- Title: Governor’s Secret Lover
- Also Known As: 君心藏不住, Cang Jiao, Jun Xin Cang Bu Zhu
- Director: Sun Jia Yang
- Cast: Deng Kai, Jin Zi Xuan
- Genres: Romance, Historical, Fantasy
- Number of Episodes: 24
- Date of Release: December 27, 2023
- Original Network: Youku
- Where to Watch: Youku
Dear readers… How are you, I hope you are well. It suddenly rained here at 12 am. The temperature has dropped and it feels a bit cooler here. And that was not a good sign because now I feel sleepy. But… I have to keep my eyes wide open this time, otherwise, all the ideas (and rants) would slowly disappear when I close my eyes. Governor’s Secret Lover was a Chinese romance drama released in December 2023, starred by Deng Kai and Jin Zi Xuan, with total of 24 episodes. I quite enjoyed watching this drama. I wil explain why in this review.
Well, without further ado, let’s get started!
Governor’s Secret Lover Synopsis
Murong Cang lost his entire family due to the Duke of Defender’s greed. He then took Duke of Defender’s daughter and planned to use her as a pawn. However, her innocence made him waver, and he chose a different path to avenge his family. Thus, Murong Cang entered the palace and became a fake eunuch. He worked his way up, gaining the Emperor’s trust and helping him secure the throne while continuing to work on his revenge.
Yun Jiao is a young girl who worked as a soothsayer at the Longevity Shrine. Yun Jiao can predict the future with the help of her green jade bangle. Whenever she touches someone, the bangle shines and shows her that person’s future. She earns a good income from her foresight work, which she uses to provide better education for children who share the same fate as her.
By chance, the two of them meet again at the shrine. Yun Jiao accidentally found out that Murong Cang was not a eunuch. To save her life, she was willing to cooperate with Murong Cang and followed him to his mansion. He gave her a new name, Jixiang, and told Yun Jiao to pretend to be a eunuch.
Although her presence could ruin his big plans, Murong Cang could not resist her charm. He had to succumb to his feelings for Yun Jiao and was torn between his revenge and his secret love for his enemy’s daughter.
Governor’s Secret Lover Review
Okay, I am a little confused. The drama is titled Governor’s Secret Love, but Murong Cang is only a Chief Eunuch of the palace and does not hold any position as a governor. So where did this governor come from?
After thinking about it for a while, I came to the conclusion that maybe the production team couldn’t openly use the word “eunuch” in the title because of China’s strict regulations. Another reason could be that they used a Chinese character that could be translated as “governor.” But let’s leave the title aside and talk about the drama instead.
I did not particularly choose this drama in the first place. Then I remembered one of my New Year’s resolutions is to find a hidden gem among the short-length drama series. My optimistic side tells me that someday I will find one. However, it is only January, and I still have a long way to go before another New Year.
From my point of view, these short-length series dramas have some value. The most obvious value is the length, which allows me to use my spare time to watch more dramas. However, there is a negative side to this. As someone who used to watch dramas with longer durations and elaborate stories, I must make peace with the fast pace, courageously face the undetailed plot, and keep watching with an open mind.
Sometimes, this can be quite challenging. Do you think I should add ‘being patient, open-minded, and not judging before the drama ends’ to my New Year’s resolution?
I could try hard on this one, but I am not sure about the result.
Governor’s Secret Love’s story centers on Murong Cang and Yun Jiao. Murong Cang is a man who has disguised himself as a eunuch in order to gain access to the imperial palace. As an eunuch, Murong Cang could enter the palace feely and conduct his investigation on the massacre of his Mu Clan.
As for Yun Jiao, she is a young girl with a mysterious background. Furthermore, she has the ability to be a soothsayer with the help of a jade bracelet. The two were familiar with each other from their younger days. However, because of his revenge plan, Murong Cang had to conceal his identity and pretend that he never knew her at all.
Fake eunuchs are not uncommon in Chinese historical dramas. Several dramas also use this theme, such as Oh My Lord drama and Unchained Love. These three dramas have something in common: the fake eunuchs wield tremendous power inside the palace and are good friends with the monarch, so nobody dares to offend them. They lived like royalty, wearing the finest garments and residing in a mansion with many servants. Money was not an issue for them.
