The Bridge to a Better Life (Dare Valley)

The Bridge to a Better Life (Dare Valley)

by Ava Miles

NOOK Book(eBook)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details


Millions of readers have fallen in love with Ava's bestselling books...come join the family.

International Bestselling Author Ava Miles presents a powerful and emotional romance about a man willing to lay everything on the line for a second chance at love. Selected by USA Today as a "Must Read."

Sports hero and newly retired NFL quarterback Blake Cunningham wants a second chance at love...with his ex-wife. He's bought the house next door to her in Dare Valley and has built a bridge connecting their properties. It's his bridge to a better life, the one he lost when Natalie Hale left him after a family tragedy destroyed their marriage.

Natalie has just started a new job as the head caterer at the small town's historic hotel. When she discovers Blake has become the boy next door--literally--she secretly has to admit he still fires up all her engines and tugs at her heart. But the ghosts from their past seem too monumental to conquer.

Blake vows to help Natalie remember the power of their love and friendship. With the intense sparks of attraction flying between them, Natalie begins to put her heart out there again. How can she resist Blake when he makes her laugh and swoon by even acting out her secret Outlander fantasy? As they both give love a second chance, they are forced to face their most disturbing memories, not only the tragedy that ripped their lives apart, but also the secret parts they were afraid to share...

"Ava's story is witty and charming." Barbara Freethy #1 New York Times Bestselling Author on Nora Roberts Land

"On par with Nicholas Sparks' love stories." Jennifer's Corner Blog

"The constant love, and the tasteful sexual interludes, bring a sensual, dynamic tension to this appealing story." Publisher's Weekly

"I am adding Ava Miles to my list of always reads like Susan Mallery, Jill Shalvis, Kristen Ashley, and NORA ROBERTS." Marjay's Reading Blog

"Miles' story savvy, sense of humor, respect for her readers and empathy for her characters shine through..." USA Today on The Gate to Everything

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151531306
Publisher: Ava Miles, Inc
Publication date: 05/12/2015
Series: Dare Valley Series , #8
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 46,858
File size: 845 KB

