Set against a backdrop of casinos in Reno, Nevada during a sweltering August heatwave, This Stage of Life depicts the seduction of Jake Dimond by Elen Austin.
Jake was aware the contradiction of a life lived midst the neon lights of a gambler’s paradise and his desire for absolute anonymity. Yet he earned his living between five p.m. and midnight pitted against the other professional gamblers, card room regulars, and Reno’s casino tourists.
She appeared out of nowhere and gobsmacked him from the life he had so carefully orchestrated. Elen Austin had shown up in the Legacy card room some three weeks prior. She played cards as often as Jake, once or twice each day. She was not there to observe, she played and played well.
It was by accident their paths crossed again after that initial meeting. She called out to him across the intersection of Virginia and Second Streets. And there it began.
At least one time in the life of every man. At least one time in the life of every woman. Do you remember the totality of passion? Do you remember the ache embedded in the core of your being that could only be satiated by the one, and even then it was never enough. You could never get enough. God. To know that feeling again …
Jake Dimond is sixty six. Elen Austin is fifty two. Engulfed in a passionate and uncertain affair, Jake, ever the gambler, believes the odds must surely be in his favor by now. At this stage of life, the stakes are high.