Since I’m between dramas right now (That Winter just ended – Gu Family Book hasn’t begun yet) I decided to check out When A Man Loves. Call me optimistic but I happen to like both lead actors as well as the second leads. I probably shouldn’t have because now I’m really looking forward to seeing where this all goes. *sigh* It just never ends with Korean dramas, does it?
It begins with Korean gangsters arriving at a small bookstore . The lead gangster, Han Tae Sang (Song Seung Ho – My Princess) wraps a bandage around his hand and smashes the front door. They go inside to harass the owner, who begs them to leave for now – his daughter is on her way home. His daughter, Seo Mi Do (Shin Se-Kyung – Five Sense of Eros) is getting her family’s portion of free rice. She gets angry and/or embarrassed when a reporter stops her to ask questions and runs off, leaving the rice behind while a young man watches her. He catches up to her, carrying her portion. Cutie-Pie already has a crush, poor thing.
Tae Sang tells her Dad to have the money ready the next day and the gangsters leave. The next day, her Dad leaves a note and goes to commit suicide. (Yes, leave your family to the mercy of gangsters) The gangsters catch him and proceed to beat the crap out of him. Mi Do comes out to protect both her parents and an all out brawl begins with her shoving and hitting the gangsters. They toss her around between them while Tae Sang watches. He notices her book bag and picks up her exam results: she’s the top of her class.
Tae Sang flashes back to memories of his own teen years when gangsters came to his house and he was beaten. Ah, so is this how he became one of them? That sucks. He stops the fight and Mi Do asks if he’s the boss? She tells him she will bring him the money to his office by Saturday at 3pm. He agrees and they leave. Oddly enough, I’m seeing sparks of chemistry flying all over between Song Seung Ho and Shin Se-Kyung. Who knew?
At his office, the BOSS Boss shows up, not at all happy that Tae Sang cut this family a break. Tae Sang waits hours past 3pm for Mi Do to show up. When she finally does, of course she doesn’t have the money but she does offer a deal: he can buy her. In exchange for letting her family out of this loan, he can buy her. He agrees and takes her straight to a hotel. *gasp* Wow, this ratcheted up the sexual tension between our leads very quickly.
He offers dinner first. They eat while he asks if she’s nervous? She asks if he enjoys living this way? He tells her not to get smart and prepare herself. (For what, for Gods sake?) He gives her the room key and tells her to go up. When he finally comes into the room, he calmly removes his jacket, throws it on the bed and goes over to stand in front of her. Yeesh, let’s get right to it? He tells her he thought she would run away but she’s bold.
She wants to write out a contract – that the debt would be considered paid in full after she sleeps with him. He asks if she could still be #1 in her class afterwards? She says she considers today to be the end of her life. He throws a bag at her, it’s full of food. He tells her to take it home and stop trying to be cute with him. He will remove the interest on the loan but they have to pay it back, even if it’s slowly. He’s giving her a special break. She questions why and he gets up in her face: does she really want to sleep with him?
He just wanted to teach her a lesson about life: some days will be like this, in your life. (Wait…where are mydays of SSH taking me to a hotel?) *kekeke* Telling her to go safely and study hard, he leaves. He pops his head back in the door to ask how many times has she done it? (What? Sex? Bold writing, Writer Nim) But no, he means how many times has she said “buy me” to someone? When she confirms it’s the first time, he yells at her to never say that – to anyone. No matter what happens.
Tae Sang gets a phone call from his buddy, Chang Hee (Kim Sung Oh – Secret Garden) who tells him he may have found Tae Sang’s mother. He goes to check but it’s not her. Another mystery – what happened to his Mom? Mi Do goes home and her Mom and little brother delightfully open the food. One of the gangsters phones to let them know the interest on the loan has been removed. Her Mom wonders why and then wonders if Tae Sang is married. (The leap Mothers can make in less than 5 seconds) LMAO.
The next day, the family has fun opening the bookstore while Tae Sang watches from his car. I believe he’s just lost in memories of his own family and can relate to these people. Tae Sang’s Boss goes through a report he submitted but ends up throwing it down. He demands to know where Tae Sang is. Chang Hee tells him he’s working out. Which brings us to Tae Sung pumping iron …shirtless. Sorry, I’m sooo drooling right now.
