Recap: Secret love Affair – Episode 1


Episode 1 

We meet our main characters in their separate lifestyles. Oh  Hye Won (40) played by Kim Hee Ae  works as a planning director at Seo Han Arts Foundation and is married to a frustrated pianist.  We also get to meet Yoo Ah In  as 20-year old Lee Sun Jae, a delivery boy. 


Oh Hye Won has to deal with two very proud women who really hate each other as we later find out: CEO Seo YOung Woo and Chief Director Lily Han/Madame Han. During the opening Hye Won is at a Beauty Salon with Chief Director Han who falls asleep on her as she’s going over the schedule for a music event. Hye Won let’s it go and goes to have her hair washed. Her hair dresser turns out to be Sun Jae’s girlfriend.

The next day Hye Won goes to work only to find out that her boss Seo Young Woo still hasn’t arrived. Apparently this isn’t something that’s uncommon since she matter-of-factly opens up the apartment and takes a picture of her sleeping with some random hottie. She even prepares coffee and some yoghurt for Young Woo.

Her boss is indignant at her apparant calm and collectedness and tells her that she shouldn’t barge in like that what if she’d been sleeping with Hye Won’s husband? Hye Won ignores the comment and prepares Young Woo’s breakfast. She also asks her not to be so obvious with her love affairs or her husband will find out about them. Young Woo takes offence and slaps her and  tells her that just because she hasn’t cheated on her husband a “no-talent” guy doesn’t mean she really loves him. Hye Won takes the slap calmly and gives her boss the schedule and goes on with her work.

Later she meets up with Chief Director Han to give her the finalized project papers and they have a conversation about Young Woo’s infidelity. She thanks Hye Won for covering for her stepdaughter to avoid a scandal.

Hye Won gets on with work but not before dealing with her husband Kang Joon Hyung’s wounded pride at not being given a solo during the event, or even being given a protégè to foster. Hye Won tells him that it’s not her decision but Dean Min’s that gave the best pieces to another Student-teacher pair.

Dean Min when confronted about his decision, pats  Kang Joon Hyung’s hand condescendingly and tells him his naivete is so refreshing but he should think on a bigger scale about how it’ll be better for him to occupy the others like this.


A few hours later Hye Won, Chief Director Han, Young Woo are all playing Mah Jong with Chairman Seo Pil Won (Director Han’s husbad and CEO Seo Young Woo’s dad) where Hye Won cleans up shop beating everybody at the game.

Chief Director Han makes a point to tell Young Woo’s father about her late nights “working” to make the music festival the best. Young Woo doesn’t appreciate this and later asks “Madame Han” if that’s her way of blackmailing her. She also starts making comments about a relationship with the Seo Music College’s Dean Min at the same time reminding Madame Han of her “paid company” past. Madame Han flips her top and starts shoving Young Woo’s face down the toilet. Hye Won manages to come between them and stop the altercation. Young Woo accuses Hye Won of being on Madame Han’s side, Hye Won denies this saying that the only side she’s on, is her own.

Once at home she downs two beers before she faces her husband who’s been looking everywhere on the net for a talented/promising young pianist to make into his pupil. He’s pouty with her since she hasn’t given him any chances and she apologizes but gets distracted with the video he’s watching noticing that the person is talented but has hand pain, probably tendonsinuvitis which is why his playing seems to be “crazy” as her husband puts it. She kicks her husband out of the chair because she wants to tell the pianist something. lol her husband’s face is incredulous at being dismissed.

The pianist her husband was looking at and who she contacts is of course in typical k-drama fashion our hero, Lee Sun Jae. She poses as a 25 year old music graduate who suffered the same injury as he does, and recommends him a good and affordable orthopedics clinic to get his hand checked. She’s smiling throughout the whole exchange with him, and accepts being called “hyung.”

The day of the event comes up and people are running around everywhere. Sun Jae gets called by Joon Hwan’s chauffer to bring over a bow tie that they’d forgotten to pick up.  After Sun Jae drops it off he lingers around and ends up being drawn towards the auditorium where the Grand Piano is being tuned.


Hye Won gets asked by the teacher-student duo to look over their practice session on the grand piano that Sun Jae is currently coveting, and hear if there’s anything off in the piano’s sound as they play. They obviously have a lot of trust in her and she proves that she’s every bit as good as they believe her because she hears even the smallest change in the sound due to the presence of a pen on the piano cords.

As she leaves the auditorium Hye Won asks that the piano be guarded to avoid  sabotaging. Sun Jae looks at the piano some more obviously itching to play it.

