My question is a variation of the “next work” one you answered. I received a rejection from an agent who asked me to query other work if I didn’t find representation for the story I sent her. I don’t plan to continue to look for an agent for that one and think I may allow a m/m rom press to publish it.
However, I would like to find an agent to represent another story and wondered if it would be permissible to query that agent even though this wouldn’t fit in with her asking me to do so if I didn’t find an agent for the story I sent her.
What the agent meant was come back with your next project if you haven't been snapped up by one of her competitors. She likes your work, that first project wasn't right for her, but she thinks you've got potential.
It's absolutely fine to query her even if you stop looking for an agent for that first book.
This is another example of writers over thinking the query process and underestimating their own value. All agents are looking for good work. You write good stuff. Trust me that she'll be glad to hear from you even if this second project isn't a good fit.