‘Romance Is a Bonus Book’ Detailed Recap: From Start to Finish

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 1, 2024
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Romance Is a Bonus Book Recap (Episodes 1-16)
Romance Is a Bonus Book (Credit - Netflix)


Romance Is a Bonus Book is that slice-of-life, feel-good, cozy K-Drama that soothes the soul. The series follows a gifted writer who has become the youngest editor-in-chief at his publishing company and crosses paths with a desperate former copywriter. There are plenty of cliffhangers on the way, and I’d definitely recommend watching it. I have watched every episode and compiled a complete recap detailing every key moment.

Episode 1

Episode 1 sets the premise. It opens up with Kang Dan-yi’s wedding, initially getting cold feet to marry Dong-min, who enters the ceremony with a Gangnam style sort of dance. At the wedding, we are also introduced to Cha Eun-ho who we later find out is the Chief Editor of a reputable publishing company. It’s clear that both have an unspoken romantic connection regardless of the scenario.

Episode 1 fast forwards a year later, with Kang Dan-yi now divorced with children, regretting that she got married to Dong-min years before. After looking after her children for seven years, she decides she wants a career. All the potential employers shoot her down, not even entertaining the idea that she was a hardworking mother – they do not buy her excuse to stop working.

Cha Eun-ho spends most of Episode 1 providing his flashy look; he is a professor at a University on the side, and Kang Dan-yi reveals he is seeing several women. He is a character who is unmoved by the prospect of a meaningful relationship and blames it on Kang Dan-yi that he does not believe in love after the breakdown of her marriage.

After many job rejections, Kang Dan-yi ends up out in the cold, soaked from the rain and with nowhere to go. She demands to stay at Cha Eun-ho’s house. At his residence, she discovers his company is looking for new employees with no degree experience, which switches a lightbulb on in her head. The next day, Cha Eun-ho is surprised to see Kang Dan-yi showing up in the opening recruitment day.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 1, if anything, was a scene setter and nothing unusual.

Episode 2

We learned in the previous episode that Kang Dan-yi had landed an interview at the same publishing firm her close friend works at as Chief Editor. Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 2 initiates the aftermath to that, and how it affects Cha Eun-ho who will now have to mix business with pleasure.

Episode 2 aimed for our souls, revealing Kang Dan-yi’s application; she wrote an enticing emotional paragraph about herself in third-person, describing her recent life and apologising to herself for pushing too hard and failing at specific objectives. After not succeeding in fifty job interviews, this application was personal, forcing Cha Eun-ho to retreat.

With that, it is confirmed that Kang Dan-yi has been given the job at the publisher as part of the task team. Episode 2 sees President Kim Jae-min enthusiastically ring all the successful applicants, to find less enthusiastic or weird tones on the other side. Apart from Kang Dan-yi of course. Episode 2 allows the audience to see the recruits experience their first day, at a primarily praised reputable company. Honestly, the entire set up is purposefully quirky.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 2 (Credit – Netflix)

You sense that Cha Eun-ho has a weight of guilt resting on his shoulders since he learned that Kang Dan-yi applied for a job. He decides to pick her up in his car on the way home and splash the cash, so she is more suited in the office. New clothes and a new hairstyle are given to Kang Dan-yi, who has been observedly marked as a very young recruit for what is meant to be for early-career interns.

We also get a slice of history in episode 2. We learn that when the pair were younger, Kang Dan-yi saved Cha Eun-ho’s life when they were at school. The young Mr. Cha walked out onto the main road without looking, and Kang Dan-yi bravely pushed him out of the way of a moving car and took the hit herself. This formed a blossoming friendship. We also learned that Cha Eun-ho did not warm to her ex-husband, stating that his lack of consideration did not create the basis of love.

As Chapter 2 ends, Kang Dan-yi tries to avoid being caught in Cha Eun-ho’s own home. She has been living secretly in his residence all this time; unfortunately, she is caught red-handed, leaving the audience to wonder how this will be handled in the next episode. Episode 2 moves forward with the same premise, but with further development on the two main characters, it keeps it interesting.

Episode 3

Now that we have established that Kang Dan-yi has a job at the same publishing company as Chief Editor Cha Eun-ho, Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 3 deals with the consequences of Dan-yi sneakily living in her friend’s house for free. As a token of good will, Eun-ho gives her three months to find a new place.

Dan-yi adjusts to life as a full-time office worker at a publishing company after a long, painful break. Her work is the life of an intern, getting heckled across the office to send out letters, water plants and buy “IVLs” (Iced Vanilla Lattes). Eun-ho, who is sweating over Dan-yi’s role in his company, keeps on sending her emails, trying to help her overcome the menial tasks. She does not like this and asks him to settle down.

