Heart of My Monster (Monster Trilogy #3) by Rina Kent



“Catch me if you can!”

My squeal echoes in the air as I jog through the snow. The twins, Erik and Eduard, follow right behind, their steps squishing in the wet slush.

They’re wearing pants while I’m in a stupid dress that doesn’t allow me to move as much as I want.

I’m screwed.

“You’re so dead, Sasha!” Erik shouts, his voice reverberating in the silence.

I’m so tempted to check how far back he is, but that will only slow me down.

My shoes sink in the deep snow. Papa told the staff not to shovel it out of the garden, just the entryway. It’s impossible to win the battle against snow in the northern part of the country. And yet my family owns a few vacation houses in these areas due to the stunning, undisturbed nature.

As I sprint the length of the vast garden, my breath catches at the sight of the gigantic trees surrounding the property and the calming white that extends as far as the eye can see.

“Damn it, Sasha!” Eduard yells when I slip out of his reach.

I turn around and make a face while still running backward. “So slow, so slow. Can’t believe you’re supposed to be my age.”

A few blond strands escape his beanie and get in his eyes. Eduard shoves them away with clear impatience. We’re mostly blonds in this family, but our eyes differ. The identical twins have light blue eyes that can blend with the snow. They’re also annoyingly taller than me. It’s impossible to jump as high as they can, and they’ve been rubbing it in my face all through puberty.

However, I’m faster despite wearing a dress, girly shoes, and a soft pink coat to match.

“Cat got your tongue?” I mock. “What’s the use of your height if you can’t catch me…?”

I trail off when the back of my head bumps against a solid surface. I slowly turn around and wince as Anton, my older brother—and the eldest grandchild—stares down at me.

He’s one of the exceptions to the blond genes running in the family. His hair is dark brown and often styled to perfection. While I’m always looking for trouble and riling up my cousins so they’ll join in, Anton is the manifestation of collected and a bit boring.


I really can’t remember a time he’s played something other than annoying board games with me. He says it’s to teach me critical thinking, but I honestly don’t see the point behind it.

“What are you doing, Malyshka?”

Did I mention that he loves scolding me? Because he does, and he does it all the time. He also tends to show love in the strangest ways, like buying me gifts but never giving them to me personally.

I kick the snow. “Just playing.”

Erik and Eduard touch me on each shoulder, grin like Cheshire cats, and scream at the same time, “We won!”

“No, you didn’t. This doesn’t count!”

But they’re already running back to the house, only turning around to make gloating faces at me.

I glare up at Anton. “It’s all because of you. Why did you have to be here?”

Anton raises a perfect brow. “Shouldn’t I be the one who asks that? Aren’t you supposed to be waiting inside like Mama said?”

“Yeah, well. It’s boring to stay inside all day. And Babushka would be like: Sit properly, Sasha! Stop being a clown, Sasha! Don’t make me repeat myself, Sasha! And then she’d correct my posture with her cane.” I huff. “I hate that thing.”

My brother shakes his head more in resignation than anger. “You’re never going to grow up, are you?”

I throw my hands in the air. “What’s so fun about growing up anyway? Besides, you’re grown up enough for the both of us.”

His lips twitch in a smile as he grabs me by the nape and starts dragging me back to the house. “It’s time for dinner.”

“No!” I try to wiggle out of his hold to no avail. “It’s still too early.”

“Stop acting like a baby.”

“But I don’t want to. Leave me alone, Tosha.”

He only tightens his grip and basically pushes me inside the house and deposits me like I’m a sack of potatoes.

A joyful atmosphere explodes all at once. Christmas vibes spill in front of us like a royal feast. A few trees decorate the circular entrance hall, and a huge one stands in the middle, nearly reaching the chandelier hanging from the ceiling at the end of the second floor.

It sparkles and glitters with dozens of golden ornaments and blinking lights. It’s even surrounded by a ton of snow and there’s a real snowman beside it that the twins and I insisted on bringing in.

Papa ordered for it to be preserved with some special freezing method since the house is warm.

Excitement, chatter, and endless footsteps echo around the house. The staff is busy carrying dishes, preparing the dining table, and making sure everything is as impeccable as Babushka instructed.

Yes, Papa and my uncles take care of business, but she’s the absolute monarch of this house. My uncles’ wives call her the queen dowager behind her back, but Mama never joins in the slandering my aunts enjoy.

She’s just too nice and wouldn’t participate in anything that hurts others—including my impossibly strict Babushka, who hardly likes anyone or anything.