He gets a call from a woman who sounds frantic. She tells him its Baek Sung-Joo (Chae Jung Ahn – Coffee Prince) and she’s being held against her will. He rushes to a …clothing store (?) to find her just trying to choose between 2 dresses. She didn’t know which one to wear to his Boss’s Birthday party tonight. WTF? I’d slap her. He tells her not to play this type of trick again and leaves. I smell trouble with this woman. URG.
Boss’s Birthday party is next and the tension in the room is palatable. There is a blondish/pinkish haired guy who appears to be Boss man’s friend? And it turns out, Sung-Joo is the Boss’s property but she likes Tae Sang. Boss catches Sung-Joo staring at Tae Sang during a performance. Ruh oh. Blonde/pink haired guy also notices. Boss belittles Tae Sang – making snarky comments about Tae Sang’s Mom. (So I guess he knew her?) Tae Sang gets angry and Boss starts throwing bottles of liquor at him.
Boss is angry that Tae Sang is trying to grow the business legitimately but also, he erased interest for that family. AND took the daughter to a hotel. Tae Sang says Boss knows that’s not what happened. Boss throws a glass at him which Tae Sang catches easily. He then breaks the glass with his bare hands, blood dripping everywhere. What.A.Badass. *looks around blinking* What? I loved it. He tells Boss he’s done the best he can and goodbye. I guess that means he’s quitting. He leaves. Chang Hee waits for a second, then follows. The rest of the gangsters eventually get up and follow, looks like all are loyal to Tae Sang.
Mi Do and her brother, Mi Joon (JB – Dream High Season 2) are putting books away and she tells him to study but he has dreams of being an idol. Chang Hee comes in and throws a bank book at her. Tae Sang told him to give her this money . Mi Do ends up finding Tae Sang alone in a jacuzzi? (LMAO – another shirtless scene) He tells her to either join him or wait until he’s finished as he tries to hide his…errr…bits. Is he nude? She naturally decides to wait and he checks his…bits again to see if he can see what she might have seen. Oh, the fragile male ego. I’m enjoying this too much.
Mi Do waits in a concert hall and doesn’t accept the coffee Tae Sang brings her when he finally shows up. The only thing she’s interested in is why he sent her this bankbook? He tells her he’s going to send her money every semester, consider it as him contributing to a scholarship. She tells him to find someone else to help, she doesn’t want gangster money. He says his life would have turned out differently if someone had helped him, she doesn’t have to pay it back. He has no other motive besides this. (Are ya sure about that, Sweetie?)
Chang Hee chases down a guy at a construction site. Turns out it’s the young man who helped Mi Do with her bags of rice and he’s Chang Hee’s little brother – Lee Jae-Hee. (Yeon Woo Jin – Arang and The Magistrate) Chang Hee drags him home to eat, chastising him for working when he’s supposed to be studying. Chang Hee wants him to go abroad to study but Jae Hee thinks that’s a crazy idea: where would they get the money? Little brother clearly has no idea his hyung is a gangster.
Tae Sang is all set up with his tent now that he’s no longer a gangster, the place he was living before was apparently owned by the Boss. Sung Joo calls with a warning: Boss sent some thugs to kill him. He beats them all up and finds out who sent them. Boss is gambling with the blonde/pink haired guy and signs a contract. Not clear what the contract was for? Boss finds out Tae Sang isn’t dead.
Mi Do is kidnapped and I’ll bet Boss is behind it. Tae Sang arrives to see Boss who says he shouldn’t have taken him in – what could he have learned from that cheating Mother of his? Tae Sang loses it and hits him several times. As he turns to leave, Mi Do is brought into the room and thrown on the floor in front of him. Boss laughs. He thinks they’re in “that” kind of relationship and that Tae Sang stabbed him in the back because of this girl.