Remember Ji Jeo-sun from episode 1 that helped out Dan-yi in the rain? Well, he is known for creating excellent designs, and President Kim Jae Min wants him on board at the publishing company. I suspect there is a little chemistry between Ji Jeo-sun and Dan-yi which could potentially cause tension in future episodes.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 3

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 3 (Credit – Netflix)

The major plot point of episode 3 is Mrs. Go’s request for her colleagues to think of a blurb for a nearly published book. Dan-yi used to work in advertising before she was shackled to raising a family, so she feels compelled to help. Mrs. Go is a force to be reckoned with, holding a miserable face at any sign of enthusiasm, suggesting that Dan-yi should stick to her current role. I found this to be incredibly difficult; I understand how unmotivating it can be to climb the corporate ladder.

Dan-yi sufferrs a blow to the gut as she realizes Mrs. Go used one of her blurbs and silently took the credit; what upset her most is that Eun-ho did little to raise his voice at the time the blurb was chosen.

Later that day, Dan-yi and Eun-ho get drunk, discussing work and showing the chemistry that grows with each chapter. We learn that when Eun-ho gets drunk, he gets a taxi to Dan-yi’s old house, which is now demolished, and stands outside. He realizes that night that he no longer needs to get a taxi, as Dan-yi lives with him, and the two hug outside for an absurd length of time.

Episode 3 was ridiculously sweet, revealing some feelings between the two main characters.

Episode 4

As we learned in episode 3, the two main characters love a drink, so much so that one of them has to try and remember the night before after getting a random taxi and giving the other a long, awkward, intimate hug. Cha Eun-ho tries to recollect the night back, and apparently, he went out with Kang Dan-yi to play drinking games. Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 4 reveals how much he truly loves her.

After the shenanigans of drinking games, it’s back to work. Episode 4 highlights the importance of books for this company. Unused and non-profitable publications get shredded. The characters spend a long time grieving over many books getting destroyed with so little in money returned for recycling. Even slightly damaged books are destroyed, making President Kim Jae Min weep over the phone to Eun-ho.

Both Kang Dan-yi and Cha Eun-ho have developed love lives, despite the growing romance brewing between them both. Eun-ho is seeing a colleague, Ms Song, who is more into the relationship than the Chief Editor. On the way back from a date, Eun-ho sees Dong-min and with his anger bubbling beneath him, he threatens him over his treatment with Dan-yi, forcing child support payments off him. Meanwhile, Dan-yi is still developing a relationship with Ji Seo-jun, the famous graphic designer of books.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 4 (Credit – Netflix)

The issue is President Kim Jae Min wants to recruit Ji Seo-jun to his company, so he partners with Eun-ho to interview him. At this point, Eun-ho does not know that this is the same man that is dating Dan-yi.

Ji Seo-jun is not compliant in the interview, accusing the business partners of ruining a previous author’s life, taking his publication rights from him, and forcing him to disappear. Of course, according to President Kim Jae Min, these are just rumors born from their success, and the author willingly gave up his rights. Eun-ho has an air of guilt around him, though.

Episode 4 also follows up with the blurb ordeal, with Mrs. Go confronting Dan-yi about the idea she came up with, claiming she thought of it before she did. We know this is bullshit, but it just highlights the culture of the company and Dan-yi’s persistence to make a career for herself.

As the episode ends, Dan-yi waits out in the cold for Eun-ho, singing to herself, not knowing that he is behind her across the road, listening to her words. He discusses the fact that she knows him well and asks her to sing again. The issue is for Eun-ho, he is trying to tell Dan-yi his feelings without spelling it out, allowing his arrogance and sense of humor to take over.

Episode 5

It’s all getting a little steamy in this story. Episode 5 offers a slowly growing love triangle, soon to be a love square. Considering the simplicity of the storyline, the series manages to fill an hour with applaudable dialogue that makes it easy to watch, similar to the likes of Gilmore Girls.

In Chapter 5, Dan-i is eager to continue to make her mark in marketing at the company. She tells Eun-ho adamantly that she will not allow Ms Go to undermine her efforts and ideas. Ms Go will become important and will very likely offer an emotional subplot; in an early scene she is seen in her social circle looking bored while her group of friends discuss family and children, almost patronisingly sympathetic of her – she walks off explaining she’s a director of a company and has received a doctorate. It was an equivalent to a “fuck you”.

Episode 5 gives Dan-i her moment after President Kim Jae Min allows her to attend the latest marketing meeting, much to the annoyance of Ms. Go.

In the conference, everyone is racking their brains for new ideas to sell a new book that will soon be published by an original, up-and-coming rookie author. Dan-i comes up with the idea to give the book no author, no title and no blurb, and to wrap it in gift wrap – the idea is that you buy the book for yourself as a gift.

