We are more than halfway through Romance is a Bonus Book and there’s still so much we don’t know. Things definitely escalated in this week’s episodes – especially after last week’s cliffhanger! So let’s get this recap party started. Remember – spoilers are ahead, as always!

Episode 11

Right. Let’s get this party started. We ended last week with an unexpected kiss, so how is Dan-i going to deal with this?

The episode begins with Dan-i pacing outside the toilet cubicles in her office’s bathroom. She gives herself a talking to in the mirror – that she’s 37 and that the kiss was merely a headbutt between lips. LOL. Oops, Ms Seo overheard her little pep talk – although not the identity of the kisser. She’s thrilled Dan-i got kissed. She’s envious that it was a younger guy that kissed her. Then Ms Go leaves her cubicle. I love these three in scenes together. Then one of the editorial staff members also leaves the bathroom. She’s heard everything. She rushes out and tells Park Hoon about it. Eun-ho overhears her say how trendy it is for women to date younger men and he’s chuffed.

Ms Go talks to the CEO about the contract for Giorgio Bertossi that’s taking a long time to negotiate. The author will be Korea and she’s telling him but he’s distracted by a loose button on her shirt sleeve. He points it out. She asks if he was listening and he said yes. I have to admit even I had to rewind to figure out what she was talking about. I don’t get the point of this, but I’m sure we will find out at some point.

Then Ji-yul comes in and tells the CEO that she’s written an apology letter to the author of The Universe of Yours – aka the book she ruined. The apology letter states that she doesn’t like books and the pay is low (publishing employees, don’t we know it?) and she thought it would boring and Ms Song doesn’t want to train her. But then she admits to making a mistake with the bio and she feels bad and will work hard. Umm not sure this is what should be going into this apology. She then announces to the team that she’ll focus on her work now.

Hae-rin and Eun-ho have a chat about Ji-yul but she ends up bringing up her feelings for him. He says she needs to get over it or they can’t be friends. She asks him not to date anyone and he realises Dan-i has overheard this whole conversation. After, Hae-rin gives Dan-i Seo-jun’s contract to process. Dan-i is checking a copy she made when she realises Seo-jun’s birthday is April 23rd – the same date as the book title they discuss a few episodes back. Further proof he’s related to Kang Byeong-jun? There’s too many links and hints being dropped for this to have no meaning.

Later, at the office, Ms Seo and Dan-i are the only ones left. Dan-i is recommending bookmarks for an upcoming event. She gets a text from Eun-ho telling her he’s making pasta and to hurry up. We flash to Eun-ho who is standing in the kitchen wearing an apron. Dan-i replies that it’s Friday night and therefore his ‘sister’ has a date. He mutters angrily that he’s sick of the whole ‘sister thing’ (aren’t we all?) and wonders if she’s gone out with Seo-jun.

Ms Seo and Dan-i decide to order in some food and ask Ms Go if she wants to join them. She says no. She heads in to the CEO’s office and looks at a photo of his daughters. And then the button on her shirt falls off. With that, the delivery guy arrives and Ms Seo and Dan-i realise he’s the guy Ms Go was going to marry! Didn’t see that coming! Ms Go comes over to pay and she and her ex stare at each other in shock. Ms Go leaves and she’s teary.

She gets outside and her ex is waiting there for her. He’s not what I expected. He said he quit the brokerage firm, and started a restaurant. Then he asks if she’s married and she lies and says yes. He said he is too and has three boys and asks her to stop by his restaurant. This is so sad. She heads home and she looks through her wedding day photos and drinks some wine. She’s still in love with him. She starts ripping the photos up and bawls. I feel so sad. I’m actually tearing up. She thought if they ever met again it would mean they were meant to be. But he’s moved on. *sob*

On Saturday morning, Dan-i is giving herself another pep talk as she prepares for a day of spring cleaning with Eun-ho. She looks in the mirror and practices what she’s going to say – i.e. I don’t see you like a man. She spends her time doing her chores and reciting to herself that she doesn’t find him attractive. They have a little argument because he calls her by her name and she doesn’t want him to but he says he can’t call the woman he loves ‘ma’am’! Hahaha! Good point.  Then they wrestle a bit and she throws groceries at him and hurts his face. She dabs ointment on it and there’s legit nothing there and tells him to put his own bandaid on. Then she goes and sticks her head in the fridge to calm herself down. Take the hint, Dan-i. You’re flustered for a reason.

Meanwhile, Eun-ho is beyond thrilled to have a cut on his face. Then they keep working in the kitchen and then move to his bookshelves. He’s got flirt mode activated and keeps teasing her about kissing her again. She gets annoyed so he goes to clean the bathroom. And what follows is … completely adorable. He’s cleaning the shower and writing her name in suds and drawing love hearts and singing. She heads out to clean his car and finds a receipt that says Kapyong on it. She goes inside and tells him she’s leaving and going out with Seo-jun. Guessing Kapyong is some sort of hint. This show goes to great pains to very obviously show us hints that don’t get resolved for a number of episodes. It’s kind of annoying.

