Phantom of the Highlands – Extended Epilogue


Three Years Later…

Fin was off his horse before it even stopped running. He ran across the bailey, his boots thundering hard across the wooden bridge that connected the yard to the keep proper. He dashed into the entry hall and stopped, looking around. At one end of the building was a large hearth, the fire blazing inside of it, cutting the chill in the air.

A young man who served as Col’s squire approached him, his face ashen, his expression grave. He stopped, and Fin was sure he could see tears standing in the boy’s eyes.

“What has happened?” Fin asked.

“The… the Lady has been poisoned,” the young man said.

Fin’s eyes widened, and his belly churned. He had gotten word while out hunting that something had happened, and he needed to return to Westmarch Hall immediately. He had ridden with all haste to get back to the keep, fear and anxiety fueling his flight.

“And Baron Lennox?” Fin asked.

“Is fine,” he said. “He is with Lady Gillian now.”

“Take me.”

The page turned and led Fin down a corridor, their footsteps thumping hard on the stone. They turned into a passage that ended at the door to Col’s bedchamber. The page gave him a slight bow and peeled off, leaving Fin on his own. He headed for the door but was intercepted by a voice echoing off the walls behind him.

“Captain Begbie, please wait.”

Fin turned and found Col’s physician, an older man of wide girth named Dougal, approaching him. He waited for the physician to catch up to him. The older man stopped, his face flushed, his breath quickened.

“What happened?” Fin asked.

“Somebody slipped some poison intae the Lady’s wine,” Dougal said. “But we ken it was meant for the Baron.”

“Is she alright?”

Dougal nodded. “She will be,” he replied. “Thank God she didnae ingest much. Right now, she just needs some rest.”

“Thank God,” Fin said, a wave of relief washing through him. “I need tae see Col, and I need tae see him now.”

“He’s with the Lady right now, and she shouldnae be disturbed,” Dougal said. “I’ll tell him to find ye.”

Fin grumbled under his breath. As the Captain of Col’s personal guard, it would fall to him to find the poisoner. Which meant he needed to gather as many pertinent details as quickly as he could. For all they knew, the poisoner was on horseback and galloping away from Westmarch as they stood there dickering. Every moment they lost could be another mile the poisoner got further away.

“Tell him tae find me now, Dougal,” Fin ordered. “I need tae see him right away.”

“Aye, Captain Begbie.”

As the physician hustled for the door, Fin watched him go for a moment, disbelief over this turn of events washing through him. With a low growl, he turned and walked away down the corridor, his heavy footfalls echoing all around him. He found a pair of soldiers on duty and ordered them to stand watch outside Gillian’s door. Nobody in and nobody out, save for the physician.

Feeling helpless and powerless, Fin stalked the halls of the keep. After their reunion and reconciliation, Gillian’s father had a castle built for them on the border of the Western March – halfway between York and his home village. Col had told him it was meant as a symbolic gesture, a blending of their two people.

And shortly after they had moved in, Col had appointed him to head up his personal guard. At first, Fin had thought it was a joke. But Col assured him it was not. He’d told Fin that he believed in him and trusted him with not just his life, but the lives of his family as well. It had meant the world to Fin, and he liked to think that he had grown into his position. His men were loyal and would follow him to the gates of Hell if he asked. And Fin knew that every one of them would lay down their life to protect Col and his family.

Fin also knew there were some in the Highlands that resented Col for his alliance with the English, and saw Westmarch Hall as a symbol of betrayal. They saw it as a selling out of the Scottish people in favor of Col’s personal enrichment and argued their alliance came at the cost of their freedom. It wasn’t true as far as Fin was concerned. He was as sensitive to the Scottish independence as anybody, but Col made sure his people were well taken care of, and his people never went without. And yet, his alliance and bond with the Duke angered them.

