I really wanted to love Loved by a Roughneck, but found that there are just too many missed opportunities in the short story to make it truly enjoyable. I loved the premise of the story at first, but as I kept reading my interest level dropped from very eager to slightly annoyed.
Maci is an interesting mess of an insecure young woman. I thought Ms. Colt’s characterization of Maci was actually the strongest of all the characters. Like most children of parents who suffer from alcoholism, she is both a mature and responsible adult and a mistrustful child. Maci is not a character that everyone will like at first (this includes me) but, as the story unfolds, the reader comes to better understand her and why she makes the decisions that she makes. Having said that, using her insecurities alone to drive the story is cliché and lopsided. I will say that Ty and Maci (when he is not battling her insecurities) are delightful and charming; their sex scenes are fun and engaging and their other private moments are sweet. But, the bonding moments are few and far between as the author spends most of the short story creating angst instead allowing the characters to grow together by overcoming their personal issues in an organic way.
Ty is introduced as a widower who lost his wife prior to the story. Unfortunately, his story is left unexplored in favor of him constantly trying to convince Maci that he wants to be with her. The reader is given glimpses into his past, but not enough to fully understand him as an individual, and why he would fall in love with Maci. I find it very hard to believe that someone who has recently lost his wife and is essentially a drifter does not have issues worth exploring. I also found it difficult to believe that Ty would put up with someone like Maci for very long. It would have been nice for him to get frustrated and push back at Maci a little so as to get her to either commit to a relationship and work on their issues together or break-up and go on their separate paths.
Loved by a Roughneck has a lot of promise, but ultimately falls short due to predictability and choppy pacing. Despite those flaws, I will try to read Ms. Colt’s other titles to see if I can connect with them. I will hesitantly recommend the short story if you are looking for something quick and mindless to read.
After losing his wife, Ty takes to the road, working oil rigs and avoiding close connections. After six months in the tiny Texas town, Maci reminds him what it feels like to want more from a woman. Convinced she’s his second chance at love, he’ll show her what it means to be loved by a roughneck.
Maci Lou Long has witnessed firsthand the damage a man can cause a weak-willed woman. As the daughter of the town drunk, her soul is far older than her twenty-one years. Determined to keep her heart safe, the only thing she seeks from a man is satisfaction. Then a drifter blows in from the north, and slips under her defenses. Caught up in a tide of emotions she can’t stop, Maci can only accept Ty's offer and wait for the fallout.