Everyone apart from Ms. Go is impressed by the concept and the company decided to run with it. Mrs Go gets her revenge by giving Dan-i a list of tasks like dry cleaning.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 5

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 5 (Credit – Netflix)

Later on, the rookie writer decides to terminate his contract, leading the entire company to panic. Eun-ho, Dan-i and Hae-rin decide to venture out to persuade him to publish still. They stay outside his house all night. The next day, he changes his mind and tells Eun-ho it was down to Dan-i’s passion and words for his book.

The most noteworthy moment of episode 5 is the developing love square that will come to a crossfire. Hae-rin is still eager to develop a relationship with Eun-ho, but when they were about to go on a date, he cancels, opting to eat udon with Dan-i instead.

At the end of the episode, after everyone is celebrating the published book, Hae-rin shows up drunk at Eun-ho’s house forcing Dan-i to stay outside. She ends up bumping into the book graphic designer Ji Seo-jun, who Eun-ho failed to recruit.

Episode 6

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 6 explores the strange dynamic happening between Eun-ho, Dan-i, Ji Seo-jun, and Hae-rin. While Hae-rin is at Eun-ho’s house, placing another hidden romantic letter in his bookshelves and looking for clues about the mystery woman he lives with, Dan-i and Ji Seo-jun are enjoying Udon noodles at a nearby cafe.

To make the plot more ironic, Dan-i and Ji Seo-jun end up discussing the retired writer who made the publishing company successful in the first place.

Their conversation is conveniently sidetracked by Eun-ho who rings Dan-i asking where she is. Episode 6 offers an excellent awkward moment as the four sit in a cafe, figuring each other out. The shock on both Ji Seo-jun and Eun-ho’s faces when they realize their paths are not connected because of Dan-i is amusing.

Chapter six shows Eun-ho’s pure jealousy. When they return home, he questions her friendship with the graphic book designer and passionately states that she will always have him and his home.

Dan-i reverts it to the friend zone, indicating that what Eun-ho is saying is corny, and women do not like that kind of talk. To add salt to the wound, Ji Seo-hun tells Eun-ho he has feelings for Dan-i, persuading him to fighting talk. The battle for Dan-i is indeed on.

Episode 6 then veers to a random story where the company attends a children’s orphanage, almost as a charitable project. Mrs. Seo announces she is now divorced, with most of her colleagues at the company unaware it is with someone from within the same workplace.

The middle act always shows a flashback between Eun-ho and President Kim Jae Min; a primary answer is thrown at us – the retired writer that is haunting them both is Eun-ho’s father. This slice of plot knowledge is useful but was lazily slotted into the series for some odd reason.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 6 (Credit – Netflix)

But then, the closing stages of chapter six gave us some fruit to gnaw on. As the new book is about to be published, Ms. Go calls Eun-ho and Hae-rin into a meeting. She calmly explains that Dan-i’s name is written in the copyright section and that she is not in marketing, but merely part of the task team.

Hae-rin agrees to remove it from the page, but Eun-ho attempts to professionally defend Dan-i, which unfortunately goes unheard. It is deeply saddening to see Dan-i over the moon about her name in the book, to hear Hae-rin remove it from the final publication moments later. She looked super proud.

That moment becomes a double-blow as Ms. Go sends her off to another pointless errand, but this also gives Dan-i the chance to have a video call with her daughter. This was an opportune moment in the series for us to have insight into Dan-i as a mother, something we have not been exposed to prior.

On her return to the offices, social media has exploded regarding the book, and while Ms. Go calmly acknowledges, Eun-ho confirms they can move to the second edition.

Dan-i does make a breakthrough, thankfully, finding out that Ms. Go did not steal her blurb but happened to think of the same sentences herself. Learning this gives Dan-i perspective. She ends strongly, vowing to do her best for the company rather than worry too much about her progression – she loves books and wants them to do well.

As usual, episode 6 ends up on a heart tangling cliffhanger. Eun-ho gives Dan-i a copy of the book before its revision and explains her ideas have done remarkably well. As Dan-i enjoys the compliments, she receives a call from Ji Seo-hun, and he asks her out for dinner.

Episode 7

Jealousy is getting the better of Eun-ho in Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 7. He at least in the first six chapters kept it cool, keeping Dan-i at arm’s length, even if it did look evident that he has deep feelings for her.

At the beginning of Episode 7, he realizes Dan-i is about to finish work and join Ji Seo-hun for another date. He abuses his power, his hierarchy status in the company, and gives her an apparent important late assignment.

The problem with Eun-ho is that even when he does attempt to play it cool, he looks try-hard. The result is that he goes home and deliberates in his inner mind whether he should text her for no reason whatsoever, or leave it, and let her enjoy her date. The character cannot help himself; he texts her about unimportant issues like the rice cooker not working and if she knows where the tissues are.

