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Sexy Little Numbers: Best Women’s Erotica from Black Lace


I’m wearing a black armband as I type this. Technically I should also be wearing a mourning veil. A mourning veil trimmed with Black Lace.

I’m reviewing Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1: Best Women’s Erotica from Black Lace. As anthologies go, this has to be one of the hottest ones to come off the press this year.

The collection begins with Kristina Lloyd’s ‘Rebecca.’ This erotic riff on Daphne Du Maurier’s classic contains Kristina Lloyd’s characteristic twist of explicit erotica, as well as a wealth of intertextual references for the well-read reader. Kristina Lloyd is the author of Darker Than Love, Asking For Trouble and Split. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous Black Lace anthologies as well as innumerable Cleis anthologies, and all the other reputable places where commendable erotic fiction can be found.

‘Fireworks Inside’ is an exquisitely erotic romp from the high-priestess of erotica: Portia Da Costa. It would be tedious to list all Portia’s Black Lace titles. They include Continuum, Entertaining Mr Stone, Gemini Heat, Gothic Heat and Suite Seventeen. The chances are, if you’ve ever read any erotic fiction from Black Lace, it’s very likely you now have a copy of a well-thumbed Portia Da Costa title amongst your collection.

In ‘Hard At Work,’ marvellous Madelynne Ellis explores the dirty dynamics between a secretary and her boss. Madelynne is a a genius writer who can make the mundane seem magnificent. Madelynne is also responsible for the brilliant Black Lace novels Phantasmagoria, Gentleman’s Wager, Dark Designs and Passion of Isis.

Not that this anthology is solely comprised of authors from the Black Lace stable of novelists. The anthology also includes two short stories from American author EllaRegina: ‘The Colonscoper And The Snake Charmeuse,’ and ‘Maiden Voyage.’ EllaRegina is a very talented writer who knows how to weave a tale and how to make the eroticism sparkle.

The anthology also includes the inimitable Rachel Kramer Bussel’s first appearance in Black Lace print with ‘All In The Details’ and ‘The Perfect Distraction.’ Rachel Kramer Bussel’s name will be familiar to anyone who has read erotica. Her collection of reportage, Best Sex Writing 2009, won the Independent Publishers Book Award for Sexuality/Relationships.

With fiction from the ever-efficient pens of Kristina Wright, Janine Ashbless, Charlotte Stein, Justine Elyot, Dianne Dawson, Sadie Wolf, Shayla Kersten, Carrie Williams, Jamaica Layne, Kay Jaybee, K D Grace, Heather Towne, Shada Royce and Delilah Devlin, it is truly an anthology of erotica that deserves to be in every serious collector’s possession.

So, why am I wearing a black armband and lacy black mourning veil?

Well, rumours abound that this will be one of the last anthologies to come from the highly regarded Black Lace stable. The imprint has been suspended for 2010, after sixteen successful years of stellar publications and an influx of outstanding new talent that promised to take Black Lace to a new and exciting level.

If these rumours have any truth in them, then it would be prudent for every connoisseur of erotica to rush out and buy a copy of this testament to one of the truly great imprints of erotic literature.

Sexy Little Numbers:
Best Women’s Erotica from Black Lace

(Virgin Black Lace, 2009; ISBN 0352345381)
Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

© 2009 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

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