Turns out Dan-i texted Seo-jun under the pretence of desperately wanting to walk his dog (and avoid Eun-ho, clearly). Seo-jun is super tired, having stayed up late working on cover designs. After dropping his dog off, he heads home to bed – but relief is short-lived when Hae-rin calls him to talk business and they decide to meet up to discuss the designs. Meanwhile, Eun-ho is folding Dan-i’s laundry and finds the necklace he got her. He’s sad she doesn’t wear it but happy she hasn’t given it back. As he puts her clothes away, he finds the shirt she got him. He takes it into the bathroom to see how it would look. Then Hae-rin texts him about the designs and says she’s meeting Seo-jun to talk about it, in the process, revealing that Dan-i lied. Oops.

Seo-jun has meets up with Hae-rin and enquires if she’s a workaholic because she got dumped, or did she get dumped because she’s a workaholic. He then falls asleep while she’s talking about his designs. She shifts his head so it’s resting on his shoulder. She writes a post-its instead and leaves it on the laptop screen. This was such a sweet scene. They’re so much better matched than Eun-ho and Hae-rin. Or even Seo-jun and Dan-i, for that matter. I now officially ship these two more than Eun-ho and Dan-i. Sorry!

At home, Eun-ho is dishing out tteokbokki when Dan-i walks in with the dog. He teases her about her lie and then asks her why she won’t date him. She says he’s not her type and lists a bunch of things she doesn’t like that he does – like that he has OCD. He doesn’t care, he says he’ll change. She says they’ve known each other too long so dating wouldn’t be fun. Finally, she says if they break up who would she lean on? He’s all she has in the world. Aww. And he says they should focus on being together rather than worrying about breaking up. He tells her she just needs time and suggests she eat while he takes the dog back to Seo-jun since he needs to go meet him about the cover designs anyway. I really feel like tteokbokki now. Anyone else?

Speaking of meeting up, when Eun-ho arrives at the cafe he sees Seo-jun and Hae-rin asleep on each other’s shoulders! CUTE! Eun-ho is happy to see it, too. When Hae-rin wakes up she is shocked that she fell asleep. She sees that Eun-ho has come and gone and has also left a post-it with his feedback. Seo-jun wakes suddenly and is confused and somehow accidentally reveals Dan-i and Eun-ho live together. He tries to amend that they live in the same neighbourhood. Not sure Hae-rin is going to believe that. Especially when we cut to the next scene – where Eun-ho has arrived at work wearing the grey shirt Dan-i got him (and Hae-rin recognises it as the shirt folded on Dan-i’s desk).

Inside, Ms Go struts in wearing a green dress – and everyone comments on how stunning she looks. Indeed it’s a departure from the dark, severe look she usually has. Dan-i goes into her office to get instructions and then tells Ms Go if she ever needs a friend, she’s there for her. And she hands her the flyer for her ex’s restaurant and tells her since Ms Go advised Dan-i to get stuff off her chest about her own ex-husband, she’s there for Ms Go to do the same. Out of everyone, I really hope Ms Go finds love before the end of the series. And I hope she becomes good friends with Dan-i and Ms Seo. She needs a posse of gal pals.

After a trip to the printer (can I just say, I loved this scene! I, too, went to the printer last week and it’s a fascinating process seeing a book get printed!), Seo-jun bumps into Dan-i at a bookshop. He’s super happy to see her and invites her to dinner. They get noodles and Dan-i admits she hasn’t called on purpose. It’s been two weeks since they met up and she’s leading him to realise that he doesn’t actually have feelings for her. He tries to cover by saying he got immersed in work because of this deadline. She says she thinks they should just be friends. He asks if they can ‘fold down the page’ so she can come back to him after a break. Love a good book metaphor, but let’s be honest here – she won’t be coming back. And deep down, he doesn’t want her to.

The episode finishes up with the launch of Dear Strangers – Ms Yu’s book. Ms Seo calls as the team are setting up and says she can’t make it because she had an accident on the way there. She lies – actually her son is sick and in the hospital. She’s really upset and does’t want Dan-i to tell anyone. She’s having a breakdown over the pressure of being ‘the one that gets called’ and Mr Bong isn’t there. She trusts Dan-i to run the event and has her phone calls sent to Dan-i’s phone. Together the team works to get the event together – including drumming up attendees when a large group can’t attend at the last minute. The last-minute additions include Hae-rin’s parents who are excited to use the opportunity to get revenge on Eun-ho.

There’s mixed emotions around the room as the launch event begins. Mrs Yu is every nervous. Hae-rin is happy with the turn out. Eun-ho is being glared at by Hae-rin’s parents.Dan-i takes to the microphone to begin her hosting duties.