Fortunately for Eun-ho, episode 7 brings first cracks in Dan-i and Ji Seo-hun’s early relationship. He takes her to an independent bookstore to ease in romantic gestures, but at the restaurant, she reveals that she is a divorcee, has a 12-year-old child, and she is 37 (8 years older than him).

Body language does not lie, and Dan-i goes home spilling all this to Eun-ho, who is quite calm about it, but you know deep down he is happy inside. Again, though, he cannot keep it fresh, trying to tell her indirectly that he likes her.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 7

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 7 (Credit – Netflix)

For the rest of the episode, Dan-i and Ji Seo-hun debate with themselves about whether to text each other after the disastrous date. But the failure of her love life does not harm her determination to do well at the publishing company, bringing a new social media idea to the table which the team embraces.

Episode 7 brings a morbid side plot involving one of their poetry writers, Mr. Choi. Eun-ho and Ji-hong try to go to his house to deliver him gifts for his hard work and to build the client relationship, but find him dead. There’s a lot that goes on in this company that act as undercurrent plot points, but sometimes they have an impact, and this was one of them.

To recap the end of the episode, Hae-rin and Ji Seo-hun run into each other at a flower store, buying the same flowers for the same person. In a moment of confusion, they both realize that they are going to the same dinner where they are meeting a writer. Eun-ho is there, and the blood drains from his face when he sees Ji Seo-hun enter. The writer wants the publishing company to do the publication and Ji Seo-hun to design the book. Inevitably, this will cause further conflict.

As they leave the dinner, Ji Seo-hun suggests carpooling with Eun-ho so he can see Dan-i, which causes a playground-type argument between the men. Ji Seo-hun wants Eun-ho to go inside his house and deliver a present for Dan-i and tell her that he’s outside. Initially, Eun-ho hides the gift, but his inner self is persuading him to play the long game.

Episode 8

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 8 is all about remembering the past, thinking about the happy times, and moments of regret. Additionally, we are given progress, unlike the previous two chapters that have decided to labor over the story. Episode 8 delivers a nearly complete installment.

It follows on from Chapter 7, with Dan-i outside with Ji Seo-hun for yet another date. Eun-ho, who is attempting to keep his cool approach consistent, comes outside, smoothly gives her a jacket so she can stay warm and asks her to not to be too long as she promised to watch a movie with him. The pair go for a walk, and ironically discuss Eun-ho before Ji Seo-hun offers a proposal; that they see each other for three months by walking to work and home together.

Eun-ho’s cool approach does not last long; when he learns of this proposal, he is irritated by it and says he is in pain. He means emotional distress, but Dan-i perceives this as some form of illness. Romance Is a Bonus Book reaches a whole new level of strangeness. While Dan-i checks his temperature and other symptoms, she feels his chest and is shocked that he has muscle, stating that he is a man.

This prompts Eun-ho to throw her to the ground, get on top of her and say “yes, I am a man” before swiftly getting up leaving Dan-i feeling flustered. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting the story to escalate this quickly, but chapter 8 indeed does.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 8 (Credit – Netflix)

By this point Eun-ho has wholly thrown his plans out of the water; he notices Ji Seo-jun waiting near a bus stop for Dan-i for their daily walk. He accuses him of being childish with the proposal and admits he doesn’t like the situation. Episode 8 brings the two men together to quarrel again. It’s entertaining yet un-adultlike.

In terms of the publishing company, they have a new manuscript, giving the staff something to be excited about. The President of the company excitedly tells Eun-ho to digitize it, asking Dan-i to help him in a place with no distractions. Of course, Eun-ho suggests they do the work at his house.

The second half of chapter eight is very different from the first; Dan-i decides to go out clubbing with her colleague Mrs. Seo. Ms. Go turns up at the club, and for some strange reason, she is super popular; she sets the scene, and the crowd goes wild.

They end up at Ms. Go’s house for more drinks, and this is when all three women reveal their heartbreaks and reminisce; Dan-i and Mrs. Seo discuss their brutal divorces, while Ms. Go explains how lonely her life is after walking out of her wedding. Visiting Ms. Go’s house was beneficial to the audience in understanding why she is cold towards everyone.

Episode 8 provides a bit of comedy; when Dan-i makes it home, she decides to sleep on the floor; Eun-ho believes she is in danger, rings an ambulance and realizes she is fine after he hears a little snore. The next morning Dan-i feels embarrassed, remembering that she swore at her colleagues disrespectfully.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 8

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 8 (Credit – Netflix)

And finally, Episode 8 sees a breakthrough for Eun-ho. The Chief Editor and Dan-i begin digitizing the manuscript at home. There’s a touching moment where she puts her sleepy head on his shoulder and shuts her eyes; reminding me of the moment in The Office US with Jim and Pam. But then he starts creepily stroking her face which I found a little weird.

It gets even more bizarre when he begins to touch her lips and then goes in for the kiss – fortunately, his blushes are saved when he sees her phone buzzing and sees Ji Seo-jun splashing up on her screen.

