Let it be known that I’m not one who will usually pick up a self-published novel, let alone buy it. (Yes, I’m aware that I’m being judgmental). However, when I saw this particular book being sold in a local store, I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis and just went for it. And I am so glad that I did. Kimberly Fish’s The Big Inch (Misfits and Millionaires, #1) was such an engrossing story!
Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger.
Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.
- Feminism! – Lane Mercer is such a badass. She’s been entrenched in the war in Europe, helping the underground in France, which was not usual for women in the 1940’s. Then she has to come home and be sent to small town East Texas, where it’s dealing with nothing but tradition and constant worry about what others think of you. I loved how she stuck to her guns and was more focused on doing her job than what was being said about her. She is constantly making comments about equality for women and pushing back on what society expects of her. I also liked the push and pull between her and another headstrong female character, Tesco.
- Forbidden Romance *Le sighhh* – The romance in this book was just soooo swoon-worthy. You will fall in love with devilishly handsome and charismatic love interest, right along with Lane. If you like the roguish and charming types (think Flynn Rider), then you’ll definitely enjoy this one. Also, for all you fans of the love-to-hate trope, you’ll be happy to know that that’s exactly what the romance in this story is! And yes, it’s my favorite trope too!!!
- Obscure History, FTW – I grew up in East Texas and had no idea that a pipeline was built to transport the oil from our deep and plentiful wells, all the way to the East Coast and played such a huge factor in WWII. You can tell that Fish did an amazing job researching The Big Inch that definitely helps fully engage you in the story, transporting you to 1942. Honestly, now I just want to read all the historical fiction…
- Side Plots = Bit Messy – I think there were a few side plots that get started throughout the book but don’t really go anywhere nor are they resolved. I was kind of confused by this while I was reading, but then I didn’t realize at the time that there are more books planned for the series. Silly me thought this was just a standalone novel. So I’ve got my fingers crossed that those side plots are explored more in the sequels… You just can’t leave me hanging like that!
Overall, this was truly an entertaining story. I loved that it focused on how women contributed so much to the war effort. I also really appreciated that feminism was interwoven with the overall plot. It was also refreshing how the plot was focused around a lesser known aspect of WWII. If you interested in historical fiction with independent heroines and indie novels, I really do recommend this book. I can’t wait to see what will happen next in the series!
Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars
Do you enjoy historical fiction? What are some of your favorite?What are your thoughts on indie or self-published novels? Are there any that you would recommend?