As the author begins to speak, Ms Go walks in with another woman. The woman recognises Dan-i. Uh-oh. Ex-colleague? Is Dan-i about to get busted for being over-qualified? Dan-i can feel Eun-ho staring. And Hae-rin can see Eun-ho staring. It’s all coming together. As the reading begins, Eun-ho and Dan-i hold hands. Suddenly the woman with Ms Go remembers – she interviewed Dan-i at her advertising company. The woman reveals to Ms Go that Dani’s an accomplished copywriter. Uh-oh. What is Ms Go going to do?!

Episode 12

Episode 12 begins back at the book launch. Mr Bong and the CEO are seeing off some reporters who are complaining that they didn’t get enough free copies. As they say goodbye to the reporters the CEO checks his phone and tells Mr Bong that Ms Seo was in an accident. Mr Bong is very upset!

As the launch wraps up, Seo-jun gets chatting to Hae-rin and is joined by her parents who immediately invite him to have free dumplings at their restaurant. I love Hae-rin’s parents. They’re hilarious. They then head off to speak to Eun-ho who is polite as ever and offers to get them a taxi. They go outside as Eun-ho turns around to hail a taxi, Hae-rin’s mum smacks him across the head with her handbag!! She tries to explain it by implying her bag is haunted. Bahaha! This is too much. Then Hae-rin’s dad trips him over. Eun-ho, being the gentleman that he is, still pays for their cab and I think they feel kind of bad. So they tell him they’ll keep making him kimchi even though he doesn’t have feelings for their daughter. Aww. That was so cute. They’re devastated and cry in the taxi.

This is shaping up to be my favourite episode so far. Ji-yul is impressing Park Hoon with her now informed opinions about reading because she’s read two of the books Eun-ho set her. Then her mother appears with some plastic surgeon she wants to set Ji-yul up with. Park Hoon goes into ‘protective boyfriend’ mode. He’s so funny when he’s putting on an act. He’s cute and squishy when it’s just Ji-yul and him, but when he’s performing for the mother he gets very severe. And for some reason that makes me laugh. Ji-yul declares if her mother doesn’t leave Park Hoon alone, she’ll move out and in with Park Hoon. At this Park Hoon summons tears from nowhere and insists he’ll make sure she’s comfortable despite his poorer circumstances.

After the launch is all packed up, Seo-jun invites Dan-i and Hae-rin for drinks. Interestingly, Hae-rin un-invites Dan-i (although she didn’t seem to care) because she needs to talk to Seo-jun about ‘deep things’. What’s the bet she’s going to grill him about slipping up that Eun-ho and Dan-i live together? Anyway, then Ji-yul pops up and declares she’d like to become a great editor like Hae-rin and wants to spread positive energy like they did at the launch. Hae-rin catches herself before she smiles. Then Ji-yul makes a heart shape with her arms and runs away. LOL

After the launch, Ms Go and her friend are having dinner and the friend reveals details about Dan-i’s previous work experience. Ms Go seems angry about this whole thing and her friend suggests firing her!! I’m going to be so upset if Ms Go fires her. I thought they were finally becoming friends!

Dan-i gets the bus and then skips on her way home. Eun-ho rings her to see where she is and then runs to go and meet her. She’s saying that she feels like she can do anything because of the launch tonight. She was terrified she’d be useless starting work again. But now she feels confident. All the while, Eun-ho is watching her from a distance. And then she tells him she’s glad he’s by her side and that he held her hand. He hangs up and runs toward her with the biggest smile on his face. And lifts her into his arms and spins her around! Awwww. Kiss her, dammit!

At the bar, Hae-rin is noisily downing a beer much to Seo-jun’s surprise. She starts this complicated story involving a cuttlefish buying a shirt and a pollack wearing it and asks him what that means. LOL. He says it seems pretty innocent but she says the pollack is always staring at the cuttlefish. Hae-rin isn’t sure the cuttlefish feels the same way. She then drinks Seo-jun’s beer and tells him she wants to kill the cuttlefish and the pollack. Seo-jun is both adorably bewildered and also enchanted by Hae-rin – at least, in my opinion. This is so cute. I think this is how love should be – when you’re enchanted and don’t realise and it sneaks up on you and suddenly you’re smitten. I feel like … that’s not how things are going with our ‘main couple’.

Anyway, on a more sombre note, Mr Bong runs into the hospital looking for his son who has meningitis. Ms Seo is asleep by the boy’s side. Mr Bong apologises to his son for not being by his side when he was sick. He wants to comfort Ms Seo but can’t so he goes to the waiting room where she joins him later. He tells her he wants to get back together for the sake of their son. She asks if he loves her and he says it doesn’t matter. She reminds him they got divorced and that she thinks they slowly fell apart over a long period of time. Ms Seo tells him she’s fallen for someone else. Is this true?! Surely it’s a lie!! Why doesn’t he tell her that he loves her? What’s he waiting for? Why is he holding back?