About the Author

International Bestselling Author Ava Miles joined the ranks of beloved storytellers with her powerful messages of healing, mystery, and magic. Millions of readers have discovered her fiction and nonfiction books, praised by USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly. Women’s World Magazine has selected a few of her novels for their book clubs while Southwest Airlines featured the #1 National Bestseller NORA ROBERTS LAND (the name used with Ms. Roberts’ blessing) in its in-flight entertainment. Ava’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year and Top Editor’s Picks and are translated into multiple languages.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Bridge to a Better Life 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, very inspiring, I do believe Ava is such a gifted writer. Thank you Ava!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such enjoyable reading. I felt like I knew her wonderful cgar Such wonderful friends to meet and care for. Never enjoyed reading more. Please keep writing about this family so we can keep up with all their news A wonderful writer!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By far the most emotionally charged book of the series. Very little subplots which worked very well and suited the story. Might just be the best in an amazing series.
KimberlyDawn55 More than 1 year ago
Once again, Ava Miles writes a book you just cannot put down. In fact, Ava's books just get better and better! This book is full of emotion. It's one of those that makes you feel like you are right there with them. Ava will always be an automatic read for me. Looking forward to the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So moving but held interest
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good summer read.
DaisyDee More than 1 year ago
Natalie Hale VS. NFL Quarterback Author Ava Miles has done it again with her latest book “Bridge to a Better Life” is a book you don’t want to miss!  The use of words to emphasize the depth of emotion or feeling of the character allows one to experience the characters emotion on a whole new level.  The Hale family dynamics with the combo of Professional Football characters makes this book the ultimate read for those who love to follow NFL and read Romance books.  Natalie and Blake journey will have you laughing, crying, hoping, and wishing for the situation to change for the better.  Want to know who their journey develops then you are going to want to read this book.  I couldn’t put the book down.  This book is one of my favorite of the whole series. "I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own."
Mike101 More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Ava Miles. I couldn't wait to read the latest book about the Hale clan. This one was so different, a pro football player gives up his love for the game to reconcile with the wife who divorced him. Blake Cunningham relocates to Dare Valley to live next door to his ex-wife Natalie, because he believes with his whole heart that she still loves him. Natalie, after two years, is still reeling from the death of her closest friend and sister in law. This is a love story, but it shows how emotions play a part in our decision making process when we think we are doing the right thing. I loved this book and if you haven't read Ava Miles, pick up a copy of one of her books. You'll be glad you did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own." The Bridge to a Better Life is a poignant story about a troubled relationship, Special Olympic events and the good work done by some professional athletes. A glimpse into the innermost thoughts of the main characters is written so well that the people could be your friends or family. Ava Miles has outdone her previous books with this icon of the Dare Valley series. I am eagerly awaiting her next book, and consider the entire series a "must read."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an avid reader, it takes a lot to keep me interested because I enjoy vivid characters who leap off the page and make you laugh and cry along with them. The Bridge to a Better Life isn't just a romance story, it's about how two people manage to overcome grief and loss, adjust and adapt to the changes they need to make in their lives, and make their own relationship with self and each other stronger.   This is my favorite Dare Valley novel so far; I discovered Ava Miles' series sometime last year through the first book in the series, Nora Roberts Land. The title caught me, and Ava Miles' gift of writing kept me reading. Before I knew it, I had to read more, and so I've happily worked my way through the series.  If you like stories with depth of feeling, ongoing and engaging character development, then Ava Miles is an author for you. What was unique to this novel is that Natalie almost lost herself altogether, which almost led to her losing everything she cared about, including Blake. Fortunately, Blake knew what was in his heart, and he took good steps to strike a balance between pursuing the love of his life, Natalie, and his other passion, football.  Speaking of which, I am not a big fan of football--which isn't a popular view in the South--but I found myself absorbed in the obvious love Blake and his Once Upon a Dare Club buddies and fellow professional football players have for the sport and the comradery that it brings. As a result, I can’t wait to read more about them, just like I’ve started reading the Dare River series. So, besides reading something truly wonderful with characters who leap off of the page, with Ava Miles’ novels, we learn something about ourselves along the way.   