Is there a way to tell InDesign via GREP to apply a Character Style to the first paragraph of a text box before a carriage return? Not a forced line break. A carriage return.
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I don't think it's possible because in Indesign there is no carriage return character to define the end of a line the way you are thinking.
There is a hard return that defines the end of a paragraph, and there is a soft return that defines a forced line break.
The only way I know to style the first line is with a Nested Line Style. (bottom of the example pic)
There's a much easier way to achieve the effect you're after: that is, applying style-A to the first paragraph and style-B to the remainder. InDesign has a feature for it.
Set up two Paragraph Styles as you'd like them. Then, edit style-A by setting it's "Next style" to style-B. (Next Style is found on the general tab of Paragraph Style Options.)
Then, with your text box selected, right click on style-A in your Paragraph Style and choose "Apply style-A then Next Style". (This is a context sensitive option and won't appear unless you have made a valid selection like a text box or a text selection of more than one paragraph.)
One advantage of this approach is more than two styles can be chained together. For example if you had a heading, subheading, first paragraph and normal paragraph you can apply them all in one hit. And its more obvious than GREPping.