However, there must have been a compelling reason for them to pretend to be eunuchs. In the drama Oh My Lord, Bai Li, a fake eunuch, seeks revenge for his parents’ death. Similarly, in Unchained Love, Xiao Duo pretends to be a eunuch to investigate his younger brother’s death.
Now, Murong Cang also seeks revenge for Mu Clan’s death. These fake eunuchs should not be underestimated. If you see one, no matter how handsome he may be, it is best to steer clear. You can still admire their beauty from afar and keep yourself safe. And if things get out of hand, I would say, “Abort the mission! I repeat, abort the mission. Now run as far as you can”, to you.
Well… back to the review!
Governor’s Secret Love had many scenes that a romance junkie like me would love. The drama featured an underwater kiss, a princess carry, a kiss to prove feelings, a reciprocal ‘I love you’ kiss, and even small gestures like Murong Cang hiding Yun Jiao behind him when the villain appeared, somehow managed to touch my heart. The amount of sweetness in this drama was enough to quench my thirst.
However, there were several plot holes that I found. Murong Cang’s weakness was his madness when he was surrounded by total darkness. This information should have been kept confidential because this is a major weakness for someone as powerful as Murong Cang.
But Yun Jiao was able to fish out the story from a small maid in the Chief Eunuch’s mansion. Somebody should think that despite the mansion’s security measures, enemies could still find a way in. So, it was a careless move on the part of the meticulous Murong Cang to let others know about his weakness.
The same thing happened with Princess Xue Qing. Due to the disappearance of the real Xue Qing aka Yun Jiao, the Duke of Defender replaced her with a substitute. And the chosen replacement was the present Xue Qing. However, the servants in the palace were also aware of this fact and they were able to humiliate the new Xue Qing because of her unknown background. Once again I asked, shouldn’t this situation have been kept a secret?
Apparently, there were problems with secrecy in this society. People might be too bored with their own lives and start minding other business… LOL
Story-wise, I was initially unimpressed because it seemed cliché. However, the screenwriter managed to surprise me with the ending. The plot twist was unexpected and provided a pleasant surprise. You can read this drama ending that I wrote on Governor’s Secret Lover ending explained post
I found Yun Jiao’s personality a bit annoying. To me, she appeared overly eager to please, almost like a bootlicker. Her excessive modesty in front of Murong Cang is too much. However, if I use the logic of that era, I can understand it to some extent, but I still feel it was too much.
This is my first time watching Deng Kai and Jin Zi Yuan’s drama. I was not too impressed with their acting. But if I had to rate it, I would give more points to Jin Zi Xuan. Deng Kai’s acting was too stiff. However, that might be my own preference.
I just finished watching The Last Immortal, and before I wrote this review, I watched Born to Run. The actors in these two dramas were excellent. Zhao Lu Si had remarkable fainting scenes, so Jin Zi Xuan’s fainting scenes looked average to me.
Out of all the characters in the story, Xue Qing’s character impressed me the most. She is portrayed as arrogant, jealous, and cruel, but her character is well-written, and I could see significant changes that show her development. In contrast, Murong Cang and Yun Jiao’s characters were a bit flat, with few changes throughout the story.
Murong Cang is a stubborn person who is often carried away by his feelings, while Yun Jiao maintains her innocence and naivety all the way from the beginning to the end. Her character made me learn that being too impulsive could somehow attract dangerous situations. You have to think about all your actions well, so it would not get yourself in trouble or implicate others.
Dear readers, no matter how long I rant about a drama, I always try to find a positive and praiseworthy aspect. I did not create those dramas nor was I involved in any of them, but I know how hard it is to make a show.
Regardless of the duration per episode, it required a great amount of hard work from everyone involved, including producers, directors, screenwriters, actors, and even the small runners. Everyone worked hard to make their dreams and aspirations come to life. Hats off to their hard work, including those who made this drama.
And dear readers, the praise-worthy aspect of Governor’s Secret Love is the cinematography. When I watched the first episode, I was amazed by the good quality of cinematography in it. I did not expect this since the last time I watched the Rising Feather drama.
