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The Agency

(Tess Drake #1)

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  587 ratings  ·  155 reviews

Meet Tess Drake. She’s earned everything she has. Now it’s time to get what she deserves…

Sexy super-agent Tess Drake has worked hard to make a name for herself in the glamorous yet cut-throat entertainment industry. Tess works at an international agency, where she skillfully manages some of the world's biggest egos—her company, Bardwell International

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by St. Martin's Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Average rating 3.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  587 ratings  ·  155 reviews

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Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Maybe this deserves 3 stars. It was easy to read (finished in 1 sitting) and adding murder to the chick-lit plot was fun. I might recommend this as a beach read- but certainly not anything else. I read it happily to the end, but the whole way through I hated the protagonist. Yay for there being a strong, career minded feminist- but boo for who she actually is. Not your average chick-lit star. She's not the 'good girl' at all- more like a sleazy backstabbing bitch that makes your lip curl. I cert ...more
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, library, 2016
I grabbed this book just because I saw that it said super agent so I was like cool it's about spies and didn't bother to read the rest of it. It was not about spies hahaha but not terrible. But also not great. It was kind of in between. I did like it but it wasn't what I was expecting (SPIES). I would want to read the second one but the only version I can find on goodreads is in Dutch? so I have to see if it's in the library.
American bloke writes as a woman about a narcissistic British woman that likes to have sex and craves cigarettes - yeah nah, hard pass. A busty ginger assistant. Everytime said assistant gets mentioned so does her breasts. Yeah, lame.

If only this was written by a woman it would be so much better. And we'd have been spared the awfulness of the phrase 'plunged his limousine in to my tunnel'. Yes really.

And the name-dropping was unbelievable and awful. The Americanisms coming from a British woman
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
A free book from a Goodreads give away. Japan, gift horses...

What do you get with a chick-lit book about the world of agents that was co-written by an agent and "an international bestselling author of suspense novels"? You get a book that is marginally suspenseful and checks the boxes of pulp fiction elements (sex, glamor, uninspired wit, scandal, murder, bitchiness) that agents know will sell well in the rarely-discriminating world of best-sellers. As our hero, Tess, notes, there are great book
This was a quick, fast-paced read. It was interesting in terms of learning about how vindictive people in publishing are. (Are they?! How would I know:-)) Either way, it doesn't take much time to read and it is entertaining.

I usually enjoy books in which it actually feels like the author knows about the subject. This sounds like a given but it really is not. (Case in point: Almost every book where the main character is a doctor.) In chick-lit types of books, it is easy to just gloss over this w
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
This was the first book I'd ever won on Goodreads. I just finished reading it this afternoon. In my opinion, it's hardcore brit-chick-lit. There was just too much sex (I even learned a new word!) and the main character was a ho. No other way to say it. All of the women were mean wenches. The book should have ended 3 pages earlier than it did.

With that being said, it did keep my attention to the end. I'd probably give it a 2.5 but definitely not a 3. Definitely not for the easily offended.

Amy, I
This didn't seem to flow right to me. Main character, Tess, was a bit too masculine, or something. The way she described herself and her certain body parts ~ felt too much like a man trying to pose as a woman. ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is rash and brash and unapologetic - much like Tess Drake herself. She is all we woman are and in the end, she becomes what we want to be. Good on ya, Tess!
Rosemary O'Brien
Perfect light read for an aspiring or published author!

I really enjoyed this debut novel. It was witty and tongue-in-cheek, just what I enjoy. The main character is enveloped in a comedy of errors so extensive that she doesn't see the negative possibilities until it's too late. Will that lead her to her dream job? Read it and find out!

An enjoyable romp through the publishing world.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Exactly what you wait for avarage chick lit to be, no surprises. Main character is typical woman who makes a mess on her private life and career. Still entertaining enough to read it all the way to the end. But not interesting enough to read second part.
Sharon Peterson
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pretty fast-reading book. Tess Drake is an agent at a large company (for authors, actors, etc.) but she really wants to start her own Agency after some unfortunate developments. Not the typical Brian Freeman story, that’s for sure.
Dec 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed, freeman
I got to the fourth chapter or so and decided to look on Goodreads for reviews to decide if I thought there was any way I was going to enjoy this book. Nope, didn't finish it. Might be a pretty good story but Tess Drake was just too gritty and hard for my reading taste. ...more
Jul 21, 2021 rated it it was ok
I should have researched this book before I got it. I assumed that it was a Brian Freeman book and that the “agency” was a government entity and was about spies, etc. Within 10 pages, I discovered how wrong I was and how I had better not take things at face value.
Erin Grigson
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book had me laughing and crying and just enjoying the drama. Definitely worth a read when you need something new and different.
Jeanette Stingley
Nov 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Agency by Ally O’Brien has to be one of the most fun books I have read in awhile. A mixture of racy chick lit, mystery, and adventure, you will find it hard to put this book down once you get started.

At first I didn’t think I would like this story but on page 6 when Tess describes her new boss as “She is our wicked witch – the kind of witch who would have bitch-slapped Dorothy and served Toto sausages to the flying monkeys.” I knew I would love this character!

The Agency is about media agent
Jules Jones
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Note: I received an ARC of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme.[return][return]Tess Drake is a high-flying literary agent on the staff of a top entertainment agency. Sufficiently high-flying that she wants to branch out on her own, rather than continue to take a salary that's a fraction of the money she brings into the business. As the novel opens, she's just been given one final push in that direction by the death of her boss. Tess liked Lowell; she loathes Cosima, the ...more
Jan 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
This may seem a little harsh but I was asked to read three hundred pages so I believe I am entitled to my true opinion.

