First Marriage Then Love


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She is of average status. He is young and powerful, achieving status as a high ranking official of River City within a span of just a few years. She had a deep love, but being unable to endure the harsh reality of life, she left. He had also loved once before, but he had been suffered betrayal from his girlfriend and friends, he delayed his marriage.

Having exchanged a few coincidental glances with him, she mistakenly assumed him to be her blind date, and without asking any other questions, she directly inquired him: “Do you want to come with me to get a card (marriage book)?”

He recognized this woman, and holding her with a feeling that was neither love nor hate, pleasure replacing surprise, he nodded: “I’m free in the afternoon!” He had not corrected her.

As per marital business, she offered him an agreement, calmly stating: She will agree to roll the bed sheet once a week! He quietly raised an eyebrow, mouth half-smiling, and flamboyantly signed his name. So because of this agreement…

“Wife, it’s late, let’s get some rest,” the man stated. The woman looked in to his eyes, nodded, and turned off the bedside lamp. In the darkness, a pair of large hands probed into her clothes, caressing her skin like satin. It was a beautiful night.

On the second night: “Wife, it’s late, let’s get some rest, ” the man stated. The woman looked in to his eyes, nodded, turned off the bedside lamp and lay down to sleep. His dark, large hand reached up to her again and slid into her clothes, probing her smooth skin until it was then suddenly caught.

“What are you doing? ” the woman asked coldly.

”There is a marital agreement to fulfill! ” the man said, take it for granted, and then pressed on top of the woman. It was a spectacular night.

The next morning, the woman who was brimming with an aching waist and grief, came out from the study room with eyes wide open, angrily said: “Su Yicheng, you crafty Official!”

The agreement read: marriage, rest once a week!

Love after marriage, warm and spoiled.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Marriage First, True Love Later
Mr. Mayor Please Be Kind (Webnovel)
Related Series
First Marriage Then Love 2 (Side Story)
Marriage Concerto (Small Thing Called Love) (3)
Hear My Heart: My World Falls into the River of Love (3)
Marry First, Love Later (2)
Trial Marriage Husband: Need to Work Hard (2)
Flash Marriage (2)
Life After Marriage (2)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Romance
  2. Favorite Moderns
  3. Married Plot
  4. Collection
  5. china novel

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51 Reviews sorted by

New darkelf01
September 18, 2022
Status: c6
MC came off as somewhat pathetic and emotionally weak. Not sure I'd continue reading this, the premise is interesting but I don't like this type of pathetic MC. I'd worry if she'd cheat on ML if given the chance since she (and the the ex) are obviously not finished with their past yet and I'm not sure she'd be resolute enough to throw scum ex away.
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New Pyolove rated it
August 29, 2022
Status: Completed
I was reluctant to read this at first because of the low stars and reviews, but wow, I'm so glad my curiosity got the best of me. I surprisingly enjoyed this novel much more than I thought I would. I love this kind of novel a lot. This is an adult relationship where both FL and ML communicate in order to resolve the misunderstanding. I suggest reading this novel because unlike other cliche and face-slapping novels, this novel is very refreshing. You will always be grinning when reading it. It's... more>> a sweet cute light-hearted romance starting from when they were already adults. <<less
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Dani_elle rated it
August 14, 2017
Status: --
Story's good but isn't it disgusting how she's and 'old spinster' while he's 'a young bachelor' when he's even older than her.
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icecream rated it
October 2, 2016
Status: c69 part2
The characters are alright at the start. But after a while I find the female lead really really REALLY cringe worthy and I have too much angst. I tried, then tried again to read just to see if it turns around, but it doesn't for me. Yes it makes sense to be alert and warry of a stranger you just married. But honestly how long should this last when she was the one that went head first into the situation she is in anyway!!! Besides she knows he has a... more>> decent personality, she knows he is stable with money, she knows he will not betray her and cherish her. AND THIS was from the very start of the story that she knew, or at least should have, yet what she does feels kind of rude. She always acts so reluctant and opposed, but like I said before, she SIGNED up for this, and I feel so bad for the male lead that's putting all his effort into being with her. I don't mind if she isn't as doting and lovey dovery for the male lead, as he is to her, but she can at least try harder and not make the situation always so awkward and unnatural with the MC imo. And I can't see how the male lead is head over heels for such a character that has such a shabby and insecure personality. Although the story justifies why in the later chapters, I was already too cringed and annoyed at her to even care at that point. Overall this novel just makes me feel salty and sour, not sweet. It just rubs me the wrong way and I can't enjoy anything about this female lead <<less
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Fathom rated it
March 10, 2017
Status: c165
A 28 year old spinster and a 30 something guy decide to get married despite being strangers. Both have been hurt by love in the past. So they might as well just marry first logically.

