A high-stakes tale of boy-meets-girl, etc.
Jack Gage was a handsome, down-on-his-luck kid, born in prison to a mother taking the fall for his deviant, absent father. When Jack was 12, his mother died, leaving him to live with an aunt and uncle in a small seaside town. Shortly after, he meets her, the prettiest girl in school and the one who would steal his heart forever: Patti Cain. When they were both 18, Patti and Jack shared a single kiss, followed by a proclamation: While he’ll always be the one she wants, stability and money come before love. The two went off to separate colleges. Jack became a great golf player and Patti, a millionaire’s wife. Now, 20 years later, Jack is professional gambler, wielding poker and golf as his weapons of choice and nursing a fading hope of ever seeing Patti again. Then, Jack’s old high school nemesis, Van Taylor, appears and makes Jack an offer: help Van hijack business from one of the richest men in Florida—Patti Cain’s husband. Though the odds are stacked against him, Jack will risk it all to see his true love again. Ronco (Elevator Symphonies, 1999) endeavors to combine the finesse of golf and high-stakes intrigue of poker into a story of inaccessible love. While readers may be able to forgive the proliferation of exclamation marks, they might become a bit frustrated with the considerable amount of explication, as well as the play-by-play of every golf hole and poker hand, which renders the plot a bit static. Despite this, Ronco provides a twisty, unpredictable plot, with Jack Gage proving to be a fairly reliable narrator exhibiting devious but understandable intentions.
While the prose needs further editing, Ronco puts a novel spin on lost love.