Fin should have gone to check on the children. He’d been so worried about Gillian that he had not stopped to think. Col and Gillian had two children – James the firstborn, and their daughter Freya, who was two years old. But Fin knew they would be with Jane as they often were. Given the circumstances, it was probably the best and safest place for them. Jane cared for them like they were her own, and in Fin’s state, he would probably just scare them anyway.

Fin found his way up to the ramparts on the outer curtain wall of the castle. It was where he went when he needed to think and clear his head. The night was darker than pitch, and the torches flickered, casting eerie shadows that writhed upon the stone parapets. The clouds overhead were thick and dark, and a drizzle had started to fall over the land. It suited Fin’s mood perfectly.

Fin needed to find the person responsible for poisoning Gillian. But until he could talk to Col, he felt utterly powerless. Fin was a man who did not like feeling out of control of a situation. And this was a situation he had zero control over, which left him feeling awkward and frustrated. All he could do was keep pacing the ramparts, trying to calm himself down, and gather his wits about him. He knew he was going to need all of them.

Fin stopped and looked out into the vast sea of darkness before him – the Western March. As the Captain of Col’s household guard, it had been his job, his responsibility to keep Col, Gillian, and their children safe. It was his duty to protect them and make sure nothing happened to them. And he had failed in his duty. Gillian lay in bed, possibly dying of poison, while he’d been out hunting. His failure could have cost an old friend, and his Lady, their lives.

Fin let those thoughts trail away, knowing the rabbit hole they would inevitably lead down. It was a warren of self-doubt and personal recriminations. And right now, he needed to keep a clear head. He could not afford to pity himself. He needed to find out who tried to poison Gillian. And he needed to kill that person.


He turned to see Col striding up to him. His expression was grim, and his face pinched, clouded with a whole host of dark, negative emotions. But more than anything, his cousin and oldest friend looked scared. Nothing scared Col and seeing the fear on his face, left Fin feeling rattled right down to his core.

“How is she?” Fin asked.

“Dougal says she’ll be fine,” he replied. “Says that with some rest, she’ll be right as rain soon.”

“That’s good. That’s real good,” Fin said. “Dae ye have a suspect yet?”

Col shook his head. “No. But there is no shortage of people who want me dead – Scottish and English alike.”

“Aye, that’s true.”

Col flashed him a wry grin. “Yer an arse.”

“Aye. But ye love me anyway.”

“Aye. I suppose I do,” Col said. “Now, what are we gonna dae about this?”

Fin sighed. He’d been pondering the answer to that question since he found out Gillian had fallen ill. But he was no closer to an answer now than he was then.

“I need ye tae look into this for me, Fin,” Col said.

“Of course I will,” Fin replied. “Dae ye even need tae ask?”

Col nodded. “Good. I want ye tae turn over every rock ye need tae turn over. But find the man who did this. The man who tried to murder me wife.

“Every rock. Aye,” he said. “I will nae let ye down.”

“I know ye won’t.”

Col clapped him on the shoulder and gave him a nod. He turned and walked away quickly, no doubt going back to Gillian’s bedside. Fin was left standing alone on the ramparts. His mind and heart churned wildly, and his entire body stirred with anger. That somebody came into the keep he was charged with protecting and nearly killed Gillian – tried to kill Col – filled him with a deep, abiding rage.

Fin vowed silently to himself that he would find the man responsible and would take his life. More than that, Fin knew he would enjoy it. It was merely a matter of finding the person who did this foul deed.

And when he did, they would spend the rest of their short life paying for it.


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  • I loved this story it was a feel good read about the poor being protected and taken care of regardless of the phantoms own safety. The evil deeds done to the village needed to be revenged and the guilty made to pay. The epilogue was just as good to read to see the outcome after the fathers decisions. Great read

  • This was a great love story amid the conflict between the Scots and English. The conflict between the English lady and the Scots farmer took a long time to resolve as the two sides continued to fight. A story well worth reading.

  • I loved Col and Gillian’s story. Unpredictable, while drawing in the reader with a myrad of emotions, to live every moment with them. Thank you for sharing your vision.

