GAINING INTEREST by Dara Girard
This is my first experience reading a BET romance, and I was not disappointed. GAINING INTEREST by Dara Girard was about two oddly matched people who find themselves attracted to each other. Adriana Travers owns a lingerie shop and designs lingerie as well. She also tends to overspend to the point where she's headed towards bankruptcy. The mall is her friend. Eric Henson is the brother of her best friend's husband, and he also happens to be a financial wizard. Cassie, the best friend asks Eric to help out Adriana's finances as a favor, not intending to set them up romantically.
Their first appointment is a disaster, and Adriana is livid as Eric tells her how to budget her money. She thinks Eric is dull and boring and feels that being tight with money is not a good attribute. He's also very reserved and conservative, and is nothing like Adriana, who is wild and loves to dress to impress. When Eric tells her that it's his birthday, she feels that a night out with her friends would be a nice treat, so the two of them attend a play and later go dancing at a club with a bunch of her friends. Adriana sees a different side of Eric.
While they are at the bar, she sets eyes on Lynda, Eric's future fiancée, who is dancing very close to another man. Adriana feels a need to protect Eric when she spies Lynda and Barry together, but it's too late: Eric spots the couple and a fight breaks out.
Soon, a relationship between them ensues, but neither of them sees it as being permanent. At the same time, Adriana's seven-year-old daughter Nina moves in with Adriana, since Laurence, Adriana's ex-husband, is marrying a woman who does not like kids. Adriana is also not the maternal type, and has a hard time dealing with Nina's moving in, but Eric turns into the perfect man by helping Nina transition from living with Dad to living with Mom. Eric and Nina become close, to Adriana's disappointment and a part of her is jealous that they can be so close, yet she and Nina barely speak to one another.
Best friend Cassie is rooting for their relationship to become serious, while Eric's brother Drake doesn't think it'll last. To add to that, Eric's not-so-clean past may possibly threaten to tear the two apart. Is there any hope for Adriana and Eric? Do opposites really attract?
I loved GAINING INTEREST; however, the final few chapters relating to Eric's con-artist past did not sit right with me. Because not much of this part of his past was divulged until the very end, it didn't read as being very real, and felt like a last minute effort to tie up loose ends. Other than this awkward ending, I do recommend GAINING INTEREST. I think Dara Girard has a lot of talent as a writer, and I would definitely read more by her.