It's quite a cute story, but the repetitiveness of the plot is a bit boring. The heroine is constantly battling professional jealousies and petty revenge. Seriously, I don't know how a professional work place would survive in such an environment. In addition, every single couple seems to have a 3rd wheel who has an obsessive missed... more>> chance love bordering on psychotic stalkerdom. Both main characters have such 3rd wheel stalkers, even the stalkers have 3rd wheel stalkers. The BFF also has a 3rd wheel entanglement.

Overall, the first couple is quite cute, and is a slow romantic but realistic build up. As for the couple in the last 69 chapters, I just couldn't find much interest in them. A horrible father figure who had previously cheated on his best friends girl friend, and a girl who was basically a stay at home girlfriend that was supported by her fiance for 10 years only to be left at the altar pregnant. Not really appealing. I struggled to finish this side story. <<less
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Jkuanli rated it
April 11, 2016
Status: --
The highlight of the story is released! The hero to the rescue, the relationship between the male and female lead is out in the open. What’s next? I can’t wait for the next chapter!
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mjnovel rated it
July 21, 2017
Status: c70.1
I read allot of online novel. I do prefer it more than the drama. I have become obsess with this novel. I just found it and could not close my laptop. Started from beginning to the current ch70.1 in one and half days. This novel is easy to read. Structures in english are easy to follow and understand. More than anything this book is a very well written book in itself. It's very well develop.

For those who just hates the novel and character and how "the storyline is so over... more>> rated". All I got to say is, reading this novel has been like watching a drama. I highly recommend it for romance. Because the description of the kisses will melt your heart. <<less
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January 17, 2020
Status: c53
I stopped half way. I do not like the MC. I cant tolerate her. Honestly, she's so ridiculous and annoying. She keeps on thinking about her ex. She cant move on at all. Like its been six years, surely, her love must not be that super f*cking deep. I feel like its cheating in a way. Always thinking about how her ex did with her in her university days. Ridiculous. Its always the ML trying to do the work for their marriage even though she's the one who initiated it.... more>> She's annoying. One of the shittiest MC i've read. <<less
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devilsadvocate rated it
June 4, 2016
Status: c58
This is one heck of a sweet story but well the english...... it is kinda struggling but the translator gets gradually better, well u can still make out the meaning. absolutely worth the read, it tugs at your heart!
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Wonder Star
Wonder Star rated it
August 31, 2019
Status: c142
It's an okayish story. There are some glitches that are beyond me. Like -

... more>>

1) MC was betrayed by her ex boyfriend and since then hasn't been able to move on for the past 6 years. One day, tired of all blind dates set up by her mother she proposes marriage to a stranger. But, but, but, when the reason for the betrayal is revealed, it doesn't really soind convincing. It looked like they were already drifting apart and yet how their break up had such a profound impact on her, is beyond me.

(2) ML's ex girlfriend was his childhood friend, they grew up together and when he was going to propose, he found out she was cheating on him with his best friend. Because of this betrayal, he rejected all blind dates set up by his mother for the next 7 years. Later this ex girlfriend returns, divorced and still wishing to snatch ML back from the MC apparently with the screwed up logic that if he had stayed single for 7 years means that he still loves her. She is this malicious woman who couldn't even spare her own child, people don't really change in a day or a year. There has to be a base level malice in her tonstart with. How couldn't anyone, the ML or ML's best friend see that in her? Was it possible for her to hide her true self for so many years? I mean wtf?

3) MC's best friend had been in love with her boyfriend turned fiancé for 10 years, she loves him so much but claims that when they met, he had someone in his heart and because she looked similar to her, he noticed her. This guy is such an as*hole (i don't know if it was deliberately done by tue author to make her story similar to MC's or not), that when his ex girlfriend return after 10 years, he starts having thoughts about leaving his fiancé who is pregnant with their child. And when she finally gives up upon him, does he realize that he really loved her for who she is and not as a shadow of his ex girlfriend. Isn't 10 years enough time to forget someone while you've fallen in love with someone already or was this guy blind enough to not be able to know his own feelings until she left him?