Hae-rin meets Ji Seo-jun to discuss the book and to try to persuade him to design the cover; he agrees, and then both look outside together at the snow falling. Meanwhile, Dan-i reveals to the audience that she was not asleep on Eun-ho’s shoulder and wonders if all the creepy face-stroking was all a dream.

Like Hae-rin and Ji Seo-hun, Dan-i and Eun-ho look at the snow, prompting to start a conversation about how beautiful it seems. Eun-ho tells Dan-i indirectly that he loves her again using snippets from a book that she recommended. She turns to him and asks if Eun-ho has feelings for her. Making it painful for the audience, the episode ends with Eun-ho smiling.

Episode 9

The last episode opened the door for Eun-ho to translate his feelings. Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 9 is a patiently progressive chapter. The only issue is, Eun-ho is terrible at being emotionally attractive, and when Dan-i asks him if he likes her, he suddenly walks off.

The pair argue as always, leading him to deny that idea, then seconds later he cockily case studies himself and confesses that he loves her. Dan-i sees this as a joke. Romance Is a Bonus Book is a spotlight on two grown adults who are not able to communicate appropriately.

Another romance is blossoming as a consequence of Eun-ho and Dan-i’s mishaps. Hae-rin and Ji Seo-jun are admiring the snow but at the same time, wondering why their love interests are not texting back. They both go their separate ways but then ironically end up at the same museum.

Episode 9 presents a new issue at the publishing company. As they celebrate a new book release, the president and Ms Go find a problem, but unfortunately, the author has already received a copy. The author bio was wrong, and Hae-rin was responsible for the publication.

In anger, she drinks a quick carton of alcohol and demands that Ji-yul resigns who she initially delegated the task to. Her punishment is to put a stick over the mistake for over 5,000 books, but luckily Park Hoon, who madly fancies Ji-yul, comes to her rescue and helps her.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 9 (Credit – Netflix)

Romance Is a Bonus Book somehow always manages to make the publishing company an engaging subplot – Dan-i is praised publically by Eun-ho for her social media strategy that has resulted in additional orders. The following scenes are quite intimate – he decides to buy a necklace but wants Dan-i to choose and try it on. Episode 9 plays out the usual romantic scene of the man slowly placing the necklace around the woman’s neck; this moment eats away at Dan-i.

Before the significant ending, Hae-rin is under the impression that no-one lives at Eun-ho’s house after asking Dan-i about her experiencing digitising the book. Despite her downturn in fortune, she manages to get Ji Seo-jun to sign up to a ‘5 book design deal’ before heading over to Eun-ho’s house.

In a painful moment for Hae-rin, she learns that Eun-ho has seen all her hidden letters that hold her feelings for him, and he breaks up with her in the most helpful way possible.

While Hae-rin is heartbroken, Ji Seo-jun and Dan-i are having dinner together, but the book designer notices something is up. Dan-i goes on some monologue about a book she feels differently about, but metaphorically she is discussing Eun-ho.

While she indirectly spills her scenario to Ji Seo-jun, Eun-ho gets an urgent call. He speeds to this house, where a man is severely wounded, and he sobs uncontrollably.

Episode 10

Episode 10 was a slow tease for the fans if anything. Eun-ho is tending for the ill man. Dani (Nayoung Lee) is missing him, wondering where he is, and obsessively calling and texting the Chief-Editor. She is also flagrantly unsure of her connection with Ji Seo-jun due to her current scenario. Once she goes home and realizes Eun-ho is absent, she finds the necklace and flowers he bought her.

Chapter 10 did the usual rummaging of subplots at the publishing company; Ji-yul and Park Hoon finish the stickers task on the 5,000 copies of the newly released book, but with Hae-rin shocked by the break-up, she continues to berate Ji-yul, before Eun-ho kindly intervenes. He explains to Ji-yul that she needs to understand the pain and pressure of being an editor, and gives her a list of recommendations for her to find a passion for books. With Dan-i’s recent marketing success, she is given more exciting projects, making Ms. Go jealous.

Eun-ho finally gets in touch with Dan-i, cheekily asking her if she missed him. He returns home but with a high temperature, meaning Dan-i has to limit her anger at him and make sure he gets well.

She plucks up the courage to ask him when he started having feelings for her, and politely rejects him, stating that he should have kept his feelings to himself. Eun-ho explains that everything will remain how it is and that she does not need to worry.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 10 ends with the comedic tone that we come to expect. Ji Seo-jun starts his first day as a designer for the publishing company, clashing with Hae-rin over concepts, as the pair slowly establish a growing relationship with each other.

To celebrate his first day, Eun-ho awkwardly asks if they should all go to dinner together. The dinner was hilarious, with Eun-ho getting jealous of Ji Seo-jun’s cooking skills, but then he realizes that recent confessions of feelings still phase Dan-i, and calmly enjoys the rest of the evening.

