I had a very passionate relationship with Saintcrow's Danny Valentine series (read: I loved it, I was furious with it, I loved it again, I was furious with it again, etc.) and had put off reading the Jill Kismet series because I was afraid it would encroach on Valentine territory. Strong, damaged heroine? Check. Dealing with demons? Check. Dark and gritty? Check.
As it turns out? Not the case at all. Yes, there are some similarities, even beyond the broadbrush ones I mention above. But they speak more to the hearts of the books being similar rather than the stories, themselves, feeling like retold versions of each other.
The worldbuilding is top notch, per usual Saintcrow style. I *loved* Jill. Her mix of unflinching determination to do what has to be done, no matter the cost, and her raw vulnerabilities made her a great, accessible read. And the story has a *wonderful* romance, all the better for its understatedness (is that a word?).
Also, the action is great! I almost put orange juice in my cereal this morning because I was unwilling to take my eyes off my nook when I reached into the fridge. After reading a particularly intense scene, I (literally) let out a shaky breath and said, "Whoa." My dog thought I was crazy, but that's some good writing.
Highly recommended to UF fans and anyone who liked the Danny Valentine series. I'm off to start the second book right now!