some scheme in mind, even before they arrived in Venice. When she heard what it was, Emma wanted no part of it. Then she met Count Vidal Cesare, on whom Celeste had designs, and decided he was old enough and experienced enough to look after himself.
Emma was very firm about her own future. She informed the Dowager Contessa, "No, signora. When I marry it will be for love. And my husband will love me . . .and only me!"