Now that Eun-ho has figured out that Dan-i is bothered about his feelings, he ends the episode teasing her. Deciding that he cannot help himself anymore, he goes in for the kiss, and the chapter concludes with Dan-i looking despondent.

Episode 11

Episode 11 is more about Eun-ho’s persistence on Dan-i than a chapter of narrative progression. It ends with a sweet moment, but there is something about Eun-ho’s actions that gives me the creeps on occasion.

At the start of Episode 11, Dan-i is trying to downplay the kiss when Eun-ho awkwardly kissed her non-moving lips, but she voices it out loud, so some of her colleagues find out that she has a romance brewing. Despite still being in the “friend zone” technically, Eun-ho remains cocky, even though Dan-i is referring to herself as a sister.

In the office, Ji-yul makes an embarrassing apology to the entire office about her work ethic and vows to make changes. Hae-rin demands that she is fired, but Eun-ho shows humanity and asks her to be trained up, rather than be thrown out for a slight mistake.

Episode 11 delves into Ms. Go’s personal life once more. In recent chapters, we have seen what’s underneath the stone cold executive of the publishing company, but when she bumps into the man she nearly married, it was difficult not to feel sorry for her.

She lies to him about being married, and in return, he tells her he has three kids. Dan-i offers her friendship, knowing how painful it is for her – we should keep this scenario in our memory bank, as it is going to become important later.

Back at the Eun-ho household, Dan-i is helping him clean the house, while in her head she’s convincing herself that he is just a brother and that she doesn’t see him as a man. This leads to nonsense play fighting where she ends up blushing.

It was a little cute watching them, but there’s still an element of friendship there that will take a while to dissipate as they get closer, which either proves a lack of chemistry in episode 11 or it is intentional.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 11 (Credit – Netflix)

Rather than confront her feelings, Dan-i pretends she needs to go on a date with Ji Seo-jun, leaving Eun-ho to do all the house chores. Instead, she takes Ji Seo-jun’s dog for a walk.

This backfires because Hae-rin and Ji Seo-jun meet up at a cafe to discuss the first book design, and once Eun-ho discovers this piece of information, he texts her constantly regarding dinner. While Hae-rin and Ji Seo-jun get closer, he reveals by accident that Eun-ho and Dan-i live together but attempts to backtrack.

The crucial part of episode 11 is when Dan-i and Eun-ho discuss the potential for a relationship; she remarks that he isn’t her type, they know each other too well and, the essential excuse, she explains that if they break up, who will she lean on. Eun-ho takes her final statement that she loves him.

As episode 11 closes, the first book designed by Ji Seo-jun is published, and he invites Dan-i for dinner. She breaks it off with Ji Seo-jun and asks if they could be friends. You can tell this was painful for him, but he accepted.

Due to Ms. Seo’s son being hospitalized due to an illness, Eun-ho asks Dan-i to take charge of the book event. She leads it well, but Hae-rin starts piecing the pieces together and sees how Dan-i and Eun-ho look at each other.

Drama is around the corner, as a person at the event tells Ms. Go that Dan-i used to be a copywriter, and if you remember correctly, at the start of the series, Dan-i played down her qualifications so she could get the job.

Episode 12

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 12 begins with Dan-i finishing off the special book event perfectly, with the audience well and truly enjoying the evening and the author appreciative of her efforts.

The event drew some comedy, with Hae-rin’s parents attacking Eun-ho for dumping her. But then the episode meanders around certain events to prolong what we all want to know – what is Ms Go going to do about Dan-i?

To celebrate the success of the evening, Hae-rin and Ji Seo-jun go out for drinks – Dan-i tries to join, but Hae-rin tells her she cannot come because she wants to talk about something profound. At the bar, she explains her theory metaphorically about Eun-ho and Dan-i while getting extremely drunk.

Episode 12 then slow burns the progress between Dan-i and Eun-ho. They celebrate in the park, and Dan-i discusses her blossoming success in the company and tells Eun-ho how much she appreciates him. She’s buzzing about her book event, while at the same time Ms. Go is learning about Dan-i’s successful track record in marketing.

The night ends in drama, as Ji Seo-jun rings Eun-ho and asks for help; Hae-rin has passed out at the restaurant after drinking too much and consuming cucumber water. Eun-ho reveals she has an allergy to cucumber, so they urgently get her to Ji Seo-jun’s house to allow her to rest. The next day she wakes up with a lot of blisters.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 12 (Credit – Netflix)

The next day at work, Dan-i and her colleagues learn about the competition happening which is marketing related, and she wants to apply. But the upcoming burning issue is glowing, as Ms. Go shows Eun-ho the old HR file of Dan-i. Eun-ho tries to defend her, but Ms. Go demands that her contract is terminated.