Later that night, Eun-ho has gone to bed and Seo-jun calls. Hae-rin is passed out drunk at the bar and asks Eun-ho to come get her. When he gets there, they can’t wake her up. Seo-jun tells Eun-ho that she made cucumber soju by slicing up cucumbers and putting them in a teapot with soju. And told him that she’d feel better by eating cucumber and then die. Which made no sense until Eun-ho revealed that Hae-rin is allergic to cucumbers! Eun-ho carries her back to Seo-jun’s place. Of course his passcode is 0423 – i.e. April 23. Hint hint. They lay her down on the bed and Eun-ho starts making up a makeshift bed in Seo-jun’s living room. He’s staying the night because he can’t trust Seo-jun. And then insists Seo-jun share with him because Hae-rin is in the bed.

The next morning Dan-i gets up goes looking for Eun-ho. Flash to Seo-jun’s place where the two men are spooning. Eun-ho thinks it’s Dan-i and clasps hands and then realises the fingers he’s grasping are too thick for Dan-i and realises he’s snuggling with Seo-jun and yells and they start screaming at each other. Hae-rin then bursts out covered in hives and nearly throws up all over the floor. Yikes.

At the office the next day, a poster has gone up for an idea contest for employees. It’s an anonymous competition. Dan-i is keen to apply. But will she be able to? I’m scared about what Ms Go is going to do.

Hae-rin then turns up to work still covered in hives. She heads into a management meeting and Mr Bong plonks a manuscript down on the table and recommends they publish it. This receives groans from everyone when they realise what it is – poetry! lol Eun-ho likes it though. Mr Bong suggests they ‘settle’ things the ‘traditional way’ and mentions something about wearing trenchcoats. Huh? Then Dan-i comes in with a coin bank – actually a fake book/safe. The management team are meant to vote on a slip of paper and if there’s four affirmative votes out of five, the book gets published. They have two weeks to decide on their vote and Dan-i holds the key to the box.

After the meeting, Ms Go calls Eun-ho into her office and shows him Dan-i’s resume and some print-outs about her achievements. She isn’t impressed. Eun-ho puts his foot in it by admitting he knows her background. Ms Go says it’s against policy and says Eun-ho has to terminate her contract. NOOOOOO.

At lunch, Eun-ho grills the CEO about ways a contract employee can become a regular employee without reapplying for a position. (There is no way.) Later he calls a friend who works at a headhunting firm and asks if he can send through a resume. Aw. He’s very worried about Dan-i’s career. This will destroy her after her confession that the book launch gave her the confidence boost she needed. At home, he casually invites Dan-i on a date. They go and try on various outfits. I’ve got to say Eun-ho tries on a truly hideous trench coat – I’m very glad he discarded it. He ends up putting on the shirt she got him. Then they skulk around not wanting to be the first one that’s ready. They peek out into the hallway and keep hurrying back to their own rooms when they realise the other isn’t there. So cute.

When they get in the car she realises he’s wearing the shirt. He leans in to kiss her and she puckers her lips while also looking panicked and then he just puts her seatbelt on. It’s been a while since a big K-drama trope like this one. Omg the restaurant is called Romantic Table. LOL. They have a great date, laughing and feeding each other. Then they decide to go to the movies. They’re like two school kids. He moves the popcorn and the hand rest and then grabs her hand and she actually seems delighted. She writes on his hand that she liked holding hands with him. And he kisses her hand and she writes back that she likes that even more. She writes that she really liked his kiss and she winks at him. Their story is written out on the movie screen which was a sweet touch.

Back home she brings up Seo-jun’s contract, out of the blue. She says it’s interesting that his birthday is the same day at Kang Byeong-jun’s last book and it’s like it’s a sign he was meant to work at Gyeoroo. Eun-ho thinks back to how the passcode was 0423. Again with the random hinting. I’m … getting a little tired of it to be honest.

Speaking of, Seo-jun has just arrived home. He heads to the weird locked room which has the same passcode. Then we flash to Eun-ho who is up in his attic rifling through a box of manuscripts when he comes across one with the title Blue Night – only the title was crossed out and replaced with April 23 instead.The end. DAMMIT!!

Other bits:

  • I couldn’t even be bothered recapping it – but why is the CEO finding Ms Go’s button emphasised so much? It seems like a hint but it’s so supremely vague I can’t really imagine what it’s a hint for. New couple?
  • Anyone else tired of the random hints?
  • Anyone else more excited by Seo-jun and Hae-rin’s developing romance?
  • Will we need to wait until episode 16 to find out the Seo-jun/Eun-ho/Kang Byeong-jun mystery?

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