There are some side plots related to MC's parentage and a lot of angst. All over an okayish read but too melodramatic for the plot. All the exs are bad and all good characters were blind enough to not even realise why they fell in love with them in the first place. It's not like, this review is going to stop anyone from reading this story. Go ahead and read it. Form your own opinion about this story <<less
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Jeez Louise
Jeez Louise rated it
May 2, 2020
Status: Completed
As much as I like Su Yicheng and Gu An Ran couple, I have to admit I love Zhou Han and Ling Li much more.

I just feel like their story has more depth than our main couple although they only have 126 chapters (Chapter 409-535) dedicated to their story, I just connect to them more for some reason. Could be because they have a little bun in the mix. I admit I'm a sucker for those kind of novels lol.
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jufiasca rated it
November 14, 2017
Status: c91
Pretty interesting. It's full of heartbreaks, almost all characters have broken hearted herts that varies in situation. It makes me believe that love is not a fairytale, but caring and understanding your partner with loyalty and trust; and happiness is just a bonus and a proof of it as well as the other emotions attached to it. Hah, that was so profound of me! Anyways, it' good and I like the characters. It showed how a person changed over time, nothing lasts forever but something stays for a long time.

ps.... more>> Just to share, I want to sing Let it Go for them, haha! Let it go, let it go..! <<less
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Rinkyx rated it
September 26, 2021
Status: Completed
Solid 2.5 ⭐️ FL though is not my fave. She is prob in my top 10 worst FL I’ve read. Always puts herself in danger, invites her enemies into her home, sees her enemies when they call her out and never explains and tell her husband the truth - sofcukn easy to do and makes her cause misunderstanding. ML is the only reason this story is even good and that I made I through. He does not make misunderstandings happen, he tells her the truth right away (actually communicates) and... more>> is a solid guy. FL is 28yrs old and acts too much of a child for me. Part 2 of this story which is about her BFF story is better. <<less
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September 6, 2019
Status: c142
The protagonists marry after meeting as 3 times or so XD I find the story good, the personality of the protagonists is nice, ML is cold? Or more conservative I would say, but it is not garbage, it is very nice and loyal, MF is intelligent and strong, their personalities complement each other and do their best to avoid misunderstandings between them which is very refreshing, most of the problems are due to social office of the ML (public official) and some stinky ex, nothing so serious. The love story... more>> of the protagonists grows from apoco and is based on the respect and loyalty with which both engage. ♥ <<less
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pokeito rated it
December 11, 2018
Status: c108
The summary in nu is kinda misleading actually.

I like the human essence in this novel.

The characters aren't OP and overly rich and powerful like in most Chinese novels. The FL is an OL and the ML has kinda a high position but they both are in a position where someone can actually overthrow them easily.

The main leads resolve misunderstandings rather quickly and they actually like... TALK to each other.

The personalities of the characters (excluding the crazy exes) are actually reasonable and human. They're not perfect but relatable at some poinylt.
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March 11, 2018
Status: c99
She is an old spinster of average status. He is young and powerful, achieving status as a high ranking official of River City within a span of just a few years. ---Umm, first of all HE is older than her. This must be a Chinese novel thing that is always present, once you're past 25 and still unmarried no matter how successful and amazing a woman has become she's reduced to nothing. Ok, enough with that lil complaint.

I didn't like the An Ran - FL at first because it seemed... more>> like after a devastating heartbreak she just went with the flow. Pressured with her parents', friend, her past, society's demand she must be married ASAP, she just walked up to Yi Cheng (ML) and simply asks if he doesn't mind getting married, tomorrow the soonest. Also, she really irritated me during the times when he tries to initiate intimacy and she... anyways... she was the one who demanded marriage, duh. However, as the story went on, I liked that she is kind, simple, loyal, a very good friend and a filial daughter.

Yi Cheng-ML was a typical one, wealthy, powerful etc etc but also went to an even more devastating heartbreak.

I'm also glad that both families were agreeable to each other and there was no evil mother in-law drama. Thank God for that.