  • This story explains a lot about the conflicts between English and Scottish people. Lots of twists and turns made the reader anxious about if and how the story would end. Thanks for a happy ending plus a satisfying epilogue.

  • Engaging story, happily resolved. A great tale of a selfless hero living to help others. Wondering who poisoner is?

  • I loved this book! It showed the conflicts between the English and Scottish people! A selfless man named Col who kept his people fed! And he fell in love with Gillian who he captured to make peace with the Englishman! A total selfless man! This book kept me on the edge of my seat! I loved this book! I would like to know who poisoned Gillian! They made peace with her father also! Great book!

  • I loved this extended epilogue. I too would like to know who poisoned
    Gillian. I’d love to see another book with these characters.

  • Great book. Loved the story and loved the extended epilogue. Can’t wait to read the next book so we find out who poisoned Gilliam

  • I am so glad you don’t use Bookfunnel! I am just one of the many folks who can’t get it to work, so rarely get to read the epilogue. I enjoyed this book and the twists and turns. However, the epilogue does not neatly tie up the loose ends. A second book to carry on the story line?

  • I loved this book but after reading the extended epilogue, I’m left hanging. Is this a series? It wasn’t numbered as #1. When will the continued story be released?

    • I agree the book was fantastic however with no indication other than the epilogue I feel the same way!

  • Hi some community guidelines do not allow to post on Amazon… So I will leave my review here…
    I loved that Gillian was strong, Col too but the first half of the book was a little bit slow for me… I hated William and Henry haha… The Duke in the end was warm.. I was hoping Jane and Fin would end up together… Book was good.

  • Enjoyed the book, liked the characters. Kept me guessing. The extended epilogue kind of leaves us hanging are the answers coming in your next book?

  • It took me awhile to get into this book.The first few chapters,fewwww.But once into the main story,wowwww.Fantastic.Can’t wait next for next to follow.

  • Well, right this minute I wish that I had not read the extended part of the story! But I did love the book.

  • I really liked this book, although l agree the epilogue left me a little bereft. I like a book to end and not have to wait for #2.

  • I truly enjoyed the story. Like so many others want to know more! Great way to keep us coming back : )

  • Really enjoyed this book and could hardly put it down once I started it. Her uncle got what he deserved, but it was never explained why he had so much hatred for the Scots and his cruelty to their people. That her uncle brought her brother into it was sad. The epilogue on this one was great. However, the extended-epilogue seems like a prologue to another book, hopefully, in the not too distant future. it is a true cliff hanger.

  • War between England and Scotland was bloody and cruel. Col, a Scot, abducted Gillian, an English lady, in order to negotiate a peace treaty that would feed his people and stop the attacks coming from her Father. The sparks fly even though they both know nothing good can happen between them. From intrigue to a murder plot to an ambush, the action never stops and neither do the sparks. I loved this book

  • Is there and continuation! I was left hanging also after reading the epilogue! I loved the book, though!

    • There will be a sequel, my dear Margaet, so stay tuned! I’m so happy that you loved it! ?

  • A little sad at the abrupt ending. A real cliff hanger. Please tell me you plan a follow up novel to clear up what happens to Gillian and the rest of these excellent characters. Regards Liz X

  • Great read! Everytime I thought I had the story figured out there was a new twist or turn. I didn’t want to stop reading. Looking forward to Fin or Jane’s story.

  • Dear Kenna,
    I have read all the comments on this book and agree with all of them. I could list all the adjectives about this book and most assuredly agree it was fantastic and like the others I can’t wait for the sequel to this one. Please give us a hint as to when we could expect the next one. We all want to know who done it and who fell in love next and what happened to Gillian’s brother and if he was the poisoner. So many questions we need answers to. Thank you.??

    • The sequel is called “Siren of the Highlands” and it is coming out very soon, my dearest Marie. Stay tuned! ?

