Melanie Abrams
Julius Addlesee
Shelley Aikens
A. Aimee
Jeanne Ainslie
Fredrica Alleyn
Rebecca Ambrose
Diane Anderson-Minshall
Laura Antoniou
Janine Ashbless
Lisette Ashton
Gavin Atlas
Danielle Austen
J. P. Beausejour
P.K. Belden
Tina Bell
Jove Belle
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Ronica Black
Candace Blevins
Primula Bond
Lionel Bramble
A. J. Bray
Samantha Brook
Matt Brooks
Zetta Brown
James Buchanan
Louisa Burton
Angela Campion
Angela Caperton
Annabeth Carew
Julia Chambers
Dale Chase
M. Christian
Greta Christina
Valentina Cilescu
Rae Clark
NJ Cole
Christina Crooks
Julius Culdrose
Portia da Costa
Alan Daniels
Angraecus Daniels
Dena De Paulo
Vincent Diamond
Susan DiPlacido
Noelle Douglas-Brown
Hypnotic Dreams
Amanda Earl
Hank Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
Stephen Elliott
Madelynne Ellis
Justine Elyot
Aurelia T. Evans
Lucy Felthouse
Jesse Fox
I. G. Frederick
Simone Freier
Louis Friend
Polly Frost
William Gaius
Bob Genz
Shanna Germain
J. J. Giles
Lesley Gowan
K D Grace
K. D. Grace
Sacchi Green
Ernest Greene
Tamzin Hall
R. E. Hargrave
P. S. Haven
Trebor Healey
Vicki Hendricks
Scott Alexander Hess
Richard Higgins
Julie Hilden
E. M. Hillwood
Amber Hipple
William Holden
Senta Holland
David Holly
Michelle Houston
Debra Hyde
M. E. Hydra
Vina Jackson
Anneke Jacob
Maxim Jakubowski
Kay Jaybee
Ronan Jefferson
Amanda Jilling
SM Johnson
Raven Kaldera
J. P. Kansas
Kevin Killian
D. L. King
Catt Kingsgrave
Kate Kinsey
Geoffrey Knight
Varian Krylov
Vivienne LaFay
Teresa Lamai
Lisa Lane
Randall Lang
James Lear
Amber Lee
Nikko Lee
Tanith Lee
Annabeth Leong
James W. Lewis
Marilyn Jaye Lewis
Ashley Lister
Fiona Locke
Clare London
Scottie Lowe
Simon Lowrie
Catherine Lundoff
Michael T. Luongo
Jay Lygon
Helen E. H. Madden
Nancy Madore
Jodi Malpas
Jeff Mann
Alma Marceau
Sommer Marsden
Gwen Masters
Sean Meriwether
Bridget Midway
I. J. Miller
Madeline Moore
Lucy V. Morgan
Julia Morizawa
David C. Morrow
Walter Mosley
Peggy Munson
Zoe Myonas
Alicia Night Orchid
Craig Odanovich
Cassandra Park
Michael Perkins
Christopher Pierce
Lance Porter
Jack L. Pyke
Devyn Quinn
Cameron Quitain
R. V. Raiment
Shakir Rashaan
Jean Roberta
Paige Roberts
Sam Rosenthal
D. V. Sadero
C Sanchez-Garcia
Lisabet Sarai
R Paul Sardanas
R. Paul Sardanas
Elizabeth Schechter
Erica Scott
Kemble Scott
Mele Shaw
Simon Sheppard
Tom Simple
Talia Skye
Susan St. Aubin
Charlotte Stein
C. Stetson
Chancery Stone
Donna George Storey
Darcy Sweet
Rebecca Symmons
Mitzi Szereto
Cecilia Tan
Lily Temperley
Vinnie Tesla
Claire Thompson
Alexis Trevelyan
Alison Tyler
Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanessa Vaughn
Elissa Wald
Saskia Walker
Kimberly Warner-Cohen
Brian Whitney
Carrie Williams
Peter Wolkoff
T. Martin Woody
Beth Wylde
Daddy X
Lux Zakari
Fiona Zedde
Ultimate BurlesqueUltimate Burlesque
Edited By: Emily Dubberley
Contributions By: Alyson Fixter
Xcite Books
ISBN: 1906373639
September 2008

Reviewed By: Ashley Lister

I’m essentially a nice guy, no matter what the rumourmongers might say.  As a consequence of my amiable character, it would seem inevitable that I was going to say good things about Ultimate Burlesque.  However, Ultimate Burlesque deserves to have good things written about it because it really is an outstanding anthology.

This collection of 30 short stories comes from Accent Press’s imprint, Xcite Books, with profits benefiting the cancer charities associated with Burlesque Against Breast Cancer, and a minimum 15% of the cover price going to the UK organisation: Macmillan Cancer Support. 

I won’t go into the details of what Macmillan Cancer Support do.  I think it’s sufficient for the sake of this review to say that they are a charity who perform a tremendous job to alleviate suffering.  I certainly won’t go into the details of the devastating disease that is cancer.  I suspect that, sadly, most of us will know someone who has suffered because of this horrible, horrible illness.  Rather than concentrate on the grim stuff, what I want to do here, instead, is concentrate on the great anthology that is Ultimate Burlesque.

A quick glance at the table of contents reveals some of the top names in contemporary erotic fiction.  Alison Tyler, Elizabeth Black, Marcelle Perks, Portia Da Costa, Jeremy Edwards, Nikki Magennis, Donna George Storey, Maxim Jakubowski, Kristina Lloyd and Emily Dubberley.  There are other enormously talented writers contained within Ultimate Burlesque – more successful journalists and acclaimed novelists than I have space to mention here – but the good news is that you can see the full table of contents when you go out and buy the book. 

Above anything else, Ultimate Burlesque is a celebration of life – and those saucy interludes that make all our lives fulfilling and satisfying.  From Jo Rees’s “Inner Diva,” a beautifully crafted story of backstage breast obsession, Ultimate Burlesque reveals itself as cheeky as it is charitable.  In MonMouth’s stirring story, “Watching,” the anthology goes away from a fem/fem obsession and playfully introduces a couple and their special friend.  Alyson Tyler, “Like Those Girls,” shows us how deliciously demanding it can be to work in a B&B. 

Like all good anthologies, Ultimate Burlesque has that special quality where the reader can dip in and out, consistently finding one tantalising gem after another.  Jeremy Edwards introduces us to “Laura the Laugher” – an antagonist with a remarkably appealing burlesque act that has the audiences rolling in the aisles.  Portia Da Costa entertains with characteristic joie de vivre when she presents us with a “Private Dancer.”  Kristina Lloyd brings stylish and sexy wit to “The Lion Tamer’s Scars.”

There are an abundance of stories about burlesque in this collection: if you hadn’t guessed that was a possibility from the title then you’re probably best not trusted with things that have sharp edges – like books.  Nikki Magennis’s, “Catch Me If You Can,” takes us backstage with a raunchy stripper and a very enthusiastic fan.  Mark Farley skilfully transports us to a house of ill repute in San Francisco, 1862 with “The Intimate Diary of Martha Rae.”  And the inimitable Donna George Storey gives us access to a powerful, private performance in “All Eyes Upon Her.”

This is a fun, frisky and fantastic collection of shorts that showcases a host of talented writers all writing sex-positive and upbeat tales that are rousing, raunchy and risqué.  Readers who are interested in finding out more about Burlesque Against Breast Cancer should visit Burlesque Against Breast Cancer.  

I’m aware that finances are tight for us all at the moment, but Ultimate Burlesque comes with the added incentive of doing something that benefits a good cause.  Even more enticing is the fact that this book is worth every penny.