The Running Vixen is the second of The Ravenstow trilogy set in the Welsh marches. The first book was The Wild Hunt and the third, The Leopard Unleashed.
This second story is about Heulwen, Guyon Fitzmiles’ bastard daughter from his Welsh mistress and his ward Adam de Lacy.
Heulwen’s first husband is dead and Adam hopes she finally notices that he isn’t her foster brother. Poor Adam is rejected repeatedly by the love of his life. Heulwen is set to marry Adam’s nemesis Warrin de Mortimer, a rough and cruel knight, as her second husband. Till Adam discovers that Warrin had Huelwen’s first husband murdered. A trial by combat follows and Warrin is exiled to France where he teams up with William de Clito, Henry 1’s elder brother’s son and a stronger contender to the throne of England than Matilda, Henry’s daughter. Meanwhile Adam and Heulwen marry.
Henry I sits on the throne and gets the barons of England to swear allegiance and fealty to his daughter Matilda, heir to the throne of England. No one likes her as she’s haughty and overbearing. They also never had a queen in England before. Against the barons’ wishes, Henry plots to marry off Matilda to a foreign prince, the son of the Count of Anjou, Geoffrey, a youth.
Adam is sent as the messenger to encourage the Count of Anjou to accept the proposed marriage between their children for a political alliance. Warrin spots Adam and tries to kill him in at a melee in Angou and when that fails, he kidnaps Heulwenand rapes her. It’s brutal, but Adam rescues her and they make it back to England and have a child. Is it Warrin’s or Adam’s?