Consider a Sig P290. Smaller than a LCR and a little bigger than the LCCP. Big enough to shoot comfortably. (It is actually fun to shoot) Mine has had zero issues. It is about as small as you would want a 9mm (IMHO) but heavy enough to control recoil , but it is in no way too heavy in my opinion. Feels very good in hand. Also comes with night sights, a (removable) laser and an extra 8rd mag all for under $500
These photos are with a Ruger LCR (.22lr but same size as a 357 LCR) and a Tuarus TCP 738 380acp.
It is a little bit smaller than the LCR and a little bit bigger than the TCP. The only major differences are the Sig is heavier than both and both are quite a bit wider than the TCP. But keep inmind the TCP is a 380.
This one is interesting to me. The TCP is on top of the P290