  • Very much enjoyed this book! Col and Gillian’s story is a true story of romance and courage. I want to follow-up with, Phantom of the Highlands as well.

  • I really enjoyed the storyline as it explored the difficulty between English and Scottish people. I too want to know what follows the epilogue I’m ready for the rest of the story. Thank you for not using funnel it is not successful most of the time. I appreciated the quick follow up of the epilogue. Again thanks For a wonderful story and wonderful
    Characters. Jane and auntie Sorcha were great. Finn was a brat have to love him.

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed the story my dear Katy! The next book “Siren of the Highlands” is out already. 😉

    • I’m very happy that you enjoyed it my dear Josie. Well, Fin’s story “Siren of the Highlands” is already out! ?

  • Where were the highlander when I was looking for a husband they do not make them like that anymore
    Great 5*+ read really great try it you will love it girls
    This is a series of books
    Fin….Jane etc bring it on
    Thank you

  • I loved this book but just the same I santa to know who tríed to poison Gillian and what happens with Jane and also Fin.

    • I’m so happy that you enjoyed it my dear Guadalupe! <3 Well, their story is already out and you can read it on "Siren of the Highlands" ?.

  • This book was as good as always.The epilogue has really left me hanging so a continuance is most definitely required
    Simply love the Highlander romances

    • Thank you my dear Anne. I am very happy that you liked it 🙂 Stay tuned for more things to come 😉

    • Thank you so much my dear Joan. I am really happy that you liked it that much 🙂 Stay tuned for more 😉

  • Loved the story of Col and Gillian. Can’t wait to read about Fin and apprehension of the culprit.

    • Thank you my dear Donna. I am delighted that you liked the story 🙂 Stay tuned for more 😉

  • This is the second extended epilogue I have read to one of your books. I don’t like how they end. If you could include the book that follows up the epilogue it would help.

    • Hello my dear Denise. I am sorry to hear that. We always try to improve and enhance the experience our readers.

    • Thank you so much for your positive but honest feedback, dear! I’m sorry to hear that the ending disappointed you.?

  • I loved this book, it had everything that I hoped for. I am glad you don’t use book funnel as I can never get it to work, which is so frustrating. Thank u for a great read.

  • Great story… But not the end. Wonder if Hugh is behind the poisoning? So many to choose from. Thank you for “time away” from things.

  • A great read and a different type of story. One that brings in the hate between both sides. Also shows we are all alike. Loved it.

  • Loved Col and Gillian’s story. Being Scottish I had to cheer for Col, Fin and his men. I would have liked to know a bit more of why Gillian’s uncle hated the Scots. Now we need to have Fin’s story and Jane’s, they both deserve a HEA

    • Thank you for your positive and honest feedback, dear Lydia! I’m glad you liked my story! ?

  • Very nice read. Liked the hero and heroine. The epilog left loose ends. What happen to col and Gillian after the poisoning?

    • Thank you so much for your words, my beloved Janet! I’m so glad you liked the story! If you want to find out what happened with Gillian and all the characters from my series “Highlanders of Cherrythorn”, you can always check the next two sequels – “Siren of the Highlands” and “Every Highland Sin”. I’m more than certain you’ll fall in love with their stories as well. ❤️

  • This was a great read. Col and Gillian story had lots of twists and turns but love won their happiness glad her dad finally came around.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear R! I’m so glad you enjoyed the story! ❤️

  • Enjoyed the adventure of this historical era, the ruthless quest for survival and power, and the complicated romance! Splendid plot and characters! Thoroughly enjoyable!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Patricia! I’m so happy you liked the story! ❤️

  • Loved this book the characters are great the more I read the more I felt I knew them . Visualized them. It was like I knew them. I would recommend this book to other readers .

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Elaine! I’m so happy you liked the story and I appreciate your support! ❤️

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, my dear Althea! I’m so happy you liked the novel! ❤️

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