So I finished the first book, Gabriel's Inferno. Sis was right, I don't understand either why it's being compared to the Fifty Shades books. Other than their origins, I thought the only other similarity they have is that they're both romance. But I guess that's the point, their origins alone is big enough a deal to put them in the same category... *shrug shoulder*
Three things that this first book has it going for me -- 1) the author is Canadian, 2) it's set primarily in Toronto (my second home), and 3) my alma mater was featured, took me back in time, for sure. Now the story and characters themselves, well... I think it was definitely better written than the Fifty Shades ones. The Fifty Shades books have been classified as erotic romance, these books are not, (well, the first one anyway; haven't read the second one), so that alone should tell you something.
Some women would definitely fall head over heels with Gabriel Emerson. Now the way their love story built up felt somewhat drawn out to me at some point that seriously, it just got too intense for me at certain parts, though some would say that's where the beauty of the story lies, in feeling the characters' frustration.
In the end, it's romance, period.
Interestingly enough, romance is what I read mostly in my early teens, you know, until I discovered better written books. Even at a young age, romance novels only gave me so much escape. The pragmatic in me was alive and kicking even then, I guess. And now, thanks to Fifty Shades, this Gabriel series and the like, I'm heading back there again eeeeek! Does that mean I'm regressing? NOOOO!!!!