Anyone Who Has a Heart


By Jacqueline Powell
Warner Books
Hardcover, Fiction


Jacqueline Powell’s sophomore novel, Anyone Who Has a Heart introduces us to three young professionals – Theresa, Vince, and Zenobia – who are struggling with the ups and downs of finding their place in this world and finding real love at the same time.

First we meet Theresa, a thirty-something school teacher and single mom who is haunted by the death (and life) of her one true love – Don, a firefighter – who died in the line of duty.  Nightmares about and nocturnal visits from the ghost of her lost love has driven Theresa to find solace with alcohol, rather than in the arms of Vince, the man who says he loves her and wants to help her forget the past.

But after months of trying, Vince realizes that he will never be able to help Theresa and decides it would be better for them to be apart.  It is a difficult move for Vince who was committed to the relationship – even going so far as to exchange rings with Theresa to show his devotion.  In his quest to move on, Vince reconnects with a close childhood friend, Ray, who he hasn’t seen in many years.  While Ray is a successful businessman, he also carries a secret, which he hides from Vince.  When Ray brings Vince into his world, Vince has to question just who he is and what he believes.

Finally, Zenobia is the manager of the hot new nightclub, Descretion, which is owned by her ex, her daughter’s father.  Payce is a professional football player who has his own woman challenges and is not interested in the drama that he believes Zenobia brings to his life. When he denies Zenobia the help she needs to manage his business, she begins to search for her own place outside of Payce’s millions – professionally and romantically.

Powell tells a good story in three voices.  There are several brilliant moments inside these pages.  Often, Powell provides the reader with outstanding imagery - my bare feet had paced the carpet until my path was visible – and the author uses metaphors well – it was like ice-skating up-hill.  The novel has three parts and the first two keep you turning the pages with its surprising suspense.  Part three slows down a bit and there was a moment when it was difficult to figure out how all the women came to know one another.  But besides these slight flaws, Anyone Who Has a Heart is an enjoyable read from a writer who just seems to be getting better with time.

Victoria Christopher Murray is the author of Joy and Temptation she is also a contributor in Blessed Assurance, a collection of contemporary Bible-based short stories.