Another excellent word for a romance writer, in whose work tensions often run high.
I used it at least once, in adverbial form, in You May Kiss the Bride:
Livia looked balefully at the rumpled heap of expensive, fragile gowns lying on the floor. So Cecily thought one of her old cast-offs might suit her for the ball? And Lady Glanville thought that she’d be thrilled, grateful, to peek out from behind a potted palm to enjoy a glimpse of luxury?
Well, they were wrong.
Livia jumped to her feet and went over to the gowns. She snatched them up and shoved them onto a low shelf of her armoire.
She was not going to the ball.
This snippet appears in Chapter 1. You can read the full excerpt here.