While I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review, I was not compensated for this review and all conclusions are my own. I love great fiction as a former lit analysis grad student and instructor, and it really takes a lot to pull me in, keep me going, and impress me. Reading has always been a passion of mine in order to take a "vacation of the mind," particularly as I work through my own challenges each day, and it's only the memorable reads that I'll truly recommend. This one will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you want to work through difficulties in your own life with the knowledge that anything is indeed possible, especially when it seems quite the opposite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED THIS BOOK I have read almost all the books from Nora Roberts. When one day I found Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles, I was excited to read it as well. I have not missed a book written by Ava Miles since. I was hooked! This was the beginning to a new love. My love for the Hale family, Dare Valley and Dare River and their characters. Ava Miles does it again with "A Bridge to a Better Life". She captivates the readers with her realistic, yet romantic stories. This time her story is about the gorgeous Blake and his love for his Natalie. This is a wonderful and romantic story about love and loss and grief, all together. I have to admit, there were times I did not liked Natalie much but then she turned her life around and I was able to feel her struggles and feel sympathy for her. How could she not loved our Blake? The story involved some of the characters from Ava's prior books. This makes it even more exciting. I'm hoping we will see new stories from Blake's friends in the near future, specially Sam. I highly recommend this book. It has a little of everything, funny, sad, romantic, a little intense at times, but great. I'm now reading "Fireflies and Magnolias" from her Dare River series, another wonderful book. I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review. All conclusions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LoisReads More than 1 year ago
I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own. As I was reading the intensely emotional new book, A Bridge to a Better Life by Ava Miles, I was trying to decide which movies I thought of that evoked similar feelings. I came up with three – Beaches, Steel Magnolias and Ghost. The stories lines from the movies are not the same as Ava’s book but the movies all provide the same sense of laughter through tears. I consider several other books by Ava to be tearjerkers, but A Bridge to A Better Life is the most heart wrenching. It is the wonderfully romantic story about Blake and Natalie. A couple that is no longer a couple as Natalie has pushed Blake away in an attempt to protect her heart after she suffers a tremendous loss. Blake however is determined to have Natalie back in his life as he has never stopped loving her. Reading the story you feel the deep, heartfelt emotions that have separated Blake and Natalie in the past and that they are trying to untangle so that can be together as a couple once more. But the story is not depressing as there is just as much joy and laughter. Some insider hints so as not to spoil anyone’s fun at discovering exactly what happens: an underwear tree, an 80’s TV Icon, and a large reptile. And as with Ava’s other books, previous characters are interlaced laced throughout the story including many members of the Hale family. There are also plenty of new characters that are introduced that hint at more books to come in the future, Blake’s football buddies. So if you are looking for a lovely book to read that will also give good cry, please enjoy A Bridge to a Better Life. It was a book that I could not put down until I found out if Blake and Natalie found their Bridge to a Better Life
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
I recommend you have tissues handy while reading.  Blake and Natalie's story is heartbreaking and emotional, dealing with the loss and grief of family members as well as their marriage. Blake is such a sweetheart that I had trouble understanding how Natalie could have left him. He has no problems expressing his feelings and the lengths he goes to in order to win back Natalie are amazing. Natalie was bit harder to like, but she worked through her issues with Blake's help. Blake's football buddies are great and bring humor to the story. I'm hoping that at least one of them (Sam), gets a story of his own. Beautiful romance about the power of love and second chances. I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
CindySue3 More than 1 year ago
After being introduced to Nora Roberts and JD Robb almost exactly a year ago, I have devoured more NR and JDR books than probably healthy. So when a friend mentioned starting Nora Roberts Land by Ava Miles, I jumped at reading it as well. That was the start of my love for the characters that Ava Miles has created in Dare Valley and Dare River.  The latest Dare Valley book, The Bridge to a Better Life, brings heartache and hope with Blake and Natalie. After losing her sister-in-law and best friend, Kim, to cancer, Natalie shut down. She withdrew from her family as well as her NFL quarterback husband, Blake. A painful divorce and move from Denver back to her home town of Dare Valley separated them for two years. Blake, still absolutely in love with Natalie, decided to leave the NFL and move to Dare Valley to win her back and help her heal. Blake, also grieving the loss of his brother, has his own healing to do as well.  Blake is a man not afraid to show emotion and it’s clear on every page how much he loves and misses Natalie as his wife. I really appreciated how hard he worked to show Natalie his support and love, everything from retiring from a career he loved to reading (and reenacting) her favorite novel. While they have a lot to work though, both individually and as a couple, they come through it together despite their years apart. As the title says, together they build a bridge to a better life.Blake and Natalie’s dog, Touchdown and Blake’s group of football buddies help bring humor and lighter moments to a story dealing with grief and learning to lean on each other.  I really enjoyed the ancillary characters and the football camp antics and I’m excited to read about some of them in upcoming books. Ava Miles has quickly joined the ranks of my must-buy author list.I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