The lack of visuals has really shocked me. I was prepared for another boring visual experience, but Governor’s Secret Love exceeded my expectations. I was not disappointed by the costumes and sets. However, the makeup department could have put in more effort. Deng Kai’s face looked flat, have they forgotten to put some blush on him? I could not stand the thick foundation on him.
Or is it because of the filter? On the other hand, Jin Zi Xuan’s makeup was too ostentatious, and her hairstyle made her look like she had elf ears. Nevertheless, I loved Wu Ya Lu’s makeup. As Princess Xue Qing, she looked stunning in her soft makeup.
The story begins with an impressive sight of Murong Cang’s parade in a grass field. This scene is great for an opening as it gives me a sense of awe when I see the nice sedan and the majestic sight of Murong Cang. However, in my present logic, it seems a bit excessive since Murong Cang was not a royal member.
Nonetheless, who am I to judge? He might have all the power and money to do what he wants. As a mundane person, I should just sit and crack melon seeds when he walks past in front of me.
The director, Sun Jia Yan, has a knack for choosing angles and creating a suitable atmosphere for a scene. I wish he could make a longer drama and work with some big stars in Cdramaland.
The relationship between Murong Cang and Yun Jiao began when they were both young. Murong Cang came from the renowned imperial physician family, the Mu clan, while Yun Jiao was the daughter of the Duke of Defender. Unfortunately, their relationship was tainted by blood when the Duke of Defender massacred the whole clan for a secret.
Murong Cang took Yun Jiao with him, and they lived in the Longevity Shrine with other orphaned children. The two had a good relationship. At that time, Murong Cang went by the name Mu Tou. He raised Yun Jiao, taking her to play and nourishing her with flatbread.
Their closeness eventually made him unable to bear using Yun Jiao as a pawn. Mu Tou changed his plan and took a different path to avenge his Mu Clan. Before leaving, he gave Yun Jiao a set of acupuncture needles.
These needles were the only thing left to Mu Tou by his father, Imperial Physician Mu. The needle case had an embroidery of the Mu character. Yun Jiao promised to wait for Mu Tou’s return, and she did so for years, but he never returned.
Years passed, and on a fateful day, Murong Cang was injured. Yun Jiao helped him, despite knowing that he was not a real eunuch. In return, he almost killed her, but Yun Jiao was saved by the needle case. Murong Cang took her to his mansion to protect her.
It appears that Murong Cang has not forgotten Yun Jiao, particularly the lullaby she used to sing to comfort him. However, I wonder why, as a powerful man, he has not tracked Yun Jiao’s whereabouts and located her. She has never left the shrine, so it should not be difficult for Murong Cang to find her. But there were chances that he would want to cut off their relationship, so no one would associate a small soothsayer in a shrine with Murong Cang.
In contrast, Murong Cang had a clear memory of his past, but Yun Jiao’s memories of the past were vague because she had the ability to foresee the future. Yun Jiao explained that this was a common experience for a soothsayer. You cannot have all the good without making some sacrifices.
The conflict began when Xue Qing became jealous of Yun Jiao. Xue Qing’s obsession with Murong Cang led her to do many foolish and cruel things. To make matters worse, the Duke of Defender wanted to marry Xue Qing to her cousin, the Emperor. This way, he could have direct access to control the Emperor and the country.
Meanwhile, Murong Cang and the Emperor tried to find evidence proving General Hu’s guilt of embezzlement. To take down the Duke of Defender, they had to start with his close confidante, General Hu. They worked hard to find the evidence, but it came at a high price: Guo Fugui’s life. He died protecting Yun Jiao, who collected the evidence from the Longevity Shrine.
Murong Cang and the Emperor are racing against time because the Duke will return to the capital soon. If he is back, it will be harder to punish General Hu. The conflict escalates when the Emperor and General Hu recognize that Yun Jiao’s face is similar to the late Empress’. It appears that there is more to Yun Jiao’s past that no one knows.
Murong Cang had to deal with General Hu, the Duke of Defender, and the Emperor, who seemed to have another plan. Meanwhile, he also had to confront his feelings for Yun Jiao. He began to realize that her foresight was becoming true. He loved her deeply and could not bear to hurt her. However, Murong Cang did not know that Yun Jiao hid the fact that his future was bloodied. Because of her love, Yun Jiao took an extreme measure to help him.
