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Looking for a book I read in the early 2000s. I believe it was a standalone novel and new at the time. The cover may have been primarily brown with gold lettering.

There's definitely a Buffy feel to it, with our normal-appearing heroine falling for a vampire-with-the-soul. It's not a romance.

It takes place in a small town America in modern time-period, but with magic. There isn't a masquerade hiding things: there was a recent magic war, there's a Federal anti-vampire department, vampire warnings on TV, etc.

Our heroine works in the local diner. Her boyfriend is a biker (in my head, he's Meatloaf as Eddie). Her landlady creates magic charms. Some of her friends at the diner are members of the anti-monster squad.

I'm not sure what happened to the biker boyfriend to make room for the vampire boyfriend. Maybe the vamps have meatloaf for dinner?

Through some shenanigans that I don't recall, our heroine ends up captured by the local vampire tribe and tied up in a gazebo by the lake, along with a captive vampire. This is our vegetarian vampire, who had a falling out with the lead villain vampire and doesn't eat people anymore. The villain wants the good vamp to kill and drain our heroine so he returns to the dark side: if he eats her before dawn he can escape; if not, the sun will dust him.

(Low confidence memory: either the hero or villain vampire is named Konstantine)

But the plot thickens - our heroine isn't just the normal she appears to be. Her father was a big shot sorcerers in the magic wars, with a cool magic name like Raver Stix or Onyx Black or something else that belongs up on the Hill in Glen Cook's TunFaire. We have a flashback to Grandma trying to test child heroine for magic powers, but nothing comes up. Now under pressure the magic comes, and our heroine is able to both break out of her chains and protect the good vampire from turning to dust in the sun long enough to escape.

More shenanigans ensue, including vamps attacking the diner and our heroine killing one with a chopstick, drawing the attention of the Federal Anti-Vamp team. It's not something that normies are supposed to be able to do.

Ultimately, our heroine and the good vampire end up in the evil vampire's underground nest along with a horde of his underlings. She blows the roof off, exposing all of the evil vamps to the sun. The Feds arrive just in time to vacuum up the dust.

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Is this Sunshine (2003) by Robin McKinley...?

According to the Goodreads blurb, the protagonist is Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine.

Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lived a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. One night, she went out to the lake for some peace and quiet. There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts. Big mistake. Vampires never entered her mind. Until they found her. And set upon her, and took her to an old abandoned mansion. They took her clothes and sneakers. They dressed her in a long red gown. And they shackled her to a wall-within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight, who is also chained. She knows that it is a vampire. She knows that she's to be his dinner, and that when he is finished with her, she will be dead. Yet, when light breaks, she finds that he has not attempted to harm her. And now it is the vampire, Constantin, who needs her to help him survive the day, to protect him from the sun with her magic...

According to this review, Sunshine lives in a small city somewhere in America, works at her family's diner and has a boyfriend.

Sunshine is an ordinary girl who lives in an ordinary small city somewhere in America. She lives a normal life, raised by her mother, surrounded by her family, friends and boyfriend. She works everyday at the Family diner’s as the chief baker- her cinnamon rolls are stuff for legend.

In this world, humans coexist with vampires, warlocks and other supernatural beings, and at some point in the past, there was a war in which the human population was greatly reduced.

It is rather a world where humans coexist, in a sometimes uneasy way, with other supernatural beings: demons, were-creatures, witches, warlocks and the most dreaded of them all :the vampires. It is never clear to us what has happened but at some point in history there was a War between Others and humans and the human population has been decimated – few survive and some towns have been completely destroyed. It is expected that in 100 years the humans will all be either dead or subservient to the vampire menace.

Sunshine is kidnapped by vampires and chained to a wall in a mansion by a lake with a vampire named Constantine. She expects him to feed on her but he doesn't and they form an uneasy alliance instead. We also learn that Sunshine is the daughter of a powerful warlock with dormant powers of her own.

Sunshine is taken to a mansion in the outskirts of the Lake where she is chained to a wall. And she realises that she is not alone: there is another being , also chained to the wall and when she realises it is a vampire , she understands that she is there to be his meal. But surprisingly, he has no interest in feeding from her: he is also being kept captive and is bent on thwarting their plans and it’s then clear, that not all vampires are evil. So, they strike up an odd conversation and an uneasy alliance is born between the vampire Constantine (Con for short) and Sunshine, when we realise that Sunshine herself is not an ordinary girl either. Quite the contrary, she is the daughter of a most powerful warlock and she has dormant powers of her own who erupt now at this time of need. They manage to escape and go their separate ways.

I checked the Google Books preview of the book, and according to that, her father's named is Onyx Blaise.

'What are you? Who are you?' he repeated. 'What family are you from?'
I broke the cuff open. 'My name is Rae Seddon, but what you're looking for is Raven Blaise. Seddon is Charlie's name — my stepfather's name — but my mother stopped me using Raven or Blaise as soon as we left my dad.'
'You're a Blaise,' he said, still leaning against the wall, but staring down at me as I knelt at his feet. 'Which Blaise?'
'My father is Onyx Blaise,' I said.

The cover is primarily brown with gold lettering.

Front cover of "Sunshine" (2003) by Robin McKinley.

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    Note that there seem to be many editions, with different covers. The one I happen to own is this, very possibly bought in the UK.
    – terdon
    Commented May 29 at 14:54
  • Awesome. Thanks!
    – Arcy
    Commented May 29 at 17:12
  • Con isn't a vegetarian... Yes he doesn't eat humans regularly, but he does on occasion. There are 2 instances I know of where he kills/drains humans for spoiler reasons.
    – Questor
    Commented May 29 at 19:48

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