Within the first 5 episodes of “Lover or Stranger” China drama, there were moments when I wanted to give up watching as the story was quite slow and I kept wondering when things would get more interesting. A 26-year old woman vacations with her boyfriend, successful entrepreneur in Hokkaido. The woman is an up-and-coming talented classical violinist named Luo Qian Yi and her boyfriend is Huo You Ze who looks obsessed with her in every scene. To propose to her, he buys a very old violin for USD1 million, which woman wouldn’t accept?
While Huo You Ze is sleeping in their hotel room, Luo Qian Yi discovers some photos on his cell phone which makes her doubt their relationship. She runs off to think on a mountain and he searches for her. They have an argument where she mentions leaving him and as they tussle with each other, she falls off and then there is an avalanche.
In hospital, Huo You Ze looks at a woman who we assume is the rescued Luo Qian Yi, her face is completely bandaged and she needs plastic surgery. When the plastic surgery is complete, she has no memories of her past. She is brought back to River City in China and they settle down in their shared home, a sumptuous, spacious house. Huo You Ze is very rich and can give her every comfort including endless delivered meals which she doesn’t appreciate (she would rather have noodles).
As time goes on, we realise Huo You Ze is in no hurry for Luo Qian Yi to recover her memories. He keeps a room locked up which houses her violins, she discovers that she used to play the violin very well but now she can’t remember how to play it. However she is very good at playing vidoe games and speaking Japanese, talents which Luo Qian Yi didn’t have pre-accident on the mountain.
Luo Qian Yi’s manager goes to confront Huo You Ze about the contract he has with Luo Qian Yi. Huo You Ze would prefer that the manager terminate the contract and is willing to pay any compensation for breach of contract. Luo Qian Yi wants to remember how to play the violin so the manager arranges for a teacher to teach her at home. The teacher turns out to be Luo Qian Yi’s ex-boyfriend who is a really annoying character as he acts irrational and impulsive all the time in getting Luo Qian Yi to remember their past love. I don’t even know how any man would still want to be with a woman like her who left him for Huo You Ze because Huo could help her achieve her ambition of being on the world stage as an international musician.
After a few misunderstandings and arguments, Luo Qian Yi and Huo You Ze actually start to bond, helped by Huo’s company’s sponsorship of rural children’s education. They make a trip to the mountains to spend time with these children and are happy in their company, so much so Huo decides to retire and retreat to the mountains with Luo Qian Yi who is starting to like him.
However cracks are starting to appear as Luo Qian Yi discovers she is not who she is supposed to be. She is in fact a missing pickpocket named Song Xiao Dong who also went missing on the mountain on the day of the avalanche. Huo randomly picked a survivor and assumed she was his fiance. He didn’t care as long as she remained by his side.
Then there are the love triangles, Huo has an old friend named Sun Lei who is his able assistant and VP of his company. She will sacrifice anything for him and cover up things so that he looks good in front of the media. Luo Qian Yi’s ex-bf, the very irritating violinist has an admirer in Huo’s young sister. That ex-bf really needs to get a grip on himself as he is always having a meltdown every time Luo Qian Yi brushes him off. This kind of obsession is very unbecoming especially for a man.