I like the story though so even if it has a few things I find typical I don't really mind so much. Also the translator/s who picked up the story after it was dropped are awesome, so there. <<less
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January 15, 2018
Status: c19
So the only truth so far is that they both married for convenance. If you expect her to be bold than you are gravely mistaken and as an fyi she's beyond f**king weak willed. Its pathetic. Honestly, if you like stressful weak characters than read this.

edit 48

Once you get past 20 it actually start picking up, at 48 I'm starting to find myself enjoying/anticipationg when the feelings become mutual wholeheartedly
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dysry rated it
July 4, 2016
Status: c69 part1
"She is an old spinster of average status. He is young and powerful, " And she's actually a few years younger...

It starts out as a light and spontaneous story where two people acting on impulse end up picking better partners than the ones they've carefully chosen and gotten to know. Both are nice and talented, but unlucky in love, so they defy social norms on a whim, only to slowly fall for each other as they interact.

However, as the story drags out, it starts becoming more suffocating, with a... more>> lot of similar antagonists and developments for the main couple to overcome just coz, and emphasis on status and connections (male lead waving his status to 'rescue' the female lead from b*tchiness). While the author's treatment of one of the female antagonists' felt over the top given the tone of the rest of the story. <<less
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yany rated it
August 25, 2022
Status: Completed
Don't trust these bad reviews. I almost missed this novel because of that. I don't understand why there are so many bad reviews when the novel is very nice and light. I like the fact that both ML and FL communicate - which is a very adult relationship! Any misunderstanding will be solved. I love the ML. He's very understanding, and both of their personalities definitely complement each other since they both want to avoid misunderstandings as much as they could. The story is very slice of life and very... more>> refreshing.

Kudos to the Author and Translator! :) <<less
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xiao_daoist rated it
May 20, 2020
Status: c28
After reading to the 28th chapter, I feel disgusted by the Female Lead. My reasons; First, she was the one who proposed getting married but she doesn't try to make the marriage work. The Male Lead is the one constantly trying to work with her. However, she's... I don't even know the right word for it. Even when he suggests certain things like driving her home, she tells him she can drive. [You have a car, obviously you can drive. He's not suggesting that because you can't drive, it's to... more>> foster relationship.]

Secondly, she refuses to tell others she's married. Even when someone misunderstood her r/ship with her ex, she doesn't clarify. This doesn't sit well with me. Let's not forget the part about not wanting a wedding.

[In reality, you shouldn't be with someone if you aren't over your ex. Secondly, if you aren't willing to work for your marriage, don't bother getting married no matter the pressure. Don't cause emotional damage to someone else.]

Thirdly, she keeps thinking about the jerk of an ex, who by the way married someone else six years ago. She can't freaking get over a scum who chose a rich girl over her.

To be sincere, these are all off putting. The ML is trying but she isn't at all. She's f*cking rude... Her character is just shitty.

Originally, I was like finally, a ML who isn't overbearing and cold. Did not expect the FL to be this way.

Honestly, in reality, I doubt their relationship would work. If only one side is putting in the effort while the other side is passive. <<less
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94321 rated it
September 2, 2019
Status: c142
It's starting to stink of misogyny.

The FL has started asking the ML permission to do things and he's taking over decisions that are hers and hers alone. The latest example: she's pregnant and decides to ask him about doing some work cases at home which he vetoes. First of all why is she asking him, it's her body she knows better than anyone whether she can handle it and secondly ML why do you feel the need to tell someone what they can and can't handle?

The FL doesn't express her... more>> feelings and worries about being a burden and is slowly turning into a 1820s housewife (except without the housework because the ML has deemed her to fragile to do even that.) While the ML, coming from a good place, imposes his ideals and decisions on her. What makes it even harder to read is that the FL started off as a strong career woman who didn't take sh*t from her coworkers or ex. It's one small aspect which is ruining an otherwise fantastic story. <<less
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jennamt4 rated it
August 30, 2019
Status: c87
I had initially overlooked this novel because the synopsis refers to the FL as a spinster. I thought maybe it was a story about a mid-30s woman ending up with a younger guy. Nothing wrong with that but it's just not my cup of tea (however, IRL, my hubby is younger than me, lol).

