Tu Ran sells medicine to doctors for a living. Her nickname is “Little Pharmaceutical Representative”. Every day, she mixes with the doctors and pharmacists. Lu Cheng Yu is a young professor at the hospital, a rising surgeon in the field of heart surgery, his future is lit in gold. After a one night stand, they both parts ways – seemingly without a trace of emotion.
Two months later, Tu Ran realises that she is pregnant. When she is at the hospital to abort the baby, she accidentally sees Lu Cheng Yu’s very rich father drive a luxurious car to meet his son. After realising that Lu Cheng Yu has a wealthy father, Tu Ran suddenly decides not to abort the baby. On the second day, Tu Ran brings the ultrasound scan of the baby to find Lu Cheng Yu, with the baby as a bargaining chip, she proposes marriage. After a night of consideration, Lu Cheng Yu agrees……
Can this secret in Tu Ran’s heart be hidden? What will happen after Lu Cheng Yu finds out? How will two seemingly unrelated people pass their lives together? Can two people who had entered the hall of marriage for a ridiculous reason end up receiving happiness?
[E-book] [Review & Scene Translation] [Đừng nhân danh tình yêu][Radio drama]
Hello! I have not posted in a while because it has been a while since I have been inspired to review a c-novel.
I think this c-novel is both intensively pragmatic and deeply romantic. Certainly, a different kind of love story for our society.
I posted a very long review with scene translations (including the ending which I love love love) on my blog:
Here’s an excerpt:
This book will be especially interesting to people who have already read many love stories before. It is for those that wonder what will Cinderella look like in modern society? And, if love and its ideals will be able to survive in the cynical pragmatic realism of our times?
The original title of the story was Reckless Marriage, but changed to Don’t Make Love A Thing (the connotation is Don’t Make a Love a Big Deal) when the story was published. The story’s premise is simple – can a gold-digger find love in a contract marriage?
Can a gold-digger find love in a contract marriage?
Except as the story unfolds, you realise that (i) the female lead is not actually a gold-digger and (ii) the male and female lead had met before in their youth, the male lead was a student tutor of the female lead (he is only 3 years older) and was always the crush she hid in her heart, the love letter she never dared to send out.
Tu Ran’s family is poor, her father died of cancer during her university years. She has to help her brother cover his university fees, take care of her aged mother and grandmother. All she knows is that love is not enough.
But, appearances can be deceiving. Especially, Tu Ran’s appearance – she is described as very beautiful, but the kind of seductive beauty that man want to bed and not to marry. At first, you think she is as mature as she looks, and the fun in the story is to realise how much Tu Ran is not as mature and sophisticated as she tries to convince herself that she is – that love is nothing to her, and it was always about the money.
The story never actually states if the male lead liked the female lead when they first met as students (though there is a hint that he found her attractive), but it was clear that the female lead’s first crush was always, and in many ways still, him.
In fact, the female lead realises much later to her horror that she cannot get over the fact that the male lead’s first love is still very much in his life (they aren’t close, but they are doctors in the same hospital). She is filled with an immense sense of guilt and self-revulsion when she thought that because of the obligation she had put on the male lead, he had to give up his second chance with his first love. Whether this is true or not, the female lead falls into a cycle of insecurity and tries to let the male lead go by asking for a divorce time and time again – which is ignored by the male lead.
Does such a story sound frustrating? The interesting thing is that the plot structure is frustrating, but yet also deeply rewarding. You start to see very clearly (as the male lead must see) that the female lead is clearly not a gold digger – yes, she is realistic and understands the value of money, but she has merely used the excuse of money to hold onto the male lead, who she clearly has very deep affections. Her life gets better – but not drastically so – she still works, and in facts, puts in lots of efforts (which is wonderfully underplayed) in cooking and cleaning for the male lead. If she had married the male lead for money, then well she could be taken as a rather unsuccessful gold-digger.