He fights with the 2 men holding her and tells her to run but the door leading out is blocked. He runs after her to help and Boss stabs him from behind. Okay, this is too much. 3 (out of 5) of the last dramas I watched all had stabbing scenes in them. What the …I need a good Rom Com with no knifes involved – not even for eating. They finally get the door opened and she runs but stops at the top of the stairs to look back at him. He’s on the floor, bleeding and yells at her to run. He has a flashback of coming home to find his Mom gone and finding his Father dead, then getting beat up by gangsters. He passes out on the floor.
The next scene we see is Tae Sang, shirtless again and working out. He finishes and walks towards the TV, which is blaring news of a company buyout by Golden Tree – the countries largest loan firm. He watches himself on TV, shaking hands with another gentleman. I’m guessing he owns Golden Tree Financial and managed to make it a legitimate business in the past 7 years. (Yes, there’s a 7 year time jump) He dresses, drinks cappuccino and heads out with his suitcase.
Sung Joo shows up at Golden Tree with flowers, only to be told Tae Sang isn’t available – he left for Hong Kong. She’s ticked even more when she finds out the trip had been scheduled for months – he never informed her. She throws a hissy fit and tosses the flowers in the trash. Tae Sang sits in a meeting about opening a branch office in China. Jae Hee is at his side, translating for him so I’m guessing Jae Hee now works for Tae Sang.
Mi Do waits her turn at a job interview for a…newscaster? She doesn’t get hired and is also turned down because she doesn’t have experience nor did she study overseas. *sigh* Are we at the part where everyone treats the lead girl like dirt? Mi Do has a job waiting tables and passes by a table of rich, snooty girls who are blabbering about the latest products. The main rich girl bumps into Mi Do on her way out. Mi Do’s friend brings her a dress and tells her she snagged an invitation to a party for Mi Do.
Mi Do attends the party, dressed to kill. She meets a rich man’s daughter and it turns out to be the girl she bumped into, who recognizes her as a waitress. Rich girl starts berating her: what is she doing here, she doesn’t belong. Mi Do recalls some information about rich girl’s Daddy who is about to be arrested and gets a drink splashed in her face. Mi Do picks up the entire punch bowl and throws it on her. Ahahaha! Well, I’m happy at least our heroine doesn’t appear to be letting anyone treat her as a doormat. Let’s pray that continues.
Jae Hee wants to grow the company to pay back what his hyung did for him. Jae Hee asks if his hyung is doing okay? Flashback to Tae Sang being stabbed. Chang Hee fought with Boss and smashed something over his head to keep him from stabbing Tae Sang again. He dragged Tae Sang out, leaving Boss on the floor with blonde/pink haired guy sitting there. Was Boss dead when they left? Or did blonde/pink haired guy kill him in order to not have to pay back money? Hmmm… (I found out blonde/pink hair guy is named Koo Yang Kab)
Chang Hee thinks he killed the Boss and that Yang Kab is probably testifying. He asks Tae Sang to please take care of his little brother. Tae Sang tries to take the blame but Chang Hee won’t let him. Awww, the bromance. He goes home and tells Jae Hee he is going overseas for business. Jae Hee notices blood on his clothes and demands to know what’s going on. Chang Hee asks him to trust him and Jae Hee breaks down crying. Chang Hee is arrested while Jae Hee is at school so when he comes home, no one is there. *sniff*
Yang Kab shows up as Tae Sang is being released from the hospital. He wants to team up with Tae Sang but Tae Sang tells him he has his own plans. Yang Kab threatens Tae Sang – he’s the one who told the police Chang Hee killed Boss but he feels Tae Sang owes him for not bringing him into it. Tae Sang throws it back in his face: why did he just sit there and do nothing? Wasn’t he the Boss’s friend? HA!
Tae Sang goes to Chang Hee’s house to see Jae Hee and then visits Chang Hee in prison. He shows him a picture of Jae Hee at the airport. Chang Hee cries as Tae Sang tells him Jae Hee left yesterday and he’s staying in a good place. (I wonder how long he’s in prison for?) Tae Sang mentions his own younger brother and hopes he is doing well. Chang Hee tells him he will find his brother and Mother someday. Very touching scene.
