Sanctuary

Sanctuary - Nora Roberts Jo Ellen Hathaway left her home on Desire Island, a private resort off the Georgia coast, two years ago. She's now living in Charlotte, North Carolina but travels the world as a successful photographer. Jo recently began receiving odd photographs of her, close-ups that point to someone having followed her to many locations. She becomes haunted by them and hits her wall when she receives one that appears to be of her mother Annabelle, dead, and who disappeared 20 years ago. Jo returns home to the house called Sanctuary, to restore herself and hopefully put her demons to rest.When Jo's mother disappeared, her father shut down and left the care of her, her older brother Brian and younger sister Lexy, to her Aunt Kate. Calling this family dysfunctional is an understatement. When Nathan Delaney arrives at the island where he spent a memorable summer the year Annabelle disappeared, he is immediately drawn to Jo and is determined to tear down her emotional barriers and forge a relationship. It also becomes apparent that the person stalking Jo has followed her to the island.I enjoyed this story but it took me about 100 pages to get interested. There was a bit too much descriptive detail about the setting of Sanctuary, bogging it down and detracting from the really interesting characters of the story. Maybe this was done because the main character was a photographer and it was important to create visual interest for her subjects but it bored me silly. Once I got past the initial staging, I fell for the characters...the distant brother, the dramatic younger sister, the lovely and well-meaning doctor, Kirby who is crushing on Brian and the childhood friend who has always had a crush on Lexy. There were three romances in play and that was a real treat. I guessed the answer to the mystery pretty early on, which took some of the zing out of the suspense but didn't lessen my enjoyment.I'm rating the book 3.5 stars because the beginning was just too long and the impetus behind Annabelle's disappearance was a bit flawed in my opinion. Still, I enjoyed the book but would recommend some serious skimming of the beginning if you're not into reading about the topography of a southern resort.