It is not easy being married to a surgeon – he is always busy, and his work is always a matter of life and death. Tu Ran is understanding in a very understated manner – so understanding that it could be read as coldness in another’s eyes. The kindness from Lu Cheng Yu to Tu Ran is also so gentle and layered that Tu Ran interprets it as always being for some other reason than because Lu Cheng Yu might just might like her. In fact, both of them talk bluntly about everything except their feelings. Because, in this marriage, it was never about feelings.
Isn’t it a little intriguing? A love story that tells you – don’t make love a thing. Don’t make love important. Because, this society has taught Tu Ran that love is not enough. But, love is clearly what is necessary when Tu Ran time and time again asks to leave the marriage – because, why else would she ask to leave this marriage that is economically beneficial to her except because love is important?
I really like this book. What I love abt the main guy is that he always defended his wife in front of his friends and he never thought abt going back with his ex after the marriage.
LCY got married with TR only because of the baby but when she lost the baby, when he came back in China, he still chose to continue the marriage. When she decided to give him back his freedom, he was the one who was persistent to maintain the marriage.
I also like the main girl, Tu Ran. How hard it was to tell someone you have his child but the only thing he can think abt is to abort the baby? It was not easy for her to marry someone brilliant like him. Moreover, after she discovered the presence of the perfect girl who is his ex. The part where she read the ex’s diary is so heart-wrenching. So of course she doesn’t have the feeling of security with him. LCY is lucky to have her, she is an understanding wife. It’s not easy to be a doctor’s wife because he is rarely at home, she has to take care of everything.
Btw, sometimes LCY and TR are very cute together. ^^
I wanted to read another book by Bu Jing Yu but I can only find the one abt the main girl’s good friend. But I’m not really into her story. Her parts in this book are quite boring. Also, TR’s mother is annoying.
Bongsd, I loved reading your thoughts and I fully agree! I thought LCY’s defence was quite weak at the start though, which led to TR never feeling at ease. But I can understand how LCY’s pride must have been wounded when he heard TR tell her friends she married him for money.
I agree on TR’s mother! I generally skipped through the family parts.
Bu Jing Yu is a good writer but I think she chooses to steer away from the mainstream in her plots! Her stories are not addictive, more meditative.
OMG. This sounds like a really nice book, but it sounds super heart wrenching
Hello klutzyfeli! Skip the parts on her family and her friend. The main story is quite cute actually. The female lead is feisty. ♡
Finished reading this book! I like how this book portray the male lead as a very realistic person… he isn’t totally in love with the female lead and does hesitate when he realised she is pregnant. He isn’t a perfect ‘doctor’ as he does flirt around and to ‘choose’ the girls around him when he is single. But once he got married, he knew that he made a choice and remains faithful to the female lead. HAHA.
But the side stories are a bit boring as you mentioned and I skipped it. And I don’t really like the fact that her divorced friend got together with the lawyer. Doesn’t really make sense since it was mentioned in the book that she is very haggard and doesn’t care much about her appearance so I didn’t really expect her to start a relationship with the lawyer. I probably dislike her friend because I thought that she was very stupid and naive to abort twice for her ex-husband. Doesn’t that already signal to you that this man is an asshole. Argh.
Anyway, thanks for recommending! Love the male and female lead.
Welcome, cloudandsea! I’m really happy that you read the book and enjoyed it 🙂
I agree with you that the male lead was depicted in an interesting manner. I really liked the part at the end where he told the female lead that marrying her was the most impulsive thing he ever did 🙂
Regarding her divorced friend, they did share a moment of attraction but the lawyer chose to break up with her and marry his “first” love instead. I found all the stories of the other people very “blah” and too coincidental – like how the lawyer’s first love was also in a relationship with the female lead’s younger brother? Like seriously, how small is this circle. I totally agree – her ex-husband was such a total bastard!
I don’t know – some of the women are too weak in the novel, I suppose it was meant to be a contrast with how strong-minded the female lead tries to be instead!
