Actually I took the Shatner/Titan to be following Riker's line that it would be part of a new Romulan Task Force. It didn't even have any other crew mentioned except for Riker and Troi, of course this was before the Titan books were announced.
Well, yes, that's true of the second volume of the Totality trilogy, Captain's Blood
. But the third, Captain's Glory
, came out after the TTN novels had begun and did include characters from those novels including Vale, Tuvok, and Lavena.
And just to clarify, both the TTN novels and the Totality trilogy followed up on the line about the Romulan Task Force from NEM. Naturally, all tie-ins have to be consistent with canon. What I'm saying is that they differed on how long
the Romulan mission took. In the TTN novels, the ship helped out at Romulus in December '79, got whooshed to the Small Magellanic Cloud for most of January '80, and had undertaken its primary mission of exploring uncharted space by March '80. In Totality, Titan
stayed at Romulus for pretty much the whole of 2380 and didn't make its inaugural first contact until halfway through 2381 (around the time Over a Torrent Sea
happens in the TTN novels).