So they actually did follow through on all of that then? Most of the other comments I've read about those said they didn't really end up living to all of that, and turned out to be fairly normal TOS stories.
The Graf books were fairly normal TOS stories, from what I remember (I can't find my copies right now). I want to say with a heavy Sulu/Chekov/Uhura/Scott focus like their other TOS books (instead of the Big Three), but still main-cast focuses.
Ryan's books definitely weren't typical TOS; however, they weren't "pure" lower decks. In addition to that perspective, there was also a plotline at Starfleet Command, as well as one aboard a Klingon ship. Not quite was was promised, but certainly much closer.