Episode 17 of Lost Romance dives in at the office where Xiao’En ponders how to help Qingfeng. Editor Yao crashes in with news of a plagiarism suit against CEO, You’re So Naughty. The girls are told to fix it.
The assignment gives Xiao’En an idea on how to find the author of Qingfeng’s story. She posts a notice advertising a book with his plot, hoping to draw the author in.
Shanna scolds Tianxing for pushing too hard, warning that he might hurt himself and set back his recovery. But determined to build strength faster, he asserts he knows his own body best.
Back at Ruge Publishing, an author appears to complain about the book Xiao’En posted. Editor Yao adamantly decries they have such a book but Xiao’En runs in firing questions. She confirms the author’s characters match Qingfeng’s story.
The author burned the manuscript but produces a series of love letters as proof of ownership. He shares his plot-inspiring story and Xiao’En begs him to re-write the book, promising they’ll publish it.
Editor Yao doesn’t agree, saying he’d already refused to enter the male-focused novel market. Xiao’En and Chuntian make their best case for the book and offer to find a way to earn back the cost ahead of publishing. He agrees to publish it as long as it doesn’t cost them.
The girls jump headfirst into securing ad inserts and contacting convenience stores to build guaranteed sales channels. Chuntian commends Xiao’En for her courageous spirit in pursuing her goals. Acknowledging she’s grown, Xiao’En recalls an inspiring conversation with Aoran.
As she says a symbolic goodbye to the CEO, Tianxing executes his physical therapy. Jason and Shanna deliberate over the police investigation and next steps.
After a meeting with HQ, Editor Yao informs the girls that the hottest potential book would be one on He Tianxing. Xiao’En resists, saying she’s not on good terms with him. But Yao suggests that if she wants to make her male genre book happen, she should get cracking on one with Tianxing.
Xiao’En sends a pitch that Shanna receives but ignores. The girls wait and wait, but with no reply try their last resort – to pray at Jenn Lann Temple. After lighting incense and entreating a miracle, Xiao’En decides to walk around a bit while Chuntian shops for a talisman.
Chuntian runs into Shanna and Jason and offers her card, repeating the request to interview Tianxing. Meanwhile, Xiao’En seeks out the lantern she’d previously lit for Tianxing when he was first injured. And he stumbles upon her looking at it, wondering why it has his name.
Back at home, Tianxing tells Shanna to clear his schedule as he’s agreed to an interview with Xiao’En. In preparation, Xiao’En drafts a list of questions for their meeting.
She and Chuntian discuss next steps. First, surprise editor Yao with the Tianxing interview. Second, confirm to writer Cheng Qing that they’ll have the budget to publish his book. With all this, Xiao’En promises to gain a happy end for Qingfeng.
The next day, Xiao’En meets Tianxing, surprised to see books she’d published on his shelves. He quotes a saying about knowing your enemy. Flattered to be perceived at that level, she then notices he hasn’t yet read CEO, You’re So Naughty.
He questions her about her reasons for wanting to write about him. After some flowery compliments that he doesn’t buy, she relents and confides that the company is in a slump and she has a story that’s important for her to publish. Her editor agreed that if she can get a book deal with Tianxing, she can have her passion project. He accepts her reason and they begin.
She notes her plan to create a book for their target audience focused on 100 ways to befriend He Tianxing. He agrees to a more personal interview if he can ask a question for every one of hers. He keeps track and vaults in asking of the most miraculous thing that’s ever happened to her, but she bluffs.
Showing her research, she continues with questions about his ideal girlfriend. He evades and asks her first thought when they met. She claims ‘handsome’ but he presses her for her real answer. He notes she must have thought something specific to cry and hug him at their first face-to-face.
She moves on, asking about his family and his vague response reminds her of Aoran’s assessment of his familial situation. Randomly she asks if he wanted to wake from the coma but he sidesteps and asks of her family instead. She confirms she’s an orphan.
Afterwards, he walks her out and just as he’s about to pose another question, Chuchu shows up to check on his recuperation. Xiao’En departs and Chuchu wonders if their promise still holds – to see a sunrise together.
Editor Yao approves of the draft sent by Cheng Qing and tells the girls to have him finish the story. He asks about Tianxing and they giddily spout potential book titles: The CEO’s Fifty Secrets or I Have a Date with the CEO. Xiao’En gets approval to have Chuntian take over interviewing Tianxing.
Privately Xiao’En admits that she can’t stop seeing Aoran in Tianxing and had been seeking traces of him during the interview. She considered maybe he was interested in her, until Chuchu appeared – reminding her that she was overthinking.
The Episode Review
As a writer, I can’t help but think that Xiao’En may be a great book editor, but not much of a journalist. She walked away with very little information while Tianxing turned the tables, extracting more from her than he provided. Or maybe it was close to a draw.
Another top instalment, if maybe a little more gentle, as Xiao’En and Tianxing spar and get to know each other. While some of the circumstances are totally TV-land, the emotions behind their reactions feel realistic. That second-guessing and overthinking is so real. Even though we know where this is going, it’s compelling viewing with consistently strong timing and magnetism.
The piece about Qingfeng is interesting. Firstly, that Xiao’En believes she can help him by getting his original book into production. I suppose it’s as good a theory as any. I’m still waiting for him to make an appearance as someone she knows in the real world. Think they’ll wait until the last moment when Xiao’En and Tianxing are getting together? We’re nearly there – only three precious episodes to go.
Would love to hear your thoughts and projections if you’re watching. Feel free to jot them below – you know the drill.