I finally figured it out. I had gone on a reading spree, gobbling up stories of Eve and Rourke in J.D. Robb's In Death series. I loved all of them and had every intention of continuing to read them, albeit a little slower... with some other books in between this time...
But it had occurred to me a few days ago that I had all the books, but hadn't been reading any of them. When I was worn out on romance, I could have read some murder mysteries. Why didn't I?
Because I tried an audio book. I snagged a freebie audio book when I signed up for Audibles and chose the 23rd or 24th book in the series... maybe 25th... Whatever, I was firmly established in the world and I had the characters in my head - the way they talked, sounded, their accents, etc.
So when my firmly established Detective Peabody sounded like Deputy Dog, I was furious. I stopped listening and immediately cancelled my Audibles subscription. It was horrible. She sounded nothing like the character in my head! And I couldn't imagine that the author could possibly approve of a voice that wasn't appropriate for the character - that means NORA FUCKING ROBERTS wants Peabody to sound like that! On purpose. For real.
And I can't get it out of my head. Now I so clearly remember the disgust I felt with the audio book. I picked up the book instead and tried to read, but couldn't get Deputy Dog Peabody out of my brain. I feel like that character is almost ruined for me. She's not the same in my head. Now I picture her with droopy eyes and jowls. And kinda slow in a developmental sorta way.
I'm going to skip it. I'm gonna pick up the next book in the series and pray I can get past this, because there are a ton more books in the series and I'd hate to miss out because of a crappy audio book giving me a neurosis. Keep your fingers crossed.