“Sex, drugs, and literature...”, well Sarah Ivens allow me to disagree. The only “literature” I see in this book are some pinched and misquoted lines from other literary authors. It is a “plague” not a “pox” on both your houses. The original use of plague was placed there for a reason as the word “plague” has many connotations that “pox” simply does not have. And contrary to po
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Tess Drake is a literary agent and the protagonist of The Agency. She’s smart, she’s good at her job, and she certainly loves talking about herself, which was the impression I got after reading this book. The Agency is a good mystery novel wrapped up in a vapid, materialistic, and soul-killing book. As I as reading through the book, there were parts where I wanted to throw it to the ground because I was afraid of how much of my soul was dying. In that aspect, the authors were good at describing ...more
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, 2009
This was the first (and only) book I have won through Goodreads. I received it a few days ago, while I was in the middle of reading Eat Pray Love. I was not anxious to drop my book as I was thoroughly enjoying it, but I am not regretful that I did.

I found The Agency to be a great chick-lit novel. It was a fast read (I am a painfully slow reader and managed to finish this one in two evenings). I agree with some of the other reviewers about how this book had way too much sexual content in it, but
Jan 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
THE AGENCY by Ally O'Brien was a very fun book to read. I think a book about the book industry is fun to read every now and then and this one spins a nice entangled web for the reader. The book's cover definitely signals chick-lit but inside is a good mystery that I enjoyed as a dedicated mystery lover.

THE AGENCY features the sexy, daring literary agent, Tess Drake, who is likeable as your book friend but not sure you would want her as your real best friend. The book's main setting is London so
Feb 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is sooo good! It will keep you entertained for HOURS, unless you can read all 316 pg in less than one hour or something.
Tess is a 36 year old literary agent working for Bardwright Agency. After her boss dies, the next person to take the "throne" is the evil Cosima, who hates Tess's guts. This is the perfect opportunity for Tess to dump that agency and start her own. But....she's got some problems.
-She's one of the major suspects/person of interest hehe
-Dorothy, the rich children's nove
Emma Joy
May 02, 2013 rated it liked it
My copy of this book has been stored on my shelf for a long time, left unopened. It was very pretty much neglected. I got the copy (a hardcover) on sale. The cover was an eye-catcher right then my impulsiveness brought the book without knowing what was it all about. When I ran out of books to read and at the same time I decided to take a break from my usual historical fiction genre, I picked it up discovering it had harbored dusts for its idleness. I gave it a chance to be read and appreciated.

Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Tess Drake has worked hard in London's literary world as an agent for authors. She has a gorgeous apartment, a secret lover, and a client she's helped rake in millions. Then her boss winds up dead from erotic asphyxia, leaving Tess' nemesis in charge of the agency. Having kicked around the idea of starting her own agency for a few years, the timing seems right. However, everything else seems to go wrong: her biggest client, Dorothy, faces a plagiarism claim; the police seem to think Tess has som ...more
Hiram Alexander Orozco
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie Holloway
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it

Strong characters’, language, easy to read. Though Tess seemed to be a selfish woman at the beginning of the book, I believe she started seeing herself in the eyes of the people around her, especially her ex-best friend Saleema and her soon to be ex-boss Cosima. What struck me most about the story, though I never been in any of the awkward, sexual exploits , or even in the publishing world she wove her life in, I still could identify with her candor, her evaluation of her choices, and even with
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Gift from a friend. Story: Publishing industry back stabbing, who dun it murder mystery. An editor who has morals of an Alley Cat, has burned a lot of bridges. She is not a hateful person, however, she has slept with most of her friends, husbands, fiances or lovers, and is now public enemy #1 with most females. They all hate her. She does have a few friends, or thinks she does, and is astonished when she finds out her boss is dead, and she is number one suspect, because, all the evidence points ...more
May 02, 2009 rated it did not like it
The Agency follows Tess, an entertainment agent in her mid-thirties who lives in Londom; she's battling some shake-ups at her agency that could negatively affect her, and is having some affairs with important people to boot. Standard chick lit. Problem was, it wasn't done well. Tess wasn't very likable and while I could deal with that if the plot was interesting, the plot seemed to go nowhere and seemed forced. It was as if one page worth of action was extended into 5-10 pages, with characters b ...more
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up The Agency at Walmart for $5 CDN, back when I was about to start my post-grad program in publishing. The idea of learning about writers and agents seemed exciting to me. I can't say I was exactly disappointed by the book, but by the end, it seems super agent Tess Drake stayed a super agent by pure, dumb luck. Sure she was plotted against and in the last chapter her life was in ruins but in three pages it all turned around. There was closure, but I can't help thinking that if an autho ...more
Ket Lamb
Sep 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
The Agency is quick, empty read about a vile woman's rise and fall at a London literary agency. O'Brien nails all the pettiness, backstabbing, cheating, undercutting, and jealousy that agencies breed, but the protagonist, Tess Drake, is so unsympathetic, it's almost impossible to root for her. She accidentally has sex with her best friend's fiancee, but once Tess discovers who he is, that doesn't stop her from sleeping with him again, and again. Meanwhile, Tess is also having an affair with her ...more
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Ally O’Brien is the pseudonym for a writing duo that includes Brian Freeman and his London-based entertainment agent, Ali Gunn. ...more

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