Mkewing01 More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book!! I have loved each of Ava's books, but this was my favorite yet. The characters are well developed and I get sucked right in to Dare Valley and the lives of those that live there. The Bridge to a Better Life called on many of my emotions...I laughed, cried a little bit and at times wanted to scream in frustration at the actions of a certain female character! I can't ask for more from a book than evoking true emotions from me and being completely, totally enjoyable. I was sad to see it end and can't wait to return to Dare Valley with Ava's next book! I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
Dzneychica More than 1 year ago
Natalie Hale returned to her hometown of Dare Valley to start a new career as Head Caterer at The Grand Mountain Hotel...and to escape her gorgeous, persistent ex-husband. Blake Cunningham has retired from the NFL to pursue a second chance with Natalie. He follows her to Dare Valley, where he buys the house next door...and has a bridge constructed to join their two properties. Unable to deny the sparks between them, Natalie starts to open her heart back up to him...who can resist a tribute to her favorite book, "Outlander"?! But what drove them apart is still holding her back: her lock on her grief and emotions from a family tragedy. The Bridge to a Better Life is filled with Ava's signature hilarious scenes, as well as some very heart-rendering ones. For anyone who has experienced family tragedy, Natalie's experience will speak to them. This is a beautiful tribute to the families that survive a loved one's loss and felt lost themselves. As someone who has experienced this same loss far too many times, I was able to really identify with Natalie. I cannot recommend this book enough. Well done, Ms Miles...and thank you. Please note: I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
This book had me captivated from start to finish. A beautifully written story full of emotion and angst, with an amazing cast of characters. This talented author has brought us a powerful storyline that is jam packed with joy, sadness, passion and grief. A heart wrenching but touching story about second chances at the greatest gift of all; love! A must read. I received an e-book copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
As I continue to read each and every Ava Miles book that comes out, I discover a richness that just doesn't connect with the food and wine references but a passion for words written that are richly thought of and of wanting more and more. These two characters are flawed like everyone is, but they discover a newness about each other. When you discover what the title of the story means it truly hits you square in the heart. **I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully well written. I fell in love with the characters and felt part of their world. I have read everything Ms. Miles has written and am so glad to see her back to what she did in her first three books and that is give her characters and story line some depth. I would recommend this book to all.
PCoone More than 1 year ago
Well, first of all this is the first book review I have ever written.  I am an avid reader and I discovered Ava Miles several months ago....I devoured all the books in her two series (Dare Valley and the Dare River).  I anxiously awaited the release of this book.  Her books are so well written, the characters are like real people with real-life issues and drama.  I especially love how the characters are sassy. Natalie has a lot of pain from the grief of losing her best friend and sister-in-law -- pain that she has not dealt with.  The failure to deal with  that pain, caused her to push away the love of her life, Blake.  Blake is a man with a broken heart, willing to do anything to regain the love of Natalie.  I cried when I read the part about Blake building the bridge between the two homes as a symbol of his willingness and determination to win back Natalie.   Some reviews think that Natalie is not likable.  I disagree.  Natalie is hurting and doesn't know how to deal with the hurt.  Her life is very sad.  I love Blake's determination and the methods he takes to build a new life -- a life that he can share with Natalie -- the sensitivity he displays for Natalie's pain. I highly recommend this book.  It is a bit intense in places, funny in others, sad in a few, but in the end the hero gets the girl and that always makes for a good read in my opinion. I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review.  I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.  
ValerieL More than 1 year ago
Wow. You know a book is powerful when it brings up enough of your own similar issues that you have to stop reading for a day or two until you can get the reaction under control.  This book did that for me. Natalie reminds me so much of myself. Her struggles with grief and loss have been my struggles with grief and loss. It was so inspiring to watch her grow and change throughout the book; to come to terms with at least some of her grief and to allow herself to open herself up to Blake's love once again. Dear Blake. How can you NOT love a hero who gives up as much as he gave up in order to win Natalie back again? How can you NOT love a man who is that patient and loving and tender. That's not to say that Blake doesn't have his own issues or is perfect. He's not, but wow, what a wonderful testament to the power of love.  Blake does his own growing and changing throughout the book too, tho' his is not quite as dramatic as Natalie's.  As with all of Ms. Miles's "Dare Valley" novels, the surrounding community and the families and friends of the hero and heroine provide the much needed support that anyone needs when dealing with grief and loss.  The characters are well-rounded, the story line believable and the writing is crisp, clean and well done.  I highly recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a contemporary romance with a great set of characters.  I received an ARC edition from Ava Miles in exchange for my honest review.