Governor’s Secret Love has a satisfying ending. It is not just another happy ending because the plot twist is unpredictable. I was happy because of it.
Murong Cang’s real name is Mu Yun Zang. When he was a child, his family was killed by the Duke of Defender and General Hu. He hid among the refugees and used the name Mu Tou. Later, to enter the palace, he changed his name back to Murong Cang.
As a child, he witnessed the massacre of his Mu family by the Duke of Defender and General Hu. He planned a meticulous revenge plot, which involved the daughter of the Duke of Defender. Murong Cang took her to the Longevity Shrine and gave her a new name, Yun Jiao, which was taken from his deceased younger sister, Mu Yun Jiao.
Murong Cang is intelligent, ruthless, and indifferent. There were not many people close to him, but Fugui and the Emperor were the closest. However, after reuniting with Yun Jiao, Murong Cang’s world seemed to turn upside down. His heart softened, and he became easily worried. Even the Emperor could sense the change in him, but he would never admit it because he wanted to protect Yun Jiao.
Yun Jiao is the real Princess Xue Qing. Her father is the Duke of Defender, and her aunt is the late empress. Xue Qing had been missing for years, so her father found a replacement for Xue Qing. The replacement is the current Princess Xue Qing. Yun Jiao had the ability to foresee the future with the help of a green jade bracelet. As a soothsayer, Yun Jiao could see the future clearly but often forget the past. The name Yun Jiao was given by Mu Tou.
Since she was a child, Yun Jiao has a compassionate and innocent heart but can be rather naive and easily manipulated. Murong Cang’s plans were often ruined by Yun Jiao’s impulsiveness. Despite this, he always had a soft heart towards her and would do anything to protect her.
Princess Xue Qing
Princess Xue Qing was born as a nobody. Her life changed after the Duke of Defender took her in and made her a substitute for his daughter. Xue Qing hoped that the Duke of Defender would treat her as his own daughter because she longed for love and a family. Sadly, the Duke only saw her as a pawn. Regardless of what she did, he never appreciated her.
Xue Qing fell in love with Murong Cang even though she knew his status as a eunuch. It was because he was the only one who stood up for her when she was bullied. In my opinion, Xue Qing is like a hedgehog, using her thorns as a weapon to protect the soft and fragile part of her heart.
The General is an arrogant man who thinks he controls everything. He is the Duke of Defender’s right-hand man and often makes decisions on behalf of the Duke, knowing he has the Duke’s backing.
General Hu is a cruel man who would do anything to fulfill his greed and desires. He looked down on the Emperor and regarded Murong Cang as his infinite enemy. General Hu showed his arrogance and ambitions in front of the Emperor himself. He schemed to trap Murong Cang and accused him of many things. His goal was only one: to take down Murong Cang and control the Emperor.
The Emperor is young and weak. He does not have many supporters because many court members support his uncle, the Duke of Defender. The late Empress, who was the Duke of Defender’s sister, committed suicide because of the Duke.
After his mother’s death, the young Emperor wanted to take revenge on the Duke of Defender. He teamed up with Murong Cang to bring him down and made a long-term plan to punish the Duke.
The young Emperor appeared inexperienced, but behind his friendly facade, he was a cunning man capable of devising meticulous plans that even his closest friend, Murong Cang, could not break.
Initially, I thought that the plot of ” Governor’s Secret Love” might not be my cup of tea, but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the twist at the end. I enjoy it when a drama surprises me with its story. It’s not as amusing when you can almost guess the plot.
If you like historical romance dramas without too much angst or unnecessary drama, Governor’s Secret Love is the perfect choice. It provides just the right amount of sweetness and is a short series, leaving you with plenty of spare time.
So, be prepared dear readers, click your Youku app, and don’t forget to renew the VIP membership since this drama needs you to pay some money before you can watch the whole episode. Please remember to write to us whenever you finish the drama and tell me, did we have the same opinions or different opinions about this drama.
Anyway, just write in the comment box below, we were happy whenever one of you wrote and shared your thoughts with us. I’ll see you in another drama review post. Bye!