Part Fifteen of Eighteen – Oliver Stanton from The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis

Belles Gentlemen

Ellis-The Ultimate Escape -Oliver StantonOliver Stanton grimaced. “I am. Willing to confess my love for Lady Julia Tate, that is. At this moment, I could shout it from the mountaintops, and would do so, if I thought she could hear it from whatever time period she has got off to.” He glanced at the curious faces of the six men around the table. “According to her mother, that is. Insists I go after her, if I love her. If.” he groaned. “I’ve never loved anyone else.”

Chadbourn raised an eyebrow. “And yet you wed another lady—a vicar’s daughter, I believe—about three years ago, was it not? I could swear I attended the wedding.”

Huntingdon kicked Chadbourn under the table. “Where’re your manners, man?” he whispered. “The lady died in a carriage accident last year.”

“Forgive me,” Chadbourn said, “I had forgotten that. My condolences.”

Stanton bowed his head. “No offence taken, Chadbourn. I’m the one to blame for this imbroglio. If only I had not allowed my pride to prevent me from confessing my feelings for Julia… we should have been married for years by now.” He rolled his eyes. “Or at least in the same time period,” he added.

Jasper leaned forward. “Now that is quite an interesting conundrum. Travel through time, I mean. How is it done, I wonder? What would happen if you went back in time and confronted yourself? Your past self.”

Redepenning elbowed him. “Not helpful, Arlington.” He turned back to Stanton. “I, for one, don’t wish to know. If Miss Pritchard got wind of it, I’d never pin her down. Chasing after her all over England is much easier, in comparison.”

Beacham narrowed his eyes. “You’re a fool if you don’t go after her,” he snapped. “You lost her once when you married another without bothering to find out her feelings about you, and you’ll lose her again if you sit here moaning over the past.”

“He’s right,” Herrendon chipped in. “You can’t do anything about the past—” his gaze clouded—“er, I don’t think you can anyway. Be a bit risky if you could. Now what was I saying?”

“You’ve had enough, Herrendon,” advised Wyndale with ducal authority. “What he means is,” the duke said with a hard look at Stanton, “Be off! Vamoose! Before Lady Julia meets some bloke in the future who isn’t afraid to say pretty things to her.”

“Go, man! Because if the gel decides to stay in the future, her mother will make your life miserable,” warned Chadbourn. “That woman is a force beyond nature.”

“And her daughter is like her,” said Oliver Stanton, rising from his seat. “I’m off. Gentlemen, I thank you for your candor. If my mission is successful, I will ensure that you are all invited to my wedding. Again.”

He rushed out of the room in search of his hat and coat.

“That’s one down,” Chadbourn said. “Who’s next?”



Meet Oliver Stanton in The Ultimate Escape:

On the eve of her wedding, Julia realizes she cannot marry her fiancé after all, no matter that it’s been her dream for eight long years. Too distraught to face him, she follows in her mother’s footsteps and flees to the future for a brief reprieve.

Oliver knows he has bungled things badly, but he is determined to win the woman he loves, even if he must travel through time to do it.

Box Set 3D SquareAvailable only in the Bluestocking Belles’ holiday box set—
Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem

In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.

***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***

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