So first of all, the synopsis has got this all wrong. The FL is 28, the ML is 32. They both were traumatized by past relationships, leaving both to remain single ever since. FL is an architect... more>> and ML is the Special Assistant to the Mayor. It doesn't sound like a lofty title/position but he wields quite a bit of power in the city. ML also comes from a powerful military family background.


FL had a college sweetheart that she dated for 3 years. During their final year of college, both were busy with their own internships. She finds out that he started dating a rich girl with a prominent family. He comes from a poor background and thinks that by being with the rich girl, he would have a better chance of success. So when the rich girl goes abroad for graduate study, he follows her and marries her. He comes back 6 years later with the intent to get FL back despite still being married. He thinks that since she's been single all these years, she has been waiting for him.

ML had a childhood sweetheart. They grew up together. He went on a business trip and came back early with the intent to purpose marriage to her. That's when he caught her and his best friend having interc**rse on the floor together. This fallout leads to their breakup and ending of his friendship with his best friend. The ex-girlfriend and former best friend went abroad together. She comes back 7 years later and also thinks that since ML has been single all this time, he hasn't gotten over her despite her betrayal and therefore she still stands a chance.

Before their marriage, ML had encountered FL a few times, usually during her blind dates to other men. He once saved her when a date tried to force a kiss on her. FL approaches ML thinking that he was the blind date that her BFF set up. She impulsively proposes marriage which ML (although knowing she got the wrong person) accepts. She only finds out after they received their marriage certificate that he was the wrong person.

FL has no idea that she married such a powerful man. She thinks he's just an office worker. She's kind of oblivious. He drops her off to work one morning when she finally realizes that he's driving an expensive car. She tells him that it's too flashy. When he picks her up in the afternoon, he drives an inexpensive car. This leads her ex-boyfriend (who came looking for her) and villain co-worker to think that he's just an ordinary person. When ML finally tells FL that he's a government official, she thinks back to the expensive car and tells him that he must have taken bribes in order to afford such a nice car, lol. He finally shows her his stock portfolio and tells her about his investments to make it clear that he doesn't take bribes. I like that both ML & FL are so lowkey that when he rescues her, it shocks everyone to find out who he is.

It's actually kinda cute when she finds out that he's rich. She tells him that she guesses her BFF is right, she became a gold digger.


There is no marriage agreement* like what the synopsis said. Although he's attracted to her, he doesn't force her and she's still coming to term with marrying a stranger. She's hesitant at the beginning but knows that ultimately ML is her husband and they would sleep together sooner or later. He's very patient with her and respectful towards her while she mentally prepares herself. I'm glad that their relationship isn't contractual with rules and an expiration date.

*Spoke too soon, lol. There is an agreement in Ch 99. After being worn out from their daily lovemaking, FL decides to purpose a married-couple agreement, limiting their lovemaking to once a week.

What I like best about this novel so far is that they trust each other and understand that both have a past that has nothing to do with the other.


When FL's ex-boyfriend comes back in the picture, ML protects her but doesn't ask her any questions which she's grateful for. She eventually tells ML what happened back then and ML tells her that he knows she's already over her ex-boyfriend and it's OK if she doesn't want to reminisce the past. When ML's ex-girlfriend gets drunk and comes to their house while ML is away, the ex-girlfriend tells FL a lot of hurtful things (mainly that their house used to be hers and ML's house and how everything is the same as it used to be when she lived there - the decoration and furniture, that it was only because she had gotten drunk that the "incident" happened to lead to their breakup, and that FL is just a substitute of her). When ML returns, he finds FL sitting on the floor in the dark while the ex-girlfriend is sleeping on the sofa drunk. He sees the tears on FL's face and takes her to the bedroom. The only thing she asked him is if it's true that she's a substitute. He tells her no and she was happy again because that's all she cared about. We do find out that the ex-girlfriend lied - after their breakup, the house was renovated and re-decorated so it looks nothing like it did when she lived there, she wasn't drunk when she slept with his best friend, it was mutual.

I think FL feels safe and secured when she's with ML and ML likes her innocence and finds everything about her to be refreshing and cute (even when she's mad).

I like that our main leads are real about their feelings, especially in terms of their past relationships. It was really hurtful and just because they're married now, doesn't mean that what they felt back then no longer hurt. I like seeing both of them feeling down upon seeing their exes and realizing that they're OK now.

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