The drama is about the third empress of the Goryeo era who fought against the Tungustic people of Manchuria in order to achieve their dream of reclaiming their old land.
Lee Ji Yeon has a natural, affirmative and bright personality and is an accessory designer. Kim Tae Seop is a dectective who is very quiet and is devoted to Ji Yeon after he falls in love with her. Ji Yeon is caught between two men.
Seo Young Ji (Han Ji Hye) was from a poor upbringing and worked as hard as she could to better herself. She went to see a plastic surgeon, hoping that by changing her appearance she would have a better future. The surgeon, a beautfiul young woman called Jeong Ah Mi (Song Seon Mi), asked SYJ for a favor. JAM had been set up on a blind date with Kim Jun Woo (Kim Suk Hoon), but she really had no interest in going. So she asked SYJ to go under false pretense. SYJ agreed to help out with the intention to turn the guy off but the blind date was a hit and the two started dating.
Add to the equation Choi Do Kyeong (Kwon Oh Joong), a poor but ambitious social climber, who would do anything to marry rich. He rejected SYJ as she was poor and did his best to go after JAM.
Secret Lovers is the latest K-drama from MBC, which addresses the most important questions of all - is love reason enough to marry someone, or should you be looking for an equal in both social status and knowledge?