I have what is probably an overdeveloped sense of personal space meaning that I don't really like people too close to me. Of course, once I get to know someone the space shrinks somewhat but it is a quirk left over from childhood traumas. I was waiting in line for a free concert sponsored by the local jazz radio station and sitting on the floor, reading a book (of course), did not want to be stepped on by the gentlemen in front of me and left a three foot space between us since I was waiting for my husband and mother-in-law to join me. There was no rush since the doors wouldn't open for another 90 minutes so people were wandering off to eat dinner, including a pair of couples who were directly behind me and asked the woman behind them to save their place. A security guard came by about 20 minutes later and told me that I couldn't sit on the floor (a surprise to me since it's the first time they have told me this and I have been to this place 3 times prior) and I was startled to hear the woman behind me exclaim "good!". I, of course, stood up in the same spot that I had been sitting, i.e., I didn't move forward. About 15 minutes later, this selfsame woman began verbally attacking me because she wanted me to move forward...I was flabbergasted! She tried to enforce her desires by standing 4 inches away from me with her back to me, close enough that she was leaning on the book that I was holding in my hand! I felt like I was dealing with a 2 year old. Her response to anything I said was to hold her hand up in front of my face and tell me that she didn't want to hear it, to "shh"...what in the world does one do when something like that happens? Her perception was that I was unfairly holding space. Mine was that she was getting all bent out of shape for nothing...we weren't going anywhere for at least an hour and her closing up any empty spaces was a ludicrous operation since at least 6 more bodies (my 2 and the two missing couples) would still have to fit into the area. I am not normally a physical person but I was sorely tempted to smack her...except, that would have meant that I would miss the concert and my husband wouldn't know where to find me. Well, it did a nice job of raising my blood pressure and my poor husband got to hear my harangue as soon as he showed up to exchange places with me so I could go change. He of course, ended up chatting amicably with the crazy woman's husband briefly. (Which leads me to the difference in perception between men and women since he didn't understand why that annoyed me as well). So what was the big deal? Was her perception that I was taking up more space than I should have? Is it like the freeways where I think I am following the 3 second rule and leaving enough space to brake in unforeseen circumstances while other idiots (excuse me, I mean drivers) see that as space to cut in? I am sure that each of us thinks the other is a jerk and this is over as about a trivial a circumstance as is possible. Now magnify that into people in positions of extreme power...it's frightening, isn't it?
Anyway, that leads me to Jacquelyn Frank's Seduce Me in Flames, the sequel to her novel, Seduce Me in Dreams. It occurs to me that I forgot to review that one as well. The main character is a Tarian. The female lead is a princess in a land that considers Tarians barbarians and savages. He thinks she must be some protected royal being divorced from reality. Part of the growth in their relationship is getting past the perceptions and learning about their true natures...but of course, that is the essential part of any relationship, isn't it? Anyway, it was an enjoyable read despite a few inconsistencies (I thought the uncle acted out of character at the end and there was something about a weapon/undiscovered threat close to the princess which must have been a red herring because I don't recall finding out who/what it was). I will definitely look for the next in the series as soon as I can work my way through some of my TBRs.