Agree with all the comments. The main couple has a compelling story, although a times I wanted to bang my head in frustration with Tu Ran for not being able to see LCY’s sincerity in his feelings and his desire to make the marriage work. It was set-up well by the author that Tu Ran convinced herself that she was a gold- digger, and her self-disgust over breaking up LCY’s true love because of her gold-digging motivations blinded her to everything else. Just that we, as readers, could so obviously see LCY was trying to make things work while she was backing her thoughts into a dead end and not seeing it.
Loved the letter in the end that LCY wrote. Another one of my fave scenes is when LCY is trying to logically work out how to “fix” what’s broken. His before/after scorecard on their marriage and assigning points to how each other felt about certain things.
Also, this is a “realistic” (as real as a romance c-novel can get) story in terms of, many of the problems that arise are about the stressors of day-to-day life: struggling to make ends meet, logistics and finding ways to spend time to build a relationship while making a living, the stress having a child can have on a marriage. LCY’s profession as a doctor is not glorified or air-brushed.
Agree, that was such a terrible thing to say to anyone about a miscarriage, let alone she was his wife. I remember thinking what a jerk he was. However, to me, it was awful but logically, given the sequence of events, also an understandable reaction. They had just gotten married, he immediately heard with his own ears that she married him for his money, then very shortly after, he left the country and they did not have any true interaction. When she called him to tell him about the miscarriage, his first reaction was, “What game are you trying to play now?” She was right that most women would never use their own flesh and blood in their scheming, but he is a man who did not have any children yet and would not truly understand the significance of a child, unborn or not, to a woman. It was just awful for Tu Ran, who right then needed the comfort of someone and he basically poured salt on her wound. Also, long after, when Tu Ran mentioned to him what he had said, he completely had no recollection of saying it. That seems to indicate that he had not said it maliciously or vengefully but, I’m suspecting, impatiently, tiredly, or something along those lines to brush off someone who wasn’t significant. And at that point in their relationship, Tu Ran really was not significant to him, just a wife in name. So, yes yes, a jerk, inconsiderate, terrible response but given what had happened between them and the lack of time to get to know each other, it wasn’t out of left field that he would say something like that. That’s why, when he came back and realized that she was not merely a gold digger and started to put an effort into building their marriage, I forgave him. 🙂
However, I agree with you about getting annoyed that why wouldn’t he just come out and tell her his feelings. It’s been several months since I read this, so I nearly forgot this point. I was rolling my eyes when he told her the reason he brought her to the lake was because he had a business meeting. Yes, he was a guy that used actions to express his feelings and not words, but he did not have to cover-up his feelings like that. That definitely contributed to Tu Ran’s insecurity.
But since I’m criticizing LCY, I’ll say that Tu Ran’s not off the hook for the very same reason. Even if she did not clearly understand her feelings for him since she was convincing herself she was a gold digger, she still could tell she had an attraction to him. Prior to discovering the diary of his ex, if I recall (the details are fuzzy so correct me if I’m wrong), she, too, would deny her feelings too. LOL. So lack of communication was a two-way problem.
As a side note, I read this back to back with Love is Still Here and the two leads and the way they dealt with their relationship in that story gave me feelings of frustration that reminded me of LCY and Tu Ran (although the two in Love is Still Here are at a whole different level of dysfunctional… I nearly spit blood at times).
Hello hoju, I totally agree with what you said :). And, I really laughed at the scorecard too. It was so cute! I was actually more frustrated with LCY than Tu Ran though, because LCY could speak boldly about everything but genuine feelings! I was pretty miffed at him when he coldly reacted to Tu Ran when she informed him that she had a miscarriage :(, so he had a long road of redemption for me.
I really agree with you, Hoju! Like I stated in my review, structurally, I find the relationship and the plot frustrating, but the writing itself was lovely and had bits of humour here and there so I could still finish the story. It wasn’t too painful either, since it was relatively short (after skipping all the family and friend parts hahaha). Overall, I still really like this story and think it deserves 3.5 stars. The writing was really lovely, though unfortunately I doubt I will read the author’s other works because her stories generally deal with difficult issues and plots that I’m not interested in.