Joon Hyung is getting dressed and hears the piano playing and assumes that the duet performers are practicing some more, but that’s soon dispelled when one half of the pair appears in their room. All hell breaks loose as guards are looking for the “culprit”. Joon Hyung’s chauffeur looks over CCTV footage recognizes the pianist as their delivery boy and informs Joon Hyung who is also looking for the mystery pianist but for a completely different reason. Joon Hyung is hoping to have the mystery pianist be his pupil and for that reason he must not get caught by anyone but him.

Luck is on Joon Hyung’s side since Sun Jae went to hide in the bathroom and drops his phone, thus outing himself. Joon Hyung hurriedly shoves him back in the stall as a guard comes in and sits on the toilet casually chatting with the guard from behind the door.

In the bathroom he gives Sun Jae his sweater to throw off people since they’re looking for someone in a delivery jacket.

Sun Jae goes home and mulls over Joon Hwan’s comment about answering calls from him in exchange for his safe escape.

The next day Hye Won stays home since she knows that Young Woo will blow up at her for the piano incident. As she’s snacking Joon Hwan tells her that he has a potential student that he wants her to assess, he says he trusts in her opinions since she’s better at recognizing latent talents than he is. She wonders who this student is, and if it’s from his private tutoring, she’s not really interested, he tells her that it’s the mystery pianist, he was impressed because before it was noticed he’d sounded exactly like the duet performers, playing a piece meant for four hands with two.

Sun Jae gets picked up at his home by chauffeur guy and dropped off at Hye Won’s house. Her nervously greets her, she looks him over and tells him to follow her.


As far as performances this drama is in great acting hands, Hee Ae is beautiful, charismatic, and plays her character with adeptness. Yoo Ah In is still somewhat of a mystery, being a quiet and sometimes unresponsive person (he ignores his girlfriend and his mom at certain moments) though the one thing that’s glaringly obvious: He loves the piano, he wants to have a chance at a good piano instruction and be able to play on stage.

The side characters I can already see not really interesting me much, it’s typical rich daughter in conflict with stepmom over who’ll control even richer dad’s assets.Don’t give a flying squirrell over their petty fights.

The husband might be interesting, he is a pretty weak person with some talent, but perhaps not enough to make it to stardom though he wishes it. So it’ll be interesting to see how he starts to feel when he notices that perhaps his pupil is much greater than he.

However I must admit this drama hasn’t really caught my unwavering attention from just one episode, which doesn’t bode well, because if I have a fault, it is that I am ADD and can’t concentrate on something that doesn’t engage me fast. One of the reasons maybe because I know this will be about adultery and I really really dislike adulterers no matter how charming they may be. And maybe because the ambience of the story is sort of heavy without any emotional relief. I’m not sure of how much I’ll be sticking with this story.


11 thoughts on “Recap: Secret love Affair – Episode 1

  1. sally says:

    please continue recapping!! this is a very deep and sophisticated drama that deserves attn. all the other popular kdramas tend to be overly cheesy but this one caught my interest. looking fwd to your recaps..thank u!!

    • Hi Sally thank you for your encouragement, I do want to continue with writing the recaps, but as I’m a med-school student there might be some waiting time once in a while.

  2. thank u so much for recapping this because I don’t think this is something which dramabeans will recap since they’ve got quite a bit recapping on their plate for other seemingly more worthy dramas. I really do hope you’re still able to recap since I haven’t found any other sites that has any posts on Secret Love Affair recap.

  3. Thank you for the recap! This may be rough going but I appreciate even the attempt, most recappers seem frightened off by the extreme noona romance/adultery/classical music themes – there are a lot of easier pickings out there for a recapper.

    • I am actually not put off by the noona romance, it’s actually one of the reasons I watched it. As usual what puts me off of dramas is usually the corporate backdoor wheeling and dealing… sometimes they are just too snooze inducing.

  4. Joy says:

    Thank you for recapping. Someone on soompi mentioned your site as only recapper for now. Glad u took on tis drama. I love noona dongsaeng romances.

  5. I just watched episode 1 last night on Viki and googled for a recapper. I’m very happy to have found your blog. I hope you will keep recapping and sharing your thoughts. I loved ep 1 very much. I think the lead actress has so much poise and grace and I have loved YAI ever since I saw him in Antique Bakery. Overhall, a solid cast IMO because I am feeling the appropriate emotions: admiration for the heroine, interest for the hero, annoyance (and pity) for the husband, incipient hate for the Dueling Ladies. I’m really looking forward to this series. Thank you again for recapping!

    • Yes I have no qualms in regards to the acting, really can’t have much better than Hee Ae and Yoo Ah In thery are always fascinating in how they live and breathe their characters. I’m happy on that end, I’m looking forward to the next episodes because right now this has been just a small taste of the story and it hasn’t completely gripped me yet due to my extreme annoyance towards a certain bratty forty year old that doesn’t seem to get any wiser with age.

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