Sunshine, Robin McKinley
Rae “Sunshine” Seddon is a woman who works at a small family-owned coffeeshop and bakes extraordinary desserts. She also happens to be the daughter of a powerful vampire hunter and the granddaughter of a transmuter. And she lives in a town which is on the outskirts of a region that is thoroughly ruled by vampires.
But none of this becomes apparent until the day she is captured by a band of vampire soldiers looking for someone to feed to their captive, a strangely humane creature called Con. After a horrifying day spent chained in an old mansion and attempting to stay in the sunlight as long as possible, she and Con come to a tenuous agreement to escape.
Sunshine never expects to see him again, but the lingering effects of the contact with the vampires and the wounds inflicted on her have lasting impacts, and eventually Con returns to repay his debt.
Darker and far more well-written than many of the faddish vampire novels available today, this particular work still has a few hiccups, including the author’s fixation on mentioning Sunshine’s propensity for baked goods. The ending is a bit rushed and ambiguous, as in many of McKinley’s works. But for readers looking for something a little more intense than the latest “Twilight” spin-off, this is an excellent suggestion.