Saturday, July 17, 2021

BLOG TOUR - The Marine's Mission

The Black Sheep's Salvation
Author:  Deb Kastner
Series:  Rocky Mountain Family #1
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   368
Date of Publication:   June 16, 2020
My Rating:   5 Stars


Discover this heartfelt romance about faith, love and unpredictable fate from USA Today bestselling author Deb Kastner.

His imperfect past will become his son's best hope... Can a single dad earn a second chance with the woman whose heart he broke?

A fresh start for Logan Maddox and his son, who has autism, means returning home and getting little Judah into the educational program that best serves his needs. The problem? Molly Winslow--the woman he left behind years ago--is the teacher. As Judah pulls them together, can Logan convince Molly that this black sheep deserves one more chance at love?

From Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness, and hope.

Logan Maddox has moved back to his hometown with his son Judah, who has autism. Logan will have his parents' help with Judah. More importantly, he will be able to enroll Judah in an educational program that will help him. However, running into Judah's new teacher, Molly Winslow, his high school sweetheart from years ago. 

Molly is more than a teacher, however. She and her siblings train service dogs. The siblings always have a dog with them when about so that the dogs acclimate to a number of conditions. This is how her great dane Rufus meets Judah and Logan. Rufus and Judah click right way and Molly quickly realizes that Rufus is absolutely perfect for Judah. 

What an endearing story. I loved having a child with autism as part of the story and how a service dog can be so instrumental when it comes to assisting such a child. Along with that, this second chance romance was utterly heartwarming. An excellent start to a delightful series.

Opening Her Heart
Author:  Deb Kastner
Series:  Rocky Mountain Family #2
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   165
Date of Publication:   January 1, 2021
My Rating:   5 Stars


Fighting for her dream could have unexpected consequences…

She can handle the Texan threatening her plans…

But can she resist his adorable little girl?

The Colorado mountain cabin is perfect for Avery Winslow’s dream—a B and B for service dogs and their families. Except fast-talkin’ Texan Jake Cutter wants the land for a luxury resort. Now Avery’s fighting for her dream and her town. But Jake and his sweet little girl have already charmed Avery’s favorite service dog…and her guarded heart might just be next.

From Harlequin Love Inspired: Uplifting stories of faith, forgiveness and hope.


Avery Winslow has been handling the books for her family's service dog business, but she wants to go a step further. Avery wants to open a bed-and-breakfast for people or families who will be getting a service dog so that she can provide them a place to stay without worrying about food and expenses while training with the dogs. However, when Jake Cutter breezes into town with a completely different vision for the land where Avery wants to set up her bed-and-breakfast, there are immediate clashes.

Avery finds herself torn when it comes to Jake. However, while out together to discuss their options one of Avery's service dog begins to act strangely. Jake's daughter Lottie is about to have a seizure and the dog recognizes it before Jake or Avery. Business aside, Avery wants to help Jake's beautiful toddler. Can she train the service dog and gift it to Jake so that he can be alerted when a seizure is about to happen?

How could you not like this story? Whether it is the dog, the little girl, the budding romance, and Jake's caring mother, this story was a true delight. I loved the conflicts in this story. Not only is the business a problem between Avery and Jake, it is Avery's past that brings great concern. She had a really rough time when she ended her previous relationship, but not before she fell in love with her ex's child. Avery worries that falling for Jake's daughter might have heartbeak written all over it.

What a wonderful story that moves this delightful series right along. This inspirational romance is lovely and has wonderful lessons while delivering a warm story and a happy ending.

**Featured Blog Tour Post** 

  The Marine's Mission
Author:  Deb Kastner
Series:  Rocky Mountain Family #3
Publisher:  Love Inspired
Genre:   Inspirational Romance
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:   224
Date of Publication:   June 29, 2021
Rating:   4 Stars


This marine doesn't want anyone's help

…until an unlikely match changes his life.

Wounded ex-marine Aaron Jamison always follows orders—and the assignment to take on a service dog is just that. Still, trainer Ruby Winslow is definitely barking up the wrong tree when she insists a beauty-parlor poodle is his perfect match. But Ruby and her clever canine are determined to melt the heart of this battle-hardened marine. And they'll teach him an unforgettable new trick—love.

Buy The Marine’s Mission by Deb Kastner


Aaron Jamison is a wounded former Marine who has been ordered to to get a service dog. Aaron is used to following orders but when he is faced with a poodle - "which he immediately calls a frou frou" dog - he balks right away. The dog's trainer, Ruby Winslow, however, has studied Aaron's file and she knows exactly what dog would be perfect for him. Ruby and her siblings offer a non-profit business in the service dog business and the books are not looking so good. Should the service dog work for Aaron, they will be awarded a conract with the military and this would be the very thing to keep her business afloat. 