The rest of episode 12 sees Eun-ho trying to find ways to soften the blow, ringing headhunters and seeing if Dan-i can reapply – of course, she does not know this, which will probably go against Eun-ho, even though his intentions are good.

Eun-ho invites Dan-i out for an unspoken date, almost like the instruction to fire her never happened. They both panic like teenagers, trying on different clothes, but at the same time trying not to overthink the evening. After their meal, they end up at the cinemas and officially name the evening their first date.

As the episode closes, Dan-i reveals that Ji Seo-jun’s birthday is the 23rd April, which is strange because that’s the date of Mr. Kang’s last publicized novel. Eun-ho dwells on this late into the night.

Episode 13

After the damning end of the last two episodes, episode 13 begins with Cha Eun-ho attempting to find Dan-i trying to secure her a new career behind her back. He visits multiple employers with whom he has built a rapport, sharing her CV and persuading them of compassion.

Unfortunately, the consistent downfall to her resume is the employment gap, and it proves impossible for Eun-ho to pull it off.

Due to Hae-rin embarrassing herself last week, drinking herself under the table and consuming cucumber that she is allergic to, she is embarrassed and spends a creepy period of the episode trying to apologize to Ji Seo-jun for the inconvenience she caused. He is more upset that she didn’t tell him about the cucumber and keeps on drinking the drink that contains the vegetable. After a while of harassing and stalking, Ji Seo-jun acknowledges her apology.

There’s a murmur in the office about the retired writer Mr. Kang and whether or not he will return to writing to finish the book “The Heroes”. But little do they know that Eun-ho is visiting the retired author who is currently on his deathbed.

The office provides further distractions as the management team all come in with the same cool coats; when they are visiting a vital location or making a significant decision, they wear this attire. The decision this time is whether or not to publish the poetry collection.

Romance is a bonus book episode 13

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 13 (Credit – Netflix)

And that’s when episode 13 becomes highly emotional. Mrs. Seo discusses the request of Dan-i moving to the marketing team, which brings up Ms. Go’s request to terminate her contract. President Kim makes the ultimate decision and tells Eun-ho to move forward with the termination.

Now, I’ve been in these situations before, when a company is tapping people on their shoulders and asking them to leave, and it is the strangest atmosphere ever. In fact, on one occasion, I was on the receiving end of it during a massive push to make many redundancies.

The weight you feel on your shoulders as you pack your things and hesitantly say bye to your colleagues is soul-destroying. I could feel the negative atmosphere in episode 13. Mr. Seo gives Dan-i the heads up, and everyone in the office is quiet.

Dan-i takes things into her own hands and tells President Kim that Eun-ho has terminated her contract. She gives a soft, passionate speech about her struggles with the job market and how she has come to love the company. She doesn’t just want the company to be her present but her future as well. She asks President Kim to reconsider her termination in an emotional plea.

When Dan-i and Eun-ho return home, they get together on the couch and discuss her next steps. They decide she will return to work until her contract ends, which is what she can legally do. Eun-ho drops her off at work, but while delivering a presentation, he gets a text from Hae-rin: “Dan-i has resigned”.

Episode 14

Episode 14 reveals the reason why Dan-i decided to resign, and if I’m honest, I’d have done the same. There was a strange atmosphere in the publishing company, as all colleagues acted oddly edgy with her presence.

It was intense as a viewer, as all the less-qualified staff started discussing how inadequate they felt around her. But then the atmosphere turns into workplace bullying, with one of the colleagues blaming her for an error she did not cause, taking advantage of the fragile situation. Dan-i immediately resigns.

Eun-ho spends most of the episode comforting her and making sure she is okay. Episode 14 slums into a slower episode; too slow if anything. We are accustomed to seeing Dan-i and Eun-ho acting romantic around each other now, but the episode made a useless point of it.

And then the episode kind of moves to other less critical subplots amongst it, with Ji-yul and Park Hoon trying to figure out how to live together and President Kim weirdly sewing a button back on Ms Go’s shirt, in a moment of sexual friction.

Hae-rin ends up creepily bugging Ji Seo-jun by “accidentally” ending up his neighbour. At first, Ji Seo-jun is not in the mood for friendship, but then she tells him about Eun-ho and Dan-i and his ears perk up. They spend the night getting drunk and talking about it.

Romance is a bonus book episode 14

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 14 (Credit – Netflix)

There is a ray of sunshine for Dan-i in episode 14. Ms Go rings her and asks her to meet. Amusingly, Dan-i turns up in an extravagant outfit and sunglasses to make out she has moved forward in life. Ms Go kindly puts her forward to a smaller publishing company that will happily hire her. She explains that she may put her forward to more companies in the future.

At the new company, Dan-i is greeted by the managers but soon finds out the whole “family-orientated” statement is just a front to cover up the variety of HR issues. They maximize their staff’s time, leaving them exhausted.

