Opening paragraphs from my first novel WiP, working title “Juliet”
“Marry me,” Juliet said, unable to keep the desperation from her tone.
Sean bowed his head, staring at the grass which was still damp with morning dew. “You know I cannot.”
Juliet’s heart sank. Sean was her oldest friend. He had conducted her marriage to Dayne, the first such ceremony he had ever performed. He had blessed her daughter Sophia when she was born, and was her godfather, loving her as if she were his own child. He had comforted Juliet when she was told of Dayne’s execution, and carried out a memorial service for the man they’d both cared about. Now, in this hour of greatest need, he was unable to help her. Prayer would not be enough.
“I would if I could.” Sean took her hand. “But clerics are now forbidden to marry.”
Neither he nor Juliet had expected the new rule to affect him. He was a loving and compassionate man, but he had never felt desire for anyone. The people of the community were his family, none more so than Juliet. Many clerics however preferred to take a spouse and now most had been forced to surrender their titles. It was a strike against their authority and talents. The queen could not yet destroy the clergy completely but each new law she passed further diminished their influence.
Queen Edda. The bane of Juliet’s life and fast becoming the ruin of her homeland.