Though Valentine is in love with Maximilian, she knows her family will not approve of her marrying someone so common. She instead finds herself engaged to Franz d'Epinay, who is of an appropriate status. She manages to get out of her engagement to d'Epinay when it is revealed that her grandfather killed his father in a duel.
Valentine later finds herself the victim of attempted murder by poisoning. Following Monte Cristo's advice, she takes a pill that makes it appear as though she is dead. Believing she is deceased, Maximilian decides to take his own life. Monte Cristo agrees to help him in this, but really gives him a sleep-inducing potion instead. When he awakens he finds Valentine, and discovers that the Count has made arrangements for them to be married.