THE RUNNING VIXEN by Elizabeth Chadwick


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Chadwick's first, The Wild Hunt (1989), a cheerful early 12th-century adventure, featured that busy noble of the Welsh Marches, Lord Guyon of Ravenstow, blessed with political wits, warrior's skills, and a giant capacity to love and lust. Here, Guyon's foster son, Adam de Lacey, offers a reprise of all those good things as he handles some delicate missions for the totally untrustworthy Henry I of England, smites the enemy, and gentles the lovely Heulwen, daughter of Guyon by a deceased lass of lower degree (in Wild Hunt). Adam has just returned from escorting the furious widowed Empress Matilda, daughter of Henry I, back to England to be betrothed to some unlucky choice of Henry's. At home, Adam discovers that his foster sister Heulwen's husband has been killed and that she's now to wed (willingly!) thick-necked Warrin de Mortimer. Much sparring and evasions later, both discover a mutual love, and Adam sneaks Heulwen out of the marriage and lands himself a deadly enemy. From the Welsh Marches to the royal court and back again, the pair spat and mightily couple. Throughout, there are dangers and narrow escapes: hostages taken and released, a royalty-ordained trail-by-combat, and a ""melee"" featuring the nasty Warrin--his last dastardly act has posthumous consequences that threaten the marriage. All signs point encouragingly to a long, jolly series, which could run lightly through the Plantagenets--the first one here, Geoffrey, wed to the Empress Matilda. With action, bouncy sex, and believable historical figures: an easy-going companionable popular historical.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1992
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: St. Martin's