There will be spoilers for the manhwa series Undercover Partners.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to extortion, corruption, sexual assault, and homophobia as it appears in the manhwa.
Kyuho Je is over being a conglomerate family heir. He is looking for any way possible to get out from under his family while maintaining his lifestyle for himself. He finds the answer to all his problems through a money-laundering expert by the codename “Smurf,” who, in the real world, is known as Kangha Nam. Once Kyuho catches Kangha, he extorts him into entering a contract. Kangha will help Kyuho launder money from Jeho corporation, his family’s corporation while acting as Kyuho’s lover. Kangha isn’t all that willing to go along with it at first, but when Kyuho offers to compensate him at any price Kangha sees fit, the offer is just too good to be true.
Kyuho gets to work on his plan immediately. He gets Kangha on at work as his secretary and begins setting the stage for their very fake but very public romance. Kangha charges for every touch, every event, and every favor, which grows his nest egg exponentially. However, as time goes on and they spend more and more time in these compromising scenarios, it becomes much harder to distinguish what emotions are real and which are just part of the act. While Kyuho and Kangha try to identify the legitimacy of their feelings and relationship, the looming threat of their illegal schemes being discovered is ready to ruin everything.
First, the art gets much better as the story goes along. The beginning is really rough and sketchy, but I promise it comes into its own as it goes along. I am not going to dare say it’s perfect, but it really grew on me as I read it. Some beautiful and super sexy moments in this are worth seeing. Plus, one of my favorite character designs, and maybe my favorite top of all time, Kyuho Je, is not one to miss. His design is pretty simple as your run-of-the-mill wealthy son of a major company, but those gold eyes and arrogant smirk are to die for. Love, love, love him so much.
Then there is Kangha Nam, Kyuho’s better half. He’s the adorable older man between the two. He and Kyuho form this wonderful duo with Kyuho’s wit and charisma alongside Kangha’s genius, which ultimately leads them to create this awesome criminal duo as the two launder money out from under Kyuho’s company. It’s super sexy, especially since Kyuho finds himself inexplicably attracted to Kangha and grows to love him throughout the story. Then, after it is all said and done, Kyuho finally leaves his family’s company and takes the role of the kept man who supports Kangha, his former underling, while Kangha takes over the corporate world. I love a good role reversal, especially when it’s accompanied by a super supportive and loving partner like Kyuho.
Now, one thing I wasn’t fond of was the sub couple, at least not to begin with. Once the main story between Kangha and Kyuho is over, Undercover Partners pivots to another seemingly unrelated couple, Seunguhn Choi and Gunhyung Mo. This time, the roles are swapped and are the antithesis of Kyuho and Kangha. The bottom Seunguhn is the son of a conglomerate family and wants to be successful in his family’s company. After hearing about the big money laundering scheme Kyuho pulled off, Seunguhn intends to do the same thing. Unfortunately for him, he is not nearly as clever as Kyuho, nor does he have the invaluable resource of Kangha to get the job done. So, Seunguhn seeks out Gunhyung, who is rumored to be capable of getting the job done.
Admittedly, I hated Seunguhn. He was spoiled like Kyuho but didn’t have any of the charm or wit that made Kyuho so likable. Gunhyung, on the other hand, was everything. He’s intelligent and confident. How he ended up with Seunguhn is beyond me. However, the sub couple really shines when they finally come into contact with our original couple, Kyuho and Kangha. We finally get to see the two interact, and they bring out some fun characteristics we don’t get to see when they are on their own. Unfortunately, the entire series ends not long after they come together. The worst part about this series is that it ends.
All the characters have such fun and exciting personalities. I was reading this as it was being serialized on Tapas, and it was one of the manhwa I looked out for the most each week. I am sad that it is over, but I am so glad it happened. If you like lots of fun, sexy time mixed into a corrupt get-rich-quick scheme, then you can’t really go wrong with this one. It’ll make your heart pound just as much as it will flutter. I love this manhwa.
I love Undercover Partners. It’s one of my favorite BL stories of all time. We all deserve a Kyuho in our lives, someone who gases us up when we need it, finds us attractive no matter what state we are in, and loves us unconditionally. It’s really long, which gives us plenty of content but doesn’t overstay its welcome. I actually wish there was more. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes a little company corruption mixed with steamy BL romance.
Have you read Undercover Partners? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!