The family business is really special. The family takes on rescue dogs and train them as service dogs for a multitude of situations - autism, seizures, and in Aaron's case, strong support for the wounded former Marine. Aaron has a brain injury as well as severe leg pain as a result of an IED explosion. His balance is off and his service dog will go a long way when it comes to helping Aaron get around, as well as the emotional support the dog will provide. All the while, Aaron is contemplating his future as he had planned on a very long career in the Marines. 
Will the dog Oscar that Ruby strongly recommends work with Aaron? Will Aaron stop resisting and let Ruby's program prove true? What about the instant attraction they both share? What could Aaron have to offer for Ruby's future now that his military career is over? Ruby has baggage of her own and it was a true pleasure to see both Aaron and Ruby find love and joy as this story progressed.

I am so loving this series! This is the third book in the Rocky Mountain Family series and I love how service dogs have helped the characters in each story. There are six Winslow siblings so I cannot wait to read the next three stories in the series.

Many thanks to Love Inspired and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Please enjoy the following excerpt:
The Marine’s Mission - Excerpt

Deb Kastner

“You should probably know I don’t want to be here.”

Those were the first words United States Marine Corps Sergeant Aaron Jamison blurted out to the ginger-haired woman who’d just approached him, welcoming him with a pretty smile and an enormous, dorky-looking black standard poodle standing at her side, both with curious gazes. As far as Aaron was concerned, her choice in froufrou dogs obviously said a lot about her, kind of like the movie stars who carried tiny pups around in their purses to show off to everyone.

This was the breed of dog she’d chosen to own, and she was supposed to be an expert? She was going to be his service-dog trainer, put him through the program, and his first impression was she was probably as fluff brained as her dog, not someone he wanted to be in charge of him. He’d been told to meet up with Ruby Winslow, his new contact at A New Leash on Love, and since she was standing out here in front of the building, waiting for him, he assumed this was she.

In general, he didn’t say much, and yet this time the moment he had stepped out of his truck, he’d put his foot in his mouth.

Two feet, even.

He’d blabbed exactly what had crossed his mind, and it wasn’t the greatest beginning for either of them.

Neither did it bode well for him when she immediately stopped in her tracks fast enough to make the dust cloud around her cowboy boots, sparks snapping in her light blue eyes as her gaze narrowed on him and her smile wavered. The black poodle stopped with her and stared up at her, curious as to her sudden halt.

He’d rented a truck from Denver International Airport to drive into the Rocky Mountains up to the small town of Whispering Pines, where Winslow’s Woodlands and the military service-dog program were located. The whole time he’d been thinking about how much he was going to hate the next four weeks and how he would rather be anywhere but here.

Every second was bound to be painful, both physically and mentally.

But in hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have said as much aloud, at least not until after they’d been formally introduced.

Ruby looked as if she were about to reply to his rude comment, but then she pinched her lips together, took a deep breath and apparently thought better of it.

“I just thought you should know,” Aaron continued, attempting to wind his way out of the knot he’d just firmly tied around his neck, “that although I have been given orders to show up and complete this program, I’m not exactly a willing participant here.”

He was a straight shooter, both literally as a sniper in Afghanistan and figuratively in the way he lived his life in and out of the marine corps. He didn’t say much, but when he did, he meant whatever words crossed his lips.

That said, he didn’t want to start a war with Ruby this early on in his new mission, even if what he spoke was the truth. He wasn’t here because he wanted to be. He didn’t even really want a service dog, although he wasn’t completely opposed to a tough-looking canine companion—a German shepherd, maybe, or a Belgian Malinois.

Not that what he wanted had ever once played into the situation. It didn’t. Not from the beginning. But that didn’t stop him from feeling angry and frustrated just thinking about having to endure the Veterans Administration’s direct orders. Of all the veterans they could have selected for the program…


~Love Courageously~

Award-winning author Deb Kastner writes stories of faith, family and community in a small-town western setting. Deb’s books contain sigh-worthy heroes and strong heroines facing obstacles that draw them closer to each other and the Lord. She lives in Colorado with her husband. She is blessed with three grown daughters and two grandchildren. She enjoys spoiling her grandkids, movies, music, reading, musical theater and exploring Colorado on horseback.

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  1. The books are not really to my taste but they looks like ones lots will enjoy, like yourself. Great reviews.

  2. I will remember this author to recommend to others!

  3. They all sound wonderful, especially 'Opening Her Heart'

  4. Inspirational romance and dog stories? You've got me on these ones! Great review!!