Tae Sang walks into his office to see Sung Joo there. URG, I was hoping she would move on. She whines that he broke his promise to eat dinner on her Birthday until she got a boyfriend. I will never understand these women in dramas who chase after a guy who is clearly not interested. She made reservations for dinner under the pretense that it was their wedding anniversary, calling him “Yeobo”. *sigh* Tae Sang looks as annoyed as I feel right now. While eating, Tae Sang notices Mi Do. Right then, the 4 snotty, rich girls come in and are seated, looking around for Mi Do. So they purposely came to this restaurant to mess with her. Great.
Sung Joo tells Tae Sang about the party where she witnessed all these girls fighting, calling them kids. When Mi Do serves their food, the head beotch implies their order is wrong. Head beotch demands Mi Do get on her knees and apologize. Just as she’s about to kneel, Tae Sang throws money at the table and drags her outside. Tae Sang asks where the money he sent her for school went? She confesses tearfully that she used it for her Father’s hospital bills. (Of course) He yells that he couldn’t stand by and watch her be attacked. She asks why. Good one – make him admit what he’s feeling.
Sung Joo waltzes out, calling him “Yeobo” again. (OMG, someone stab ME) She tells him he was cool and asks if Mi Do is okay? In the car, Sung Joo asks if that is the woman in his heart? She flashes back to the day they met after Boss died. When he blew her off, she showed up at his home drunk and asked him to marry her. HAHAHA, she’s insane. Love me an obsessed second lead. He tells her to go home. (Yes, please) She learned he had another woman in his heart and asked if they could be friends. (NO!)
Tae Sang takes a broody shower that ends in pain from the stab wound on his shoulder. A doctor tells him stress or fatigue can cause pain. An older woman serves food in her restaurant and freaks out when a boy looking like Tae Sang did walks in. OMO, is this his Mom? She serves food to the kid (it’s Mi Joon) and then freaks out again when she sees Tae Sang on the TV. Mi Joo sneaks out without paying while she stares blankly off into space.
Sung Joo is practicing golf when Yang Kab shows up. She tells him to get the hell away from her. (LMAO) He lies to her that Boss left some money and they should split it. He takes her to his office and …falls to his knees to propose. When she tries to leave, he snarkily reminds her that Tae Sang doesn’t like her. She slaps him so he locks her in the room until she decides to marry him. Well, I’m pretty sure that’s not the way into a woman’s heart. Idiot. She breaks open a window and jumps. Ahahaha, I love it.
Tae Sang finds the bookstore closed and Mi Do quit the restaurant but he finds out what hospital her Father is in. At the hospital, Mi Do’s Mom notices Tae Sang on the TV and remembers he’s that gangster. A nurse comes in to move Dad to his private room someone paid for, all the hospital bills are paid too. Mi Do’s Mom tells her that gangster became the CEO of Golden Tree, she should go thank him. She goes to see him and Tae Sang gets all nervous when she’s announced. *snicker*
Mi Do tells him its burdensome to accept his help, he counters with “So?” *hee* He tells her to start working for him, at his side and pay him back. She says she can’t because he sees her as a woman. He asks why he can’t do that? She thinks he’s married so he calls in his assistant to verify: is he married? The guy says no. Tae Sang orders him to help Do Mi with her application – she knows English and French so he’s hiring her. He shoos her out and swivels around in his chair – smiling to himself.
The next day, Tae Sang spends the morning trying on different shirts and ties which reminds me of myself when I have a date I’m nervous about. (it’s a girl thing) Why is he so cute right now? He has a perfect view of her from a cut-out window in his office. We have the usual meet up in an elevator with her carrying boxes that he tries to help with – she won’t let him so he dumps them back in her arms, which almost knocks her over. *snort* She stays late, he offers dinner, she declines, he insists…standard stuff here but still cute.
They head to her family bookstore to work, putting books away. They eat spicy food which makes him choke and guzzle water while she smiles. Is she finally noticing how cute he is? She seems to be sleeping until he calls her name and asks her to live with him. OMO! When she asks what he’s talking about, he says let’s get married.
*groans* I can NOT believe I’m hooked already. Unbelievable. I must have a thing for broody, gangster types that I’m not aware of. Not sure where this one is going but I’m along for the ride.