But Dan-i has to last a year at least. While she’s sweating at her new job, her ex-colleagues miss her. Eun-ho accidentally reveals to Hae-rin that he lives with Dan-i. She jokes with him, taking it rather well.

As episode 14 ends, Hae-rin and Dan-i figure out about Mr Kang’s health. And in an emotional ending, Dan-i speaks to Eun-ho about his troubles in looking after him.

Episode 15

The beginning of episode 15 is a montage of Eun-ho looking after Mr Kang. After a lot of scrummaging through old diary entries, Dan-i learns that the retired author has Alzheimer’s, and Eun-ho has been visiting him regularly. Episode 15 is beginning to tie up loose ends that have been burning slowly since the start of the series.

Dan-i apologizes to Eun-ho for not being there for him sooner, wishing she was more aware of what was happening. Their years of friendship have blinded what was going on with her best friend, but Eun-ho does not spend time blaming his pain on her but instead comforts Dan-i and appears grateful that the weight of keeping it a secret is now off his shoulders.

The story of Mr Kang continues as Ji-yul hurriedly provides Hae-rin with what is perceived to be Mr Kang’s last novel. But Eun-ho knows Mr Kang is not able to write anymore and investigates. There is an email address on the manuscript, and when Eun-ho sends an initial message, Seo-jun is the receiver. Seo-jun responds to the email, still disguised as a mystery author, giving Eun-ho one week to publish it.

Episode 15 has Dan-i clashing with her new bosses at the small publishing company. She struggles to justify publishing mediocre content and even figures out that the book she is assigned to market has translations that have been copied and pasted from different sources. Her boss shrugs off the matter. The world is much less caring about smaller publishing companies.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 15

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 15 (Credit – Netflix)

As a side story, Park Hoon manages to get a date off Tinder, making Jo-yul wildly jealous, tracking down the girl and threatening her. This was a predictable narrative, yet it still amuses all the same.

The second half of episode 15 provides an upswing of luck for Dan-i. It turns out that she won the competition held by the company she has just left due to recruitment issues. The management is sweating about the result, but Eun-ho understands the repercussions of Dan-i winning and is over the moon. Because she wins it, the regulations have a special recruitment policy claiming they can hire her.

Dan-i is unaware of her competition win, but due to her principles she resigns from the small publishing company and on the way out President Kim offers Dan-i a job back at his firm, in the marketing department. Dan-i cutely plays hardball, managing to get pay rises and a suitable role. Episode 15 gives Dan-i what she finally deserves -recognition.

As episode 15 closes out, Hae-rin figures out that it was Seo-hun who sent the manuscript and tells Eun-ho. Dan-i and Eun-ho put the logical scenarios together and conclude that he is Mr Kang’s son. Eun-ho decides to meet up with him.

Episode 16

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 16 is the finale, and it gives the loyal audience an ending for all of the characters.

Eun-ho delivers Seo-jun the truth in the form of many diary entries and excerpts about Mr. Kang. You can feel how much this impacts Seo-jun as he now views Eun-ho in a different light.

His rival had cared for his father for many years while he was trying to find him. They both visit Mr. Kang on his death bed, serving a tear jerker for the audience, as both men hold the dying author’s hand at once. At the funeral, Seo-jun thanks Eun-ho for looking after his father.

Mr. Kang’s dying wish was for his chronology to be released as part of a special edition of one of his books. In an emotional tribute, the book details his life, the truth about his Alzheimers, and how Eun-ho was always by his side. Perhaps Episode 16 gave this story too much running time, but to be fair, it was the main story in nearly every episode, apart from Eun-ho and Dani’s evolving relationship.

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 16

Romance Is a Bonus Book Episode 16 (Credit – Netflix)

Talking of relationships, the finale was all about solidifying everyone’s relationship, leaving no stone unturned. Hae-rin and Seo-jun finally cross the line of professionalism and agree to go on a date, Ji-yul and Park Hoon finally put their pettiness aside of interrupting each other’s date and make it official, and Ms. Go and President Kim decide to relax from work and make a go at a relationship.

Episode 16 is relationships galore. Eun-ho and Dan-i also make it official to the team that they are together.

I felt Dan-i returning to work was one of the significant closures of the series, but she also managed to get the company to agree to market a book that she and Ji-yul prepared. This milestone sums up her perseverance in testing times.

And that was pretty much it – everything else about the finale was more season wrapping, and there was no cliffhanger. There was a lot of talk about the relevance of books and how finding your book in life is essential. Of course, this was a metaphor for finding your partner, sealing off what is pretty much a very soppy episode.

I hope you enjoyed my recap of Romance Is a Bonus Book. I’d love to know readers’ thoughts on the series and their favorite episodes. Comment below.

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