This could have been a better story if Maria was more likeable. She comes of as petty and immature because she is afraid of a curse and that her family will be mad at her for getting involved with a Conti. The selfishness of her actions asking Steven to walk away from his own child made it hard for me to accept her as a likeable heroine. Steven, however, was a great character. He was willing to stand up to his family and be a man and I kind of think Maria wasn't good enough for him. Still a decent story, thank goodness for STeven.