Released: July 29, 2014
Format: Paperback, 281 pages
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Working for Grimm isn’t Marissa Locks’s dream job. But when your parents trade you to a Fairy Godfather for a miracle, you don’t have many career options. To pay off her parents’ debt and earn her freedom, Marissa must do whatever Grimm asks, no matter what fairy-tale fiasco she’s called on to deal with.Setting up a second-rate princess with a first-class prince is just another day at the office. But when the matchmaking goes wrong, Marissa and Grimm find themselves in a bigger magical muddle than ever before. Not only has the prince gone missing, but the Fae are gearing up to attack Kingdom, and a new Fairy Godmother is sniffing around Grimm’s turf, threatening Marissa with the one thing she can’t resist: her heart’s wishes.Now Marissa will have to take on Fairies, Fae, dragons, and princesses to save the realm—or give up any hope of ever getting her happy ending…
Free Agent is the first installment in the Grimm Agency series by J.C. Nelson. Nelson is a male author who tells his story through the eyes of 24-year old Marissa Lock. Marissa is a character who you can't help but feel a bit of concern for. Sold to Fairy Godfather Grimm on her 16th birthday, she then went to work for him on her 18th birthday. For 6 years, she has had to do pretty much whatever he tells her to do, and can't get out of her contract/servitude until her parents debts are paid off. What's a girl to do?
If you are Marissa, you face off against evil Queens, princes with agendas, goblins, Fae, Trolls, witches, wolves, dancing princesses, and a Fairy Godmother who wants to start a war against said Fae. You come face to face a princess (Ari) you truly hate, but she ends up being your only real friend after you realize she's not a snotty brat after all. You also find yourself falling in love with your mistaken prince (Liam Stone), and learn that he's half dragon. You also clean up massacres, work with the IRS, and hunt down serial killers.
So, when you pick up this book, you should start by asking yourself questions. How would you feel if your own parents sold you to pay off their magical debts and then had your memories erased by your boss? How would you feel if you had to work for a Fairy Godfather (Grimm) until your debt was paid off which is nearly impossible to do since you are most likely to face death before freedom? You work with co-workers who think you were hired for your looks, and not your talents. And, then there is the fact that this is a reality where fairy tales and mythology mix with characters straight out of the Grimm Brothers tales, and not all of them are well behaved.
I can allow a whole lot shenanigans from Marissa in this first book. It is the first time we've met her as a so called heroine, and she has a bit of a rough start. She's sarcastic as they come, she loves getting into trouble, and her birthdays always lead to major incidents, and there are those who truly hate her. I realized while I was reading this book, that there were hints as to Marissa's heritage, and I truly wonder if Nelson will explore this avenue further, or cut us off at the knees before revealing even more secrets. I truly hope that Nelson finds a way to allow us to understand who Marissa's parents really are and what their relationship was with Grimm.
I liked the relationship/friendship that grows between Ari and Marissa after a rocky start. Even though it is slow going at first because of Marissa's own actions, they both have a whole lot to offer, especially for Ari and her magical abilities. They both have family issues as well which makes them understand the other. I liked Evangeline who is apparently a djinn with some kickass fighting abilities. I liked that she came face to face with her nemesis Fenris wolf. While Marissa and Liam face individual challenges, the story leaves their relationship in an interesting place. I do believe that there is just the right about of romance and it doesn't overwhelm the plot and action.
I do